Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20184916 Details

Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honorable J. W. Lesesne Chancellor of the Southern Chancery Division of said state (LESESNE, Joseph W.)
Filing Date:circa 1849
Ending Date:1850-November

General Petition Information

Abstract:On the day of her marriage to James Maull in Colleton District, South Carolina, in 1804, Mary Givhan Maull signed an agreement with her husband that she would "become a free dealer and separate trader." She could carry on trades and business ventures "as she should think proper" free from her husband's. At the time her new husband was poor, in fact insolvent, and unable to provide for a family. After the marriage, Mary opened a "house of entertainment in her own name and on her own account, separately and solely, bought provisions and made contracts in her own name with the assent of her husband." Her business prospered and she purchased slaves. In 1806, her father died, leaving her a separate estate of slaves. After moving with her husband to Alabama in 1820, Mary continued to purchase slaves "in her own name and her said husband never desired but always admitted her sole right to the sale of the same." In 1845, when her husband died, Mary Maull estimated her contribution to their total estate was about $25,000; by 1848, she possessed a total of about seventy slaves, consisting of slaves inherited and purchases, and the children born thereafter. After her husband's death, however, the executor of her husband's estate, Thomas M. Williams, urged on by some of Mary's children, brought suit to recover slaves in her possession. She was therefore forced to plead her case in the chancery court. The object of her countersuit, she said, was to prove her absolute right to the slaves.
# of Petition Pages:8
Related Documents:Report of the Register, 22 November 1852; Decree, November 1850; Continuance, May 1849; Motion to Publish Testimony, May 1850; Continuances, May 1850 and December 1851; Decree, May 1852
Pages of Related Documents:3

People Associated with Petition 20184916

Free Persons of Color:0
Other People:5

Citation Information

Repository: Lowndes County Courthouse, Hayneville, Alabama

  • Records of the Circuit Court, Final Record 1852
  • Volume: 8
  • Page: 125-32, 153-55

Processing Information

Record Created:11/8/1995
Record Final Edited:7/16/1999
Record Last Updated on:5/16/2007 2:48:00 PM