“It was always my intention to free the child.” — the road to hell.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

The worshipfull the County Court of Edgecombe May Term 1796: Approving me to take the Deposition of George Ogg in a matter Depending in our said County wherein William Leigh is Plaintiff and George Brownrigg is Defend’t. In Obedience thereto I have attended at the house of Solomon Sessums and taken said Ogg’s Deposition.  It is as follows – The Deponant after being Duly Sworn on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God Deposeth and sayeth that he had oftimes heard Mr. Robert Bignall sens Dec’d say that a Certain Yellow or Mulatto Boy Named Harry now in the Possession of George Brownrigg was the son of William McClellin formerly a merchant in Tarborough and was at a certain Age (Twenty one years he Believ’d) Intitled to his Freedom and Further this Deponant sayeth not.  Given under my hand and seal this 30th day of May 1796.  /s/ Exum Philips JP

Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Edgecombe County, North Carolina State Archives.