Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20981113 Details

State:Maryland
Location:Dorchester
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honorable William Kilty Esquire Chancellor of Maryland (KILTY, William)
Filing Date:1811-May-31
Ending Date:circa 1811-June

General Petition Information

Abstract:John Colsten and his wife, Alice Orem Colsten, petition the court to subpoena the executors of the estate of Hugh Orem and to order them to return slaves they claim were given to them by Alice's father, Hugh Orem. The Colstens say that he gave a fifteen-year-old slave, Sinah, to Alice as a marriage gift in 1791. When Orem became ill, the Colstens went to live with him bringing with them Sinah and her two children. About six years later, they returned home, leaving Sinah and four children with Hugh Orem to "render him any assistance he might require in his distressed and helpless situation." Now he has died, and his executors, sons Hugh and Speding, "refuse to comply with [the Colstens'] reasonable request" to return the slaves. The Colstens maintain that Orem divided his property among three of his children and cite as proof this excerpt from his will: "I hope my beloved daughter Alse [Alice] Colston ... will be satisfied with what I have already done for her." The petitioners aver this clause refers to Sinah and her children. Her brothers deny knowledge of such a gift and claim Sinah and "her issue" under the provisions of their father's will.
Result:partially granted; denied
# of Petition Pages:12
Related Documents:Supplemental Petition, John Colsten, 3 June 1812; Answer, Hugh and Speding Orem, 3 September 1811; Answer, Samuel and Elizabeth O. Watts, 6 July 1812; Order, 3 June 1812; Affidavit, Thomas Bailey, 22 February 1811; Certification, Henry Colsten and Jeremiah Hubbard, 7 September 1808; Sheriff's Return, 20 July 1812; Copy of Court Costs, May Term 1811, December Term 1819, 16 May 1822; Order, ca. May 1811; Last Will and Testament, Hugh Orem, 4 May 1808; Affidavit of Proof, Last Will and Testament of Hugh Orem, 4 June 1808; Copy of Replevin Bond, John Colston, Benjamin Kemp, and Hugh Orem, 14 January 1793; Statement, Samuel Watts, 1 July 1812; Copy of Extract of Last Will and Testament, Hugh Orem, 4 May 1808
Pages of Related Documents:34

People Associated with Petition 20981113

Slaves:7
Free Persons of Color:0
Defendants:4
Petitioners:2
Other People:4

Citation Information

Repository: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, Maryland

  • Schweninger Collection
  • Document Number 805
  • Volume: 4239-5
  • Page: 10
  • Microfilm: M 11016

Processing Information

Record Created:1/28/2000
Record Final Edited:5/15/2002
Record Last Updated on:10/20/2006 9:55:00 AM