Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20183704 Details

State:Alabama
Location:Chambers
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honorable the Judge of the Circuit Court for the Eighth Judicial Circuit and holding Jurisdiction in Equity in the County aforesaid
Filing Date:1837-September-13

General Petition Information

Abstract:The heirs of Polly Johnson state that Johnson, a feme sole, and John Cotton "lived together in a state of adultery and passed as man and wife without ever having been legally married," from 1807 until 1834 or 1835 when she died, intestate. They claim that, at the time of her death, she possessed ten slaves, worth seven thousand dollars. The slaves and the rest of the estate are now in the possession of Cotton, who pretends to have been legally married to Johnson. The petitioners assert that Johnson would have wanted the slaves and property equally divided among all her children; Cotton, however, refuses to comply with their demand. The petitioners, therefore, ask the court to prohibit Cotton from selling any slaves or property and to recognize their rightful inheritance. In his answer, Cotton asserts that he was legally married to Polly Johnson in Wayne County, North Carolina, where his father Ephraim Cotton resided. He charges, however, that the petitioners are illegitimate children, born to Polly Johnson out of wedlock before she and he were married.
Result:No recorded result
# of Petition Pages:4
Related Documents:PAR #20183810; Judge's Fiat, 4 October 1837; Writs of Injunction and Subpoena, John Cotton, 11 October 1837; Sheriff's Return, 12 October 1837; Injunction Bond, Eli Skipper, 6 October 1837; Order, October 1837; Order, April 1838; Bond, John Cotton, 18 October 1837; Answer and Affidavit, John Cotton, 23 December 1837; Order, 15 April 1838; Exceptions to Answer of John Cotton, Eli Skipper, et al., 15 April 1838
Pages of Related Documents:6

People Associated with Petition 20183704

Slaves:16
Free Persons of Color:0
Defendants:1
Petitioners:5
Other People:2

Citation Information

Repository: Talladega County Judicial Building, Talladega, Alabama

  • Records of the Circuit Court, Final Records 1830-1841
  • Volume: 1
  • Page: 387-99; 423-24

Processing Information

Record Created:10/26/1995
Record Final Edited:7/6/1999
Record Last Updated on:3/16/2007 12:07:00 PM