1854 Interrogatory Concerning the Mental Fitness of the Decedent in an Inheritance Case [Manuscript]. [Wills]. [Mental Fitness]. Lewis, Garrett. Skinner, Dr. W.C. [1854 Legal Interrogatory of a North Carolina Medical Doctor W.C. Skinner Concerning the Illness, Mental Fitness and Death of Garrett Lewis of Chester County, Pennsylvania]. [West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania, October 23, 1854].  ff. Folio (12" x 8"). Four leaves of lined blue paper, with outer wrapper affixed with grommets along top edge, content to rectos and versos of first two leaves, and recto of third leaf, embossed seal of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County to third leaf. Faint horizontal fold lines, moderate edgewear to wrapper, scattered foxing. A well-preserved item. $350. * Legal interrogatory of North Carolina physician Dr. W.C. Skinner concerning the December 1853 death of his patient, Garrett Lewis of Chester County, Pennsylvania, from consumption. The document reveals a complicated and problematic relationship between a physician and his patient including his patient's financial affairs. Dr. Skinner's answers to the lawyer's questions and the facts he supplied were in aid of the lawsuit Curtis F. Lewis vs. Henrietta Woodward. This complicated case appears to concern the deceased's will and the state of his mind when he executed it-a will witnessed by Dr. Skinner. The 1854 interrogatory is directed to county prothonotary, William Wollerton. The manuscript appears to be an official copy; it is sealed by the Court of Common Pleas and is attested to by Prothonotary Wollerton as being "From the Record." The interrogatory comprises three multi-part questions posed by the defendant's attorneys, William Butler and William Darlington. It focuses on the deceased's state of mind on December 6, 1853, presumably the date of his will. The third question reveals, troublingly, that Dr. Skinner witnessed the deceased's will. As to the will, Skinner declares: "I believe he knew he was signing his will, but he was incapable of comprehending and provision of said will. In a word I believe he was in such a condition as to readily & unresistingly sign any paper that might have been presented to him." An interesting legal document describing a complicated professional relationship between a physician and his patient, outlining the physic.
Book number 68706