Letters And Rebuttals




Contents Page

Letter No. 1

Letter No. 2

Letter No. 3

Letter No. 4



First Rebuttal

In a court of law, the prosecuting attorney must prove his case beyond a shadow of doubt. In atempting to prove his case let's say he has a witness whose credibility has been challenged and subsequently impeached... meaning, in simple terms, the testimony of the witness is of no value... he has no credibility.

By challenging the statements of Carey (Brazil) Bracewell, I have had only one objective in mind and that was to prove that his statements are without foundation. In fact, he has enhanced the readership of Uncle Roy's book, as updated by Joyce Ann Braswell, to such an extent that one can only imagine it has become his worst nightmare. I sincerely believe that every time Carey (Brazil) Bracewell invented one little thing, it opened the door to questions about everything he has ever written or done.

By looking and studying the infamous Richard Towle Will, one can only speculate not only to how Carey (Brazil) Bracewell came to his conlcusions concerning Susannah's morals and torrid affair with a "poor neighbor farmer" as to why it was even necessary in the first place. Could it be that after he abandoned his birth name from Carey O'Lee Brazil to Carey O. Bracewell to Carey H. Bracewell, certain "slots" in his targeted genealogical framework didn't fit?

 

 

Letter and Rebuttal

Letter No. 1

From CAREY H. BRACEWELL:
"ROBERT BRACEWELL, Jr. was already of legal age by 3 Feb. 1674, proof that he was born before 1653, the same as his brother, RICHARD.  Note that ROBERT's wife, SUSANNAH, did not sign her dower on any of these deeds, indicating their estrangement was immediate and permanent  (SUSANNAH was bearing RICHARD TOWLE(Y)'s illegitimate offspring by c. 1672 ).  ROBERT, Jr. was already in Nansemond by 1674  as suggested by his willingness to acknowledge his conveyance in either Isle of Wight or "Nansemond Cort."  By the 3 Feb. Deed to his brother-in-law JAMES BAGNALL (ANN BRACEWELL's husband), ROBERT had built his own house (and orchard) on land inherited from his father, but has since left it...and "wife"...behind.  The deed of March 31 shows that ROBERT, Jr. did in fact inherit his father's original 300 acre plantation home...which he sold JAMES BAGNALL (ANN died about 1682, leaving all this to BAGNALL). The companion deed of the same date in which ROBERT, Jr. received the original BAGNALL plantation in a swap for a similar tract of 100 acres where "WILLIAM TOLEY now dwelleth" that had belonged to ROBERT lets us know that the TOLEYs had ingratiated themselves with both husband ROBERT and "wife" SUSANNAH.  ROBERT's power of attorney to BAGNALL proves that he was gone by the following August 29.  ROBERT evidently never returned to Isle of Wight from Nansemond.  The next-and lat-we ever hear from his is a 1694 power of attorney to "loving wife SUSANNAH" to answer suits in his name in Isle of Wight.  Evidently he died without issue."

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REBUTTALS

"From CAREY H. BRACEWELL: 
 ROBERT BRACEWELL, Jr. was already of legal age by 3 Feb 1674, proof that he was born before 1653, the same as his brother, RICHARD."
Rebuttal:
His legal age was already established prior to 3 Feb 1674.  On 22 April, 1670 he was granted 800 acres by Governor William Berkeley Knight in upper parish of Nansemond county.  Law required all recipients to be of legal age.

"Note that ROBERT's wife, SUSANNAH, did not sign her dower on any of these deeds,"
Rebuttal:
According to Common Law, she was not required to sign because her right of dower was already granted by law!  She brought to the marriage 1300 acres left to her by her father John Burgess. " ...indicating their estrangement was immediate and permanent"
Rebuttal:
There is no indication of their estrangement, much less being permanent.  The law does indicate that he had to make certain improvements on the property,  800 acres in Upper Nansemond, either to farm it or develop it.  Further, in addition to his share of the 600 acres in which his 300 included the plantation home, there was also the matter of 350 acres, his share of the Western Nansemond inheritance from his father,  Robert, Sr.  and the 1300 acres Susannah brought to the marriage, Robert Jr. , it would appear, was, from all indications, quite busy managing the 2750 acres confirmed up to this point of our research!

"(SUSANNAH was bearing RICHARD TOWLE(Y)'s illegitimate offspring by c. 1672 )."
Rebuttal:
How was this established? On issues of morality, the law was very strict in such matters and people of that period had no inhibitions about 'blowing the whistle' on such behavior.  As a matter of fact, a person would have been in serious trouble had he made such a statement during that period based on hearsay.  See "unusual punishments" as applicable to "bearing false witness."  He could have had his tongue pierced with a heated awl. Punishments were severe for abhorrent behavior during the colonial period.  Had Susannah been having an adulterous affair it would not have gone unnoticed and certainly not unpunished for the Law as set down was read twice daily and deeply instilled in the minds of the people. See Colonial Law, paragraphs 7 and 9 It should also be noted that, by law, a will was required to be retained by the court and held there open to public inspection forever. Such a brazen act, again, would not have gone unnoticed.

