Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 21184114 Details

Location:St. Louis
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honble. Circuit Court of the County of St. Louis, state of Missouri in chancery (, )
Filing Date:1841-April-27
Ending Date:circa 1843-July-14

General Petition Information

Abstract:Armistead Lawless, a free person of color, owned real and personal estate in St. Louis, including three slaves. A mob attacked Lawless on 15 May 1832, destroying his property. Lawless fled to Illinois accompanied by Clayton Tiffin and Tiffin's attorney, George Strother, now deceased. They went to a justice of the peace and had papers drawn up, which gave Tiffin control of Lawless's property. Lawless, being illiterate and under mental stress, also signed a second unexplained document when instructed to do so. Tiffin convinced Lawless that his life was in danger and persuaded him to move to Canada, giving him a carriage and pistols. En route, Lawless decided not to leave Illinois and turned back. Tiffin and Samuel Merry took over Lawless's property in St. Louis, hiring out or selling the slaves and renting the property, from which they are now receiving proceeds. Lawless and his two tenants in common, John W. Paulding and Hugh Lackey, ask the court to appoint a receiver to manage the disputed property until the case is settled and to require Merry and Tiffin to account for their handling of Lawless's property since 1832. They also request that the court nullify the second document signed by Lawless, which the defendants claim is a deed of conveyance giving them full title to the property. Lawless, Paulding, and Lackey ask the court to order Tiffin and Merry "to deliver up possession and to execute a deed of conveyance and quit claim to your orators of said lots, tenements and property in said deed."
Result:partially granted; case against Samuel Merry dismissed; motion for new trial overruled, appealed
# of Petition Pages:12
Related Documents:PARs #21182606, #21183108; Transcript of Court Record, 27 April 1841--ca. 14 July 1843 [pages not copied]; Copy of Bill of Sale, Armistead Lawless to Hugh Lackey, John W. Paulding, James Jenkins, 6 January 1840; Copy of Bill of Sale, James Jenkins to Armistead Lawless, 15 April 1841; Writ of Error, Armistead Lawless, Hugh Lackey, and John W. Paulding vs. Samuel Merry and Clayton Tiffin, Missouri Supreme Court, ca. October 1849
Pages of Related Documents:28

People Associated with Petition 21184114

Free Persons of Color:1
Other People:3

Citation Information

Repository: Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri

  • Records of the Supreme Court, Case Files
  • Record Group:
  • Document Number 26
  • Box:
  • Folder:
  • Book:
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Processing Information

Record Created:6/23/2000
Record Final Edited:7/25/2002
Record Last Updated on:9/2/2007 3:55:00 PM