Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20183702 Details

Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honorable Anderson Crenshaw, Judge of the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in the State of Alabama, now pending in the Circuit Court, for the County of Tallapoosa on the Chancery Side thereof (CRENSHAW, Anderson)
Filing Date:1837-April-6

General Petition Information

Abstract:The children and widow of William Bryant, deceased, seek to be recognized as heirs. They state that in 1818, Bryant left his wife, Rodicy, in Jasper County, Georgia, and moved to Alabama, where he lived the remainder of his life. Bryant owned considerable property when he died, including more than twenty slaves valued at twenty thousand dollars. After Bryant's death, his son, Needham Bryant, moved to Alabama to administer the estate, hiring John H. Peters, to obtain the letters of administration. Peters, however, put the letters in his own name and proceeded to manage the estate. When Peters advertised fifteen slaves and other property for sale, the heirs protested. Peters argued that he had recently found a will which directed him to sell the property and to give one hundred dollars to a "negro woman Sally & the same amount to several other negroes." In addition, this will stipulated that Bryant's land in Georgia be divided among his children, excluding Needham Bryant, William Bryant Jr. and Bryant's widow from any inheritance. The heirs challenge the validity of the will and ask the court to recognize their claim to Bryant's estate. They also challenge Peters's right to administer the estate. In response, Peters asserts that the complainants "Needham William Nancy Elizabeth Lurany and General J. Bryant are not free white persons capable of being citizens of this state that they are persons of color, commingled with the negro race and wholly incapable of inheriting the property and estate of said William dec. who was a free white man," and that they are not "the next of kin of William." However, it is not on this ground that Peter challenges the right of the Bryant family to inheritance in the remainder of his lengthy answer to the charges.
Result:No recorded result
# of Petition Pages:8
Related Documents:Last Will and Testament, William Bryant, 26 September 1836; Injunction, John Peters [Missing Pages], 3 April 1837; Answer, John H. Peters, ca. 1837; Request to Take Out Letters of Administration, Needham and General J. Bryant, 20 December 1836; Affidavit, General J. Bryant, 10 February 1837; Order, ca. 1837; Court Transcript, Fall 1837; Amended Bills, 12 February 1840, 10 December 1841; Minutes of the Court, July 1844
Pages of Related Documents:20

People Associated with Petition 20183702

Free Persons of Color:7
Other People:3

Citation Information

Repository: Talladega County Judicial Building, Talladega, Alabama

  • Records of the Circuit Court, Final Records 1839-1841
  • Volume: 1 & 2
  • Page: 1:341-49; 1:354-55; 1:383-386, 2:212-213, 2:250-251

Processing Information

Record Created:10/26/1995
Record Final Edited:7/24/1999
Record Last Updated on:3/15/2007 6:10:00 PM