DEPOSITION OF HENRY PRATHER, 1765
Cumberland County, ss.
Personally Appear’d before me one of his Majisties Justices for said County, Henry Prather, who upon his Solemn Oath on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God, Deposeth that on or about the 18th of July last, there was a Number of Majestrates Conven’d at Fort Loudoun, Among which were Messrs. Campbell & Perry, Esquires, who were the Acting Majestrates, Examining into different Matters about Some Disturbances that had happen’d lately, likewise Concerning an Advertisement Propagated (as Justice Smith Imagin’d) By Thomas Romberg or Alesander Williamson, who were Both Sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, & Answer all Such Questions as Should be Ask’d Concerning Said Advertisement; & further this Deponent Sayeth there were Severall Other Deposisions taken the Same day Respecting Justice Smith’s Conduct, when they were only Sworn to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, without Mentioning the whole truth, and Answer to Such Questions as Should be Ask’d. Some time after on the Same day, this Deponent being in Company with a Certain Samuel Finely, who lives with Justice Smith, ask’d Said Finley, upon his Conscience, if he had Declar’d the truth, the whole truth, & nothing but the truth, Concerning Justice Smith, Finley Answer’d it was hard touching his Conscience with it, for that he had Sworn nothing but the truth, and had Answer’d Such Questions as was Ask’d of him, likewise Added he would as Soon swear for Justice Maxwell as for Justice Smith if he was Call’d upon; & this Deponent further Declares, that it was his opinion that Said Finley did look upon his Deposision Binding upon him to Declare the whole truth; and further Sayeth, there was a Deposision taken from one Price in favour of Justice Smith, which he this Deponent Objected Against for Several Reasons, Viz., for his appearing Att the Head of a Riotous party at Sundry times, & for Embazelling the goods of Joseph Spears, which was Carried from or near Fort Loudoun to Maryland, & left in his Care, likewise for Carrying off a Cagg of Rum Att the Same time, when a pretence of Burning Said goods of Mr. Spears was Committing, these Objections this Deponent laid in against Said Price Att the time when his Deposion was taking, & offer’d to prove the Same By Evidence; Notwithstanding this Deposition of Price’s was transmitted to his Honour the Governour, as be this Deponent has been Inform’d; this Deponent further Adds, that being in Company with Justice Perry, and Discoursing About the Said price, Mr. Perry Said it was fitter Such a fellow Should be Committed than to have his Oath, & Added, he thought a Pitty it was not in his power to Secure all Such, &c. And further this Deponent Sayeth, that the Majestrates had Agreed to Sit in the fort, & when they Appear’d Ready to Begin Business, they the Majestrates ask’d for Evidences which was Answer’d, the Commanding Office would let none of those people into the Garrison, as they had appear’d Severall times Before the Garrison under Arms; upon which Justice Campbell Answer’d, let us go Some where Else, for the Commanding Officer was quite Right not to let any of these people In, or if he did it was more than he Could Answer for, and Might Perhaps Affect his Commission, & further this Deponent Sayeth not.
Sworn and Subscrib’d, this 12 September, 1765, Before me,
N. B.—Justices Maxwell and Allison, if called upon, will confirm what is contain’d in the above Deposition.
PENNSYLVANIA ARCHIVES VOLUME IV pages 237-238