After Robert's case was heard and decided in the Providence Court of Common Pleas, a court clerk wrote a summary of the case for inclusion in the record book, a book that listed cases and summaries chronologically by court term. The clerk noted that Robert had sought payment for his seven years of service to Godfrey Wainwood, and that Godfrey Wainwood had argued that the initial contract had been invalid because Robert was a slave. The clerk also recorded the court's decision in favor of Godfrey Wainwood.
Robert – a Negro Man
Robert – a negro man a transient person last residing in Providence in said County of Providence laborer complains of Godfrey Wainwood of Newport in the County of Newport baker in the custody of the Sheriff in an action of the case, for that the Plaintiff at the special instance and request of the said Godfrey having served him the said Godfrey as a hired servant for the space of seven years viz. from the first day of July in the year AD 1782 to the first day of July AD 1789, the aforesaid Godfrey... viz. on the same day and year aforesaid in Newport aforesaid in consideration thereof did assume upon himself and to the Plaintiff then and there faithfully from i.e. that he the said Godfrey would well and truly pay to the plaintiff the sum of one hundred and five pounds lawful money when he should afterward thereto be requested. And also for that afterwards, in the same day and year last aforesaid at the place aforesaid, the Plaintiff at the special insistence and request of the said Godfrey having served him the said Godfrey as a hired servant for the space of seven years to wit from the first day of July AD 1782 to the first day of July AD 1789, the aforesaid Godfrey afterwards viz. the same day and year last aforesaid at the place aforesaid in consideration thereof said Godfrey did assume upon himself and to the Plaintiff then and there faithfully promise that he the said Godfrey would well and truly pay to the Plaintiff so much money as the said service was reasonably worth, whenever afterwards the aid Godfrey should thereto be required. And the Plaintiff in fact saith that said service was well and reasonably worth one other sum of one hundred and five pounds lawful money thereof and the said Godfrey at that time and place and notice. Nevertheless the said Godfrey, tho often requested the said sum hath not paid nor any part thereof but has wholly refused and still refuses to pay the same. And the said Godfrey comes into court and prays judgment of the writ of said Robert and that the same abate, because he saith that the said Robert on the day of purchase of the aforesaid writ was and still is a slave... saving which if overruled the said Godfrey further prays judgment of the writ of Said Robert and that the same abate because he [Godfrey] says that on the day of purchase of said writ and long before he the said Robert was called and known by the name and addition of Robert a negro man of Newport in the County of Newport laborer not and not by the name and addition of Robert a negro man a transient person last residing in Providence in the county of Providence laborer and this the said Godfrey is ready to verify wherefore he prays judgment of said writs and that the same abate. Saving which if overruled the said Godfrey defends the force and injury whence and saith that he never promised in manner and form as plaintiff thereof has alleged against him. And the plaintiff saith he was not a slave as by the defendant is pleaded. And the defendant likewise bid this case being called as is admitted to a jury duly impaneled and from who after a full hearing of the parties, their several pleas, allegations and evidence recorded, their verdict as follows: “We find that Robert is a slave to some person in Virginia and furthermore that Mr Wainwood has no rights or title to him in consequence of his purchase at Newport,” this therefore considered by the court that the action be abated upon verdict of the jury and that Robert was a slave, and that the remainder of the verdict be rejected as surplusage. Cash taxed as three pound nineteen shillings and six pence...