William Kennedy papers  1752-1753
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The William Kennedy papers contain three legal documents within a single volume, all of which relate to a prolonged dispute over an allegedly unpaid debt between landowners in 18th-century Barbados and the possible destruction of documents relevant to the case. The William Kennedy papers are contemporary manuscript copies of court documents. The first document, dated October 26, 1752, prefaces the second by briefly describing its contents.

The second document describes in detail numerous aspects of the Alleyne v. Kennedy case, in which John Gay Alleyne accused William Kennedy of destroying evidence of payment that his brother, Oliver Kennedy, allegedly received from Joseph Dottin, whose estate Alleyne inherited. Dated 1752, it spans approximately 240 pages, and contains multiple descriptions of the Alleyne plantation, now known as St. Nicholas Abbey, the 130 slaves that worked it, and accompanying household goods. It also contains sets of interrogatories, and depositions of 21 witnesses.

The third document, dated February 7, 1753, is William Kennedy’s appeal against the 1752 ruling in favor of Alleyne. In the 38-page document, Kennedy outlines the “fraudulent scheme” between Nicholas and Dottin and defends his actions as Deputy Provost Marshall.

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