Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11385705

State: South Carolina Year: 1857
Location: Clarendon Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: The heirs of the late Dr. Robert W. Ervin represent that he manumitted a slave named Sye in 1817 and that the said Sye later purchased his wife and his granddaughter named Clarissa. They further state that Clarissa died in 1851, leaving six children: Becky, Jane, Betsy, Leny, Sarah, and Isaac. They also report that Sye has died, seized and possessed of his granddaughter, six great grandchildren, a tract of land, and some cattle and hogs; the estate, however, had no legal heirs and escheated to the state. The heirs charge that William Ervin, another son of the said Robert, took possession of Sye's estate in 1850 or 1851, including the slaves, who until this time were "passing as free." The petitioners, "some being in very moderate circumstances, and others in embarrassing circumstances," reveal that they have frequently asked the said William to secure "the benefit of said slaves or their value" to Louisa Ervin, mother of William Ervin, and widow of Robert Ervin. Asserting that they are equally entitled to the slaves, they ask the legislature to vest the title of the slaves to Robert Ervin's heirs at law and that the sheriff sell the slaves to the highest bidder and divide the proceeds equally among said heirs.

PAR Number 11482506

State: Tennessee Year: 1825
Location: Campbell Location Type: County

Abstract: Benjamin Bratcher relates that his father, John Bratcher, gave him a slave named Cloe "and her increase except one Girl called Aggy" in 1803; the elder Bratcher, however, required that said Benjamin and his wife "move with me to the State of Tennessee." The petitioner complains that the said John "when on his death bed fraudulently gave a bill of sale of the said woman and her children to an Elder Brother." Bratcher asserts that he "is without any relief, unless the interposition of the Legislature."

PAR Number 20182803

State: Alabama Year: 1828
Location: Franklin Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners, last surviving heirs of Thomas Blount Whitmill, seek to settle a dispute about the ownership of slaves in his estate. In his will, dated 1798, Whitmill, who resided in Halifax County, North Carolina, loaned to his then unmarried daughter, Elizabeth "six negroes-to wit: Sam, Eli, Charity, Tempy, Lewey & Molly & their increase during her natural life." If Elizabeth bore children, they were to inherit the slaves forever; otherwise, the slaves were to be divided equally among Thomas's other four children. Elizabeth married a man named Claudius David L. shortly after the making of the will and shortly before her father's death. Widowed a few later, she married Arthur S. Hagan, and then died, childless, in 1824. Her widowed husband is now in possession of the slaves and their increase. Anne S. Bell, wife of the petitioner, is the only surviving Whitmill heir. She and her husband, John J. Bell, are suing Hagan for title to the slaves and their increase, in addition to the proceeds from their hire since Elizabeth's death. The petitioners cite the status and value of the said slaves to be: "that Sam died before the death of Elizabeth W. Hagan. They estimate the aggregate value of the slaves, who now number fifteen, to be $5,550. They seek an attachment to prevent the defendant from removing or selling the slaves.

PAR Number 20183401

State: Alabama Year: 1834
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas Lowry, guardian of William E. Gardner, states that twenty years ago Abner Eason died in Bertie County, North Carolina, bequeathing "a life interest" in two slaves, Kate and Harry, and Kate's future issue to his daughter, Penelope Gardner, and "that at her decease the same should belong to her heir." In 1832 when Penelope died, Kate's increase amounted to eleven children and grandchildren, who, according to the provisions in Eason's will, descended to Penelope's only son, William E. Gardner. Lowry asserts that William Daughtry, administrator of the estate and Penelope's second husband, and Nathan Smith, William Gardner's guardian at the time, contrived to deprive William E. Gardner of his rightful inheritance by dividing the slaves among themselves. Lowry contends that Daughtry, who received six slaves, sold Harry to William Vesey and has attempted to sell the other slaves and has "made preparation to remove" some of the slaves "to parts unknown with a view of preventing the recovery of them for said Ward, and that for that purpose he has manacles in readiness to force them away contrary to their will also, they being anxious to be restored to their rightful Master." Since the partition, the slave Hester has died in Daughtry's possession. Lowry asks the court to nullify the partition and the sale and requests that the slaves be returned to the possession of his ward. In addition, he asks Daughtry and Vesey to account for and pay to his ward for the hiring out of the slaves.

PAR Number 20183402

State: Alabama Year: 1834
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: Eli Lewis states that his brother, William Lewis, who died intestate, owned fifteen slaves jointly with the petitioner, although "no Books or accounts of monies and other transactions" between the brothers exist. Lewis claims that the administrators and heirs of Lewis's estate refuse to recognize the petitioner's claim that he is entitled to one half of the estate, "both real and personal." Eli believes "that if his lamented brother (said William) still lived, he would not now be driven to the unpleasant alternative, either of losing his rights, or of suing his relatives." Unfortunately, however, "said William was hurried to an untimely grave by a murderous hand."

