Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20185833 Details

Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honlb James B. Clark Chancellor of the Middle Chancery Division of the State of Alabama (CLARK, James B.)
Filing Date:1858-February
Ending Date:1859-July-5

General Petition Information

Abstract:Harriet Caroline Fleming, petitioning by her next friend John Foster, seeks to recover her life estate and get compensation for their hire since they were taken out of her possession. In 1818, at the time of her marriage to William H. Fleming and as part of a prenuptial agreement, Harriet was granted a life estate in a number of slaves for her sole use and benefit. The slaves were Harriet's share in the estate of her father, Calvin Spencer. The agreement named Henry S. Spencer and Matthew Fleming as trustees. Matthew Fleming died shortly thereafter. Henry S. Spencer, continued as surviving trustee, but, according to Harriet, mismanaged the property by hiring out the slaves and not informing her where they worked or compensating her in any way. Specifically, in 1834, Henry Spencer took possession of a slave named Clarissa and kept her, and her children, until his death in 1844. Upon Spencer's death, the executor of his estate, John McKenzie, took possession of Clarissa and her family as part of the estate of the deceased and kept them until 1858, with the exception of Clarissa who died in 1855. In 1858, Henry Spencer's daughter, Elizabeth Gilmer, and her husband took possession of Clarissa's children and grandchildren, claiming them as Elizabeth's inheritance. Harriet Spencer Fleming asks the court to turn over her slaves, and determine the amount of compensation that she is due.
Result:dismissed; appealed; reversed; remanded
# of Petition Pages:8
Related Documents:Copies of Granting of Appeal, 18 December 1858; Bond, 18 December 1858; Citation, 20 December 1858; Trial Docket; Deed of Trust, 19 November 1818; Will, Henry S. Spencer, 28 October 1844; Demurrer, Thomas M. and Elizabeth R. Gilmer, 27 March 1858; Demurrer, John M. McKenzie, 20 May 1858; Decree, November 1858; Register's Certificate, 22 December 1858; Writ of Error, January 1859
Pages of Related Documents:16

People Associated with Petition 20185833

Free Persons of Color:0
Other People:3

Citation Information

Repository: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama

  • Alabama Supreme Court Cases, Supreme Court Record [1859]
  • Page: 1-22

Processing Information

Record Created:10/23/1998
Record Final Edited:9/27/1999
Record Last Updated on:7/12/2007 6:13:00 PM