Nathaniel, a man of color v. George W. Coons
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NatNat (a person of color)
vs
Geo. W. CoonsGeorge W Coons

In St. Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court

Be it remembered that on the trial of this cause
to wit : on the twenty seventh day of January A. D. 1846. the said plaintiff offerred in evidence
a certified copy of the record of the authenticated copy of the
will of MiltonMilton Duty decd. and probate thereof
as recorded in the probate court of St. Louis County,
which is in the words & figures following to wit:
(here insert said copy and certificates marked A.) to the reading
of which as evidence the defendant by his counsel
objected, and the court sustained the objection
and excluded said copy, to which exclusion
the plaintiff by his counsel then and there ex-
cepted ; the plaintiff then offered the original
authenticated copy of said will and probate thereof with the certificate of the clerk
of the county court of St. LouisSt Louis county that the
same were recorded in his office in the words & figures following (here
insert said copy and certificates, marked B.)
to the reading of which in evidence the defendant by his
counsel objectedand the objection was overruled and the court overruled
said objection allowed said that men-
tioned copy to be read to the jury ; the plaintiff then offerred
in evidence and read to the jury the following
extracts from the statutes of the State of MisMissouri-
sissipi No. 1 to wit (here insert § 2 page 385, of
the Statutes of the State of MississippiMississippi compiled
by V. E. HowardHoward and A. Hutchinson, published
in 1840 also insert § 11 at page 387, also § 12
page 388, also § 17 page 389, also § 18 of Article
of constitution of Mississipi, also § 1 & 2 pages
468 or 469, also § 10 & 12 at page 470, of same
statutes, compiled and published as aforesaid)
also said plaintiff offerred and in like manner

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read to the jury, the following section of the consti-
tution of the state of MississippiMississippi to wit : (here
insert the 18 section 4th Article of constitution
of state of MississippiMississippifrom page 26 of same
compilation). Plaintiff then examined as
a witness for him Richard Dowling, who
stated that he knew MiltonMilton Duty in his
lifetime, that said Duty was residing at the
time of his death in the city of St LouisSt Louis, state
of MissouriMissouri, that he recollected the time of
said Duty'sDuty's death, having been at his residing
a few minutes thereafter, that said Duty
was, in his opinion, upworth of 30 years
of age at the time of his death, that said
Duty, in a conversation which witness had
with him some few days before his death,
declared that he intended to fee free his slaves, some 30 in number
at his death, as he
had made a will to that effect, that
the negroes of said Duty were in the
city of St LouisSt Louis at the time of his death,
and that witness had seen the plaintiff
at the house of said Duty prior to his
death. Plaintiff then examined David
Adams, as a witness on his behalf, who stated
that he was acquainted with said Duty in
his lifetime, that said Duty, at the time
of his death, was residing in the lower part
of the city of St LouisSt Louis, near to witness, that
said Duty died in St. LouisSt Louis in the year 1837
or 1838, that he had been residing in
said city some months, witness could
not say how long, previous to his death,
that said Duty removed from the state of MississippiMississippi to the state of MissouriMissouri and brought