Abstract of Petition
In 1815, Mitchell Kershaw of Sussex County published his will, freeing a number of slaves - George, Easter, Peter, Sarah, Rachel, Jack, Isaac, Lizey, Phillis Williams, Mahaley, Jesse, and Maryatta - when they reached age twenty-one. "George and Easter is already free," Kershaw wrote: "I pronounce them free.: He also stipulatd that, except for his wife's third of his estate, his executor should sell his property and the money "put on interest by loan" to be distributed equally among his slaves as they gained their freedom. Three yeawrs later, Kershaw died. His widow, Sarah (or Sally) Kershaw, however, failed to live up to the provisions of her husband's will. Obtaining letters of administration, she kept the slaves' trust funds for herself; she also cut and sold wood on the farm, receiving "large sums of money and keeping the money "to her own propr uses and purposes." Peter, Robinson and Sarah and Rachel, who married Samuel Redden, being over age twenty-one, and the other slaves, seek their share of the estate. They demand that Sarah "and her confederates pay them "such sum as shall be found due to them."