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The liability of Hendley and Co to the Freedmen is beyond question (in my opinion) unless it was agreed that H. and Co were not to be liable.
For this, they were fully aware of the ownership being in the Freedmen, and actually accounted with them for a portion of the proceeds; By the accompanying Affidavits (which it must be borne in mind are made by the members of the firm of Hurley and Co who are not in Law Competent Witnesses, however truthful) it appears that they were to pay the money to Norwood for the Freedmen and by their own showing they did not pay it to Norwood but passes it to his credit on a then due account or in other words appropriated the money to an anterior liability of Norwood's.
The facts are that they knew the Cotton belonged to the Freedmen but would only agree to account to Norwood, but does that authorize them to sell the Cotton and appropriate the proceeds to an antecedent debt of Norwood's to them? and especially when it is remembered that they were fully cognizant of the fact that the freedmen owned the Cotton? and further knew that Norwood was unable to settle with them the freedmen or should