Thomas Jefferson Papers

Deposition of Dabney Carr in Jefferson v. Michie, 26 August 1815

Deposition of Dabney Carr in Jefferson v. Michie

The deposition of Dabney Carr taken de bene esse at his dwelling house adjoining or near the town of Winchester between the hours of ten in the forenoon and four of the afternoon of Saturday the 26h day of August in the year of our Lord 1815, by virtue of a Commission to us directed from the County Court of Albemarle in behalf of Thomas Jefferson in a Certain matter of Controversy (expected) between David Michie and those Claiming under him, and the said, Thomas Jefferson, and those claiming under him touching a Certain piece of real property lying and being in Albemarle. Notice of the time and place of taking said deposition being duly proved before us.—The deponent being first sworn on the holy evangelists deposeth and saith That while he practiced at the Bar there was a suit depending in the High Court of Chancery at Richmond between a Certain John Henderson & Craven Peyton, the subject of which (among other things) was the same piece of real property expected to be in Controversy between the said David Michie and Thomas Jefferson. That during the pendency of that suit he thinks in April or May 1805—he was employed by Craven Peyton to attend as Counsel to the taking depositions (to be read in the suit) at the village of Milton in Albemarle. That Mr Benjamin Brown attended as Counsel for Henderson. That at the taking these depositions the said David Michie was present, and in the Course of the examination asked some witness a question: that he was immediately interrupted by Peyton who with Considerable warmth1 and harshness made remarks to him substantially to the following effect. Mr Michie [you]2 have no interest in this case, nothing to do with the buisiness and therefore no right to open your mouth to the witness. That Michie replied he was an attorney at law and in that Character had a right to appear for Henderson. This Deponent thinks it was then observed, whether by a magistrate or one of the Counsel he does not recollect, that Mr Michie Certainly had a right to appear and take part in the examination as an attorney. It may be observed here that Mr Michie was not a practicing lawyer at that time, nor had been for a Considerable time previous, as this deponent thinks. This deponent feels Confident, that this was the sole ground on which Michie rested his Claim to interfere, and that during the whole examination, he did not drop the slightest hint of having any personal interest in the subject of litigation. This deponent would not be understood to speak positively as to the time when this examination took place he finds in his book a charge against Craven Peyton for attending it dated 17h May 1805 and this induces him to believe that it took place some where about that period. & further this deponent saith not.

D Carr

Taken and sworn to in due form before us the undersigned Justices of the peace for the County of Frederick and the same persons named in the Commission hereto annexed this 26h Augt 1815 at the dwelling house of said Carr adjoining Winchester and between the hours of 10 in the forenoon & four in the afternoon

Edwd McGuire
Jo Tidball

Tr (ViU: TJP-LBJM); entirely in George Carr’s hand. Enclosure not found.

de bene esse: “in anticipation of a future need” (Black’s Law Dictionary description begins Bryan A. Garner and others, eds., Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th ed., 1999 description ends ). The county court of albemarle issued an order on 4 Nov. 1813 for commissions “to take the despositions . . . of the several witnesses” as requested by TJ in Thomas Jefferson v. David Michie (Albemarle Co. Order Book [1813–1815], 267). For the earlier suit, see note to Craven Peyton to TJ, 6 Aug. 1809; Decision of Virginia Court of Appeals in Peyton v. Henderson, 7 Jan. 1812; and Haggard, “Henderson Heirs,” description begins Robert F. Haggard, “Thomas Jefferson v. The Heirs of Bennett Henderson, 1795–1818: A Case Study in Caveat Emptor,” MACH, 63 (2005): 1–29 description ends 9–12.

Edward McGuire (ca. 1766–1828), merchant, resided in Winchester and was commissioned a justice of the peace for Frederick County in 1802. He was a proprietor of the McGuire Hotel for a time, secretary of the Jockey Club in 1811, and a commissioner of the Winchester and Berryville Turnpike in 1812 and of the Bank of the Valley in Winchester in 1817, serving as a director of the latter in 1819. McGuire was a founding member of the Charlestown and Winchester Turnpike Company in 1818. He left property appraised at $2,394, including land in Frederick, Hampshire, and Hardy counties (William G. Stanard, The McGuire Family in Virginia [1926], 32–3; Frederic Morton, The Story of Winchester in Virginia [1925], 274; DNA: RG 29, CS, Frederick Co., 1810; Charles Town, Va. [later W.Va.], Farmer’s Repository, 4 Oct. 1811; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1811–12 sess.], 75; [1817–18 sess.], 140; Alexandria Gazette & Daily Advertiser, 13 Nov. 1817; Richmond Enquirer, 16 Feb. 1819; Frederick Co. Will Book, 15:19–20, 16:230–44, 285–92, 19:255–6; Richmond Visitor & Telegraph, 6 Dec. 1828).

Joseph Tidball (d. 1825), merchant and gristmill owner, was a resident of Winchester. He sold military supplies to both the Virginia and federal governments throughout the 1790s, and he received his commission as a justice of the peace in 1804. Tidball was a commissioner in 1817 of the Bank of the Valley in Winchester and a founding member in 1818 of the Charlestown and Winchester Turnpike Company (Frederic Morton, The Story of Winchester in Virginia [1925], 118, 275; DNA: RG 29, CS, Frederick Co., 1810, 1820; Warren R. Hofstra and Robert D. Mitchell, “Town and Country in Backcountry Virginia: Winchester and the Shenandoah Valley, 1730–1800,” Journal of Southern History 59 [1993]: 640; CVSP description begins William P. Palmer and others, eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, 1875–93, 11 vols. description ends , 1:44, 74; James McHenry to Charles Lee, 14 May 1799 [DLC: McHenry Papers]; Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton [1961–87], 23:255–7; Alexandria Gazette & Daily Advertiser, 13 Nov. 1817; Acts of Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (cited by session; title varies over time) description ends [1817–18 sess.], 140; Deborah A. Lee and Hofstra, “Race, Memory, and the Death of Robert Berkeley: ‘A murder … of … horrible and savage barbarity,’” Journal of Southern History 65 [1999]: 55; Frederick Co. Will Book, 16:293–4; gravestone inscription at Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester).

1Manuscript: “wamth.”

2Manuscript: “who.”

Index Entries

  • Albemarle County Court, Va. search
  • Brown, Benjamin; and Henderson case search
  • Carr, Dabney (1773–1837) (TJ’s nephew); deposition in Jefferson v. Michie search
  • Frederick County, Va. search
  • Henderson case; and Peyton v. Henderson search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; dispute with D. Michie search
  • Jefferson v. Michie; and depositions search
  • McGuire, Edward; identified search
  • McGuire, Edward; witnesses D. Carr’s deposition in Jefferson v. Michie search
  • Michie, David; and depositions on Henderson lands search
  • Michie, David; and Peyton v. Henderson search
  • Michie, David; Jefferson v. Michie search
  • Peyton, Craven; and Henderson case search
  • Peyton v. Henderson; depositions in search
  • Superior Court of Chancery for the Richmond District search
  • Tidball, Joseph; identified search
  • Tidball, Joseph; witnesses D. Carr’s deposition in Jefferson v. Michie search
  • Virginia; courts of chancery search