Indentured Servant's Confession (1684)
A Declaration or Confession of [Roger] Court Crotosse one of Col. John Wests Servants of some misdemeanors Comitted or done by him or other Servants belonging to the said Col. West.
1st. Saith that about a year since he went from mary branch to his masters mill [with] John Fisher a Servant to his master alsoe (being miller) to fetch some meale the miller not being within[,] this declarant Saith he went into the mill and there lookinge for meale found in a Caske amongst Some woole and yarne a turkey warme and the feathers pluckt of[f] and the neck twisted about which Turkey this declarant drest and with a negro of his masters Eat it, And about two nights after this declarant goeing from mary branch to Chequonessex with one Sandy Coloured turkey and one black turkey under his armes John Fisher then had this declarant to say nothing but come to the mill at night and he should eate parte of them which this declarant did and eate parte of one of them but did not See the other
2nd. That at the last Springe the aforesaid John Fisher perswaded this declarant and Thomas Hartly (another of Col. Wests Servants) to kill a Lamb and lent us his knife to kill it which accordingly we did and carried into the Swamp and [word illegible] drest it some of it wee then Eat and next morning he went with us and he Eat what he would and Said it was well done
3rd. That about August last the said John Fisher perswaded this declarant and a negro Tony to carry a Sheep from Chequonessex to mary branch and there kill it but if it were not fatt then lett it loose amongst the Sheep there att mary branch And there take one of the best of those Sheep and kill it accordingly wee carry away a Sheep upon the horse Tyger from Chequonessex and killed it att mary branch house but did not Exchange it as he ordered: The next day John Fisher came and Eat Some of it and Carryed some of it with him.
4th. That about the last of August last this declarant and the aforesaid John Fisher and the aforesaid Thomas Hartley (by Fishers perswasions) killed a Sow att Chequonessex house and by the said John Fishers order fleade [i.e., flayed] her and tyed up her gutts in the skin and Stones with them and threw them into the pond afterwards wee tooke a Pott and the Sowe and carryed them into the Swamp and there drest halfe of it and the rest wee Eat at the Indian towne.
5th. That about the seaventh day of october last this declarant beinge att breakfast att Chequonessex house heard mr Francis Chambers bid the aforesaid John Fisher Catch two piggs and bring them in afterwards this declarant beigne at plow the said Fisher bad[e] him goe along with him to help him and take his gun with him which he accordingly did And short one pigg and would have carried that into the house but the said John Fisher would not but had him goe kill another for one would not doe but this declarant could not[.] there upon the said Fisher said he would roast that and gott a Spitt for the purpose and asked this declarant if he Could gett fire who answered he could not thereupon the said Fisher Stopt the touchhole of the Gunn and gott fire and there roasted it and Eat it[.] In the time the pigg was roasting old mr Johnson Came to the fire but the said Fisher seeing him come ran away with the spitt and kept out of sight untill the old man went away
6th. That abought a fortnight or three weeks since this declarant and the aforesaid John Fisher Thomas Hartley and Jack A negro at two severall times killed four piggs one of them being marked with my masters marke carryed them away and Eate them.
7th. That on Tuesday last was a fortnight att night to this declarant and the said Thomas Hartley sitting by the fire in the middle roome the said John Fisher came to us and bad[e] us goe along with him (which we did) then he went out with us to the henhouse and said Jonny Negro had hid a bag of potatoes there and that he would steale them whereupon he put downe a board by the doore and then unlockt the doore And tooke the Potatoes presently after the same night this declarant and Thomas Hartley went to the henhouse againe and tooke a Turkey and a hen and carryed them into the shoomakers shop loft and there pluckt them and boyled them in the shop
8th. That about a week since my master Calling this declarant the said Fisher and Hartley to question for our misdemeanors Afterwards the said Fisher said to us that if he was brought to any damage he would begone and if he could gett there he would send his master a very Loveing Letter that his sheep his hoggs and turkeys were very fat etc.
9[th.] That what is above written and declared is very true And that this Declarant can depose to the same when Called Dated this 6th day of November anno Domini 1684
10[th.] allso this declarant farther saith that there was another sheep killed by him and John Fisher which he did not remember when he was examined before Col. [Daniel] Jenifer.
The marke of
Roger X Court Crotosse