"ROBERT had built his own house (and orchard) on land inherited from his father, but has since left it...and 'wife'...behind."
Rebuttal:
Where did Robert build this house (and orchard)?  Was it on his share of the Western Nansemond property inherited from Robert Sr.?  Or, was it on the 800 acres of Upper Nansemond (see terms of grant)?  Or, could it have been on the 1300 acres of land Susannah inherited from her father?    He also makes no mention that Susannah was busy taking care of her mother after the death of her husband and marriage to a wife beater.  (see Court Judgment for Susannah against her step father).

"The deed of March 31 shows that ROBERT, Jr. did in fact inherit his father's original 300 acre plantation home...which he sold JAMES BAGNALL (ANN died about 1682, leaving all this to BAGNALL)."
 Rebuttal:
In this statement he fails to say that the sale was almost four and a half years after Robert received the grant of 800 acres and makes no mention that James Bagnall forfeited the land, Deed Book 1, page 457! This raises more questions. Did it revert to Robert?  Apparently it did for Susannah left the home plantation to her son James and the old home plantation with 40 acres to her son William.  (see Susannah's Will of 26 June, 1732)

It should be made clear that the Rev. Robert left his 600 acre plantation to be divided between his two sons with the plantation home being on that portion going to Robert Jr..  Now we add more to the mix.  Owning a plantation home already in place why would Robert build another house (and orchard) unless, of course, it was to comply with the terms of the Grant of 800 acres?  This, he obviously did (Susannah's Will, probated 26 June, 1732.) in which she refers to the home plantation which was left to Richard and the old home plantation left to William.

"The companion deed of the same date in which ROBERT, Jr. received the original BAGNALL plantation in a swap for a similar tract of 100 acres where "WILLIAM TOLEY now dwelleth" that had belonged to ROBERT"
 Rebuttal:
Which Bagnall plantation comprised of 100 acres?  '...for a similar tract of 100 acres where "William Toley" now dwelleth.  In the Deeds, there is no mention of a swap, however, if this is indeed the case, the land where"William Toley now dwelleth" belonged to Robert because of Bagnall's forfeiture of the land. Another oversite? If there was a swap made, Bagnall would have owned the land and not subject to forfeiture.  Assuming Carey's 'Toley' and 'Towley and Towle' are of the same family, then the land referred to in Towley's will already belonged to Robert.

" lets us know that the TOLEYs had ingratiated themselves with both husband ROBERT and "wife" SUSANNAH"
Rebuttal:
Why and how should we know the Toleys ingratiated themselves to Robert and Susannah?  We have found nothing anywhere that makes or supports this statement.  From the wording, especially "dwelleth, is an indication that Towley was a tennant on the land. Even if they did, so what? This obviously is another assumption made by Carey.

"The next-and lat-we ever hear from his is a 1694 power of attorney to "loving wife SUSANNAH"
 Rebuttal:
Again, just not true.  The last recorded date of his return, at this point, is 1702 in which he witnessed a deed for Owen Bourn on 9 April, 1702 (Deed Book 1, page 351).  Robert Jr. referred to his "loving wife SUSANNAH" which is not indicative of her being a person of "loose morals." An interesting observation is that when others' are seeking information on people who may have lived in Nansemond County, their records were burned yet when queries concerning Robert Jr., having properties in Nansemond County, are raised the seemingly stock answer from Carey (Brazil) Bracewell is "he died or disappeared after leaving his wife."

Now we come to the Towley Will which Carey (Brazil) Bracewell likes to quote as his reason for attempting to banish an entire line of Braswells.  Without supporting documentation, the will in and of itself means absolutely nothing. Check the Will yourself.. Towle Will

Finally, when Susannah referred to the "home plantation" she was apparently talking about where she lived at the time she wrote her Will.  Could it have been in the house that Robert built, with the orchard,  in Upper Nansemond? Or, could it have been on the 350 acres left to Robert Jr. by Robert Sr. in Western Nansemond County? Could it have been, possibly, on the 1300 acres left to Susannah by her father? The answer to all three locations? Possibly!   The "old plantation" to which she referred in bequeathing it to her son William, was,  in all probability,  the original home of the Revered Robert Sr., the home in which Robert Jr. and his brother Richard grew up together.  End of Rebuttal.

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