Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 21485224 Details

State:Tennessee
Location:Davidson
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Hon John S. Brien Chancellor &c holding the chancery court at Nashville Tenn (BRIEN, John S.)
Filing Date:1852-April-3
Ending Date:1853-December-8

General Petition Information

Abstract:Margaret R. Demoss asks the court for a divorce from her abusive husband and for the return of her slaves and land. Demoss married Silas D. Demoss when she was sixteen years old "against the advice and without the consent of her mother." Though the petitioner has shown her husband "love, devotion and confidence ... the only return they have met, almost from the day of their marriage has been cold neglect, violent abuse, and absolute tyranny." Silas is "much addicted to intoxication and gambling, and keeping low and lewd company," including prostitutes. She further accuses him of being abusive, once nearly choking her to death. She now finds it to be "unsafe and improper for her longer to cohabit with him, or to be under his domination, or control." Demoss also informs the court that she is the owner of several slaves and multiple plots of land. The lands are in the possession of her uncle, Dennis Dozier, and her legal guardian, Thomas Shearon. The two men have been collecting money on the lands for her benefit; however, Demoss’s husband has won judgment against Dozier and Shearon and the profits are now in his hands. Demoss prays for a divorce from her husband and that her inherited property "be decreed to her for alimony."
Result:granted; appealed; affirmed
# of Petition Pages:7
Related Documents:Order, November Term 1852; Decree, 6 May 1853; Decree [Incomplete], ca. 1853; Supreme Court Opinion and Decree, ca. December 1853; Court Record, 8 December 1853; Supreme Court Record, ca. 8 December 1853; Copy of Petition, ca. 1853; Amended Petition, 9 February 1853; Supplemental Petition, 9 February 1853
Pages of Related Documents:31

People Associated with Petition 21485224

Slaves:7
Free Persons of Color:0
Defendants:3
Petitioners:2
Other People:1

Citation Information

Repository: Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee

  • Supreme Court Cases, Middle Tennessee; Copy of Petition found in Records of the County Court, Case Files, Box 9, #880, Davidson County, Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Archives
  • Record Group:
  • Document Number
  • Box: 99A
  • Folder:
  • Book:
  • Volume:
  • Page:
  • Microfilm:

Processing Information

Record Created:3/31/1999
Record Final Edited:11/6/2003
Record Last Updated on:9/28/2008 4:50:00 PM