Frederick County, Maryland: .  pp. Folio sheet folded to 8-1/4" s 13-1/4." In Taney's hand, and signed twice, "R.B. Taney | Plffs. Atty" and "R.B. Taney." Very Good.
Taney, born into a wealthy slaveowning family in Calvert County, began practicing law in Maryland in 1799. Taney is best known for his infamous opinion in the Dred Scott Case. But In an 1819 address to a jury he called Slavery "a blot on our national character." He insisted that "every real lover of freedom confidently hopes that it will be effectually, though it must be gradually, wiped away" [Huebner, 'Roger B. Taney and the Slavery Issue: Looking beyond - and before - Dred Scott.' Journal of American History, June 2010, pp 17-38 [internal quotation marks omitted]. He would free his own slaves before his appointment to the Supreme Court. Taney was also the first Roman Catholic Justice of the Supreme Court. Loyal to Andrew Jackson, Taney had been Jackson's Treasury Secretary before Jackson appointed him as John Marshall's successor.
Taney represented the Farmer's Bank of Maryland in this suit for recovery on a sixty-day promissory note signed by John Darnall on February 24, 1813. After several endorsements and assignments the note became payable to the Farmer's Bank by Rachel Darnall, but remains unpaid. Taney sues for recovery on the note.
It is unclear who the Darnalls were or their relationship to one another. The 1790 U.S. Federal Census lists a John Darnall in Frederick County. The household consists of two white males and two white females [all over the age of 16], and forty-five slaves. There is also a John Darnall, possibly the same individual, mentioned in the 1800 USFC as having six white persons and ten slaves in the household. The 1810 USFC lists a John Darnall [possibly John Jr.] who is living with his wife and young son and one slave. The 1800 USFC has a Rachel Darnall listed as a widow in Frederick County and apparently living with three young sons. Item #37290