PAR Number 20183603

State: Alabama Year: 1836
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: In October 1823, William Allen, "in consideration of the natural love and affection which he bears to Martha Coleman (his daughter) and for the further consideration of Five Dollars," sold nine slaves to his grandsons, William Coleman Jr. and Jones D. W. G. Coleman, "as Trustees for the benefit of said Martha," their mother and the wife of William Coleman Sr. The slaves were to be used "in the support and maintenance of the said Martha and in the education and support of her unmarried children, without the interference or control of her husband the said William Coleman sen." After Martha's death the slaves and all profits from their hire were to be divided among Martha's children. The petitioners, also Martha's children, argue that the estate was mismanaged by William and Jones Coleman, who sold slaves and land belonging to the estate and kept the proceeds, and by John Coleman, who succeeded William and Jones as trustee. The petitioners ask for an accounting of the trust and for the appointment of new trustees to administer it.

PAR Number 20183702

State: Alabama Year: 1837
Location: Tallapoosa Location Type: County

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.

PAR Number 20183704

State: Alabama Year: 1837
Location: Chambers Location Type: County

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.

PAR Number 20183808

State: Alabama Year: 1838
Location: Bibb Location Type: County

Abstract: Richard Wood seeks his share of the estate bequeathed to him by his maternal grandfather, William Davis. In his 1821 will, Davis devised to the children of his daughter, Sally Wood, "the following named property to wit one negro fellow named Bob and one girl named Hannah together with the increase of the Said Hannah." After Sally died, the petitioner's father, Joseph Wood, obtained possession of the slaves bequeathed to her children. Since Davis's death, Hannah has had three little boys, the oldest of whom is eight. Wood estimates the annual hiring proceeds of these slaves to be between three and four hundred dollars. And he charges that his father has used funds from the estate to buy another slave named Hannah and her two children, Bill and Milly. He has also traded Bob for another slave named Joe. Since her purchase, Milly "has had three children the oldest being as he believes some five years old." Richard sought a settlement share of $3,116 from Wood and the estate executors, but they countered with $500, a sum he deems unacceptable. Thus he petitions the court to divide up the estate, selling the slaves if necessary, so that he may have his rightful portion.

PAR Number 20183810

State: Alabama Year: 1838
Location: Chambers Location Type: County

Abstract: In a previous petition, dated 13 September 1837, the children of Polly Johnson asked the court to recognize their rightful inheritance of property belonging to their deceased mother. They stated that their mother was living in a state of adultery with John Cotton, the defendant, at the time of her death. Cotton responded that he and Polly Johnson were legally married, thereby giving him a right to her property. Now, in this amended bill, the Johnson heirs say that their mother and the defendant "were not married agreeable to the laws of the State of North Carolina ... neither were the said John Cotton and Polly Johnson Joined in matrimony according to the rules and ceremony of any Church." The petitioners claim that in 1807 Johnson "executed to Your Complainants a deed of Gift of the negroes," which were mentioned by name in their original bill. They further contend that Johnson "was induced by threats fears or the fair promises of the said Defendant to destroy the same [deed of gift]." The petitioners ask for accounting of the estate so that they may receive their rightful shares.

PAR Number 20184006

State: Alabama Year: 1840
Location: Russell Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners, nephews of the late Martha Hudson, seek the return of six slaves from Jonathan Hudson. Martha, formerly Martha E. Abercrombie, received the slaves from Anderson Abercrombie in 1831 and was "authorized and empowered at her death to dispose of said property by will or testament." By her last will and testament, made shortly before her death in 1834, Martha bequeathed her slaves to her husband, Jonathan A. Hudson, for the remainder of his life, and stipulated that, upon his death, the slaves should be equally divided between the children of her sister, Sarah Ann Lewis. Her will was made "with the express condition and reservation that the negroes aforesaid are in no instance...to be sold to pay the debts of the said Johnathan A. Hudson." Since Martha's death in 1834, Jonathan has run into financial difficulties and the petitioners fear that the slaves will either be levied and sold, or taken away by Hudson. The Lewis heirs pray the sheriff "to take possession of the said property" until good security has been posted by the defendant. If sufficient bond is not given, the petitioners ask that the slaves be delivered to their father, Ulysses Lewis.

PAR Number 20184007

State: Alabama Year: 1840
Location: Talladega Location Type: County

Abstract: William Hawthorn petitions the court for the return of several slaves and compensation for the loss of their use. In 1811, the petitioner's grandfather, James, executed a deed of gift and delivered to his son, Benjamin, four slaves, with the understanding that upon his death, full possession of the slaves would descend to "my said son [Benjamin] his heirs assigns and legal representatives forever." Benjamin died without a will in 1818 or 1819, leaving four children. The petitioners charge that shortly thereafter, his grandfather was improperly influenced by another son, James Jr., to deed away slaves that were the rightful patrimony of Benjamin's heirs when they were minors and unable to defend themselves. One of the slaves, Dorcas, and her descendants are still in possession of other family members. William Hawthorn seeks to restore his patrimony and recover the slaves, which are valued at eleven hundred dollars, and requests that he be paid the value of their hire during this time. Information provided by the petitioners indicate that Dorcas's daughter, Hannah, and Hannah's five children are in the possession of the defendant William Morris; however, a related document indicates that only two of Hannah's children are in the possession of Morris. Hannah and one child are "conceled" from Morris, and one child has died.

PAR Number 20184008

State: Alabama Year: 1840
Location: Talladega Location Type: County

Abstract: William Hawthorn seeks to recover slaves that were devised by deed of gift to his late father, Benjamin Hawthorn, by James Hawthorn Sr., his late grandfather. This is William's second petition on the subject. In his first petition, he sought to recover Hannah, the daughter of Dorcas, one of the slaves devised by his grandfather, and Hannah's children. In this petition, he seeks to recover Dorcas and her son Jack, and Nell, another slave devised by James Hawthorn Sr. to Benjamin, and Nell's family. William Hawthorn alleges that his uncle, James Hawthorn Jr., and his aunt, Annis Hawthorn Cameron, procured through a fraudulent deed of gift slaves that rightfully belong to him and his siblings -- the grandchildren and heirs of James Hawthorn Sr. The petitioner claims that James Jr. and Annis "had full and perfect knowledge ... that said negro slaves Dorcas and Nell, of right would be the property of your Orator and his brother and sisters," but "notwithstanding that knowledge," they conspired "with a view to deprive fraudulently your Orator and his co-heirs that little pittance which a generous grandfather had given and a frugal father had preserved to them." The "generous grandfather" and the "frugal father" were both dead by 1824 and William asserts that the rightful heirs should have received the slaves at that time.

PAR Number 20184208

State: Alabama Year: 1842
Location: Talladega Location Type: County

Abstract: David A. Calhoun petitions the court for his share in the estates left by his father and brother. When his father David Calhoun died, he left an estate "consisting of lands, negroes, ... amounting in the whole to twenty thousand Dollars or Some other large and Considerable Sum." His widow Martha [Matilda] and William King became administrators of the estate. Shortly thereafter, they married, moving to Alabama with her two sons, John, and the petitioner, David, taking the personal property from the estate with them. When King died, Martha transferred both Calhoun and King estates to her son John, who has since died. Solomon Spence, the sheriff of Talladega County, assumed the duties of administrator for all three estates: the John C. Calhoun estate, the William King estate, and the David Calhoun estate. The petitioner states that the twelve slaves belonging to his father David's estate are now being treated by Spence as part of the estates of John C. Calhoun and King. He asks that the defendants "be enjoined from Selling or otherwise disposing of the Said negroes or any of them and further that they be directed to pay over to this Complainant or his Said Guardian his distributive Share of Said estate."

PAR Number 20184302

State: Alabama Year: 1843
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: On 8 December 1835, Ransom Foulkes and Francis Marshall received the slave Tabby and her three children, Fanny, Richard and Edward, in trust for Harriet Hamblin "to have & enjoy the use & possession of the said slaves & the increase thereof ... & at her death to be equally divided between the children of the said Daniel H & Harriet Hamblin." Harriet died in 1840. By 1843, Tabby has given birth to two more children. Now Harriet's children and the trustees ask for authority to sell the slaves, since "it is impossible to divide the said slaves fairly equally & beneficially among the said children."

PAR Number 20184303

State: Alabama Year: 1843
Location: Sumter Location Type: County

Abstract: Three grandchildren of Keziah Myers--William Myers, Mary Deason, and Jane Wimberly--are suing for an equal share of the value of slave property left by their grandmother. When she died in 1837 Keziah Myers owned several slaves, including Nancy, Katy, Jack, and a girl named Edy. More than two years prior to her death, Keziah gave Nancy and Katy to her son-in-law, Willoughby Deas, and she gave Jack and Edy to her grandson, John Myers, who lived with her. According to the plaintiffs, prior to her death Keziah was "very old and childlike" and not having seen her three other grandchildren since their infancy, she did not have "the same natural affection for them as for their brother John Myers." Willoughby Deas readily accepted the gift and kept Nancy and Katy; John Myers, however, let Deas have the other two slaves in exchange for their estimated value in cash. His intent was to only take his fourth of the inheritance, believing that the other three fourths should be distributed among his siblings. Following Willoughby Deas's death, the petitioners sue his son and administrator, Calvin Deas, for their shares of the inheritance.

PAR Number 20184304

State: Alabama Year: 1843
Location: Mobile Location Type: County

Abstract: Mary Grissett, widow of William I. Grissett Sr., and six of her children seek to confirm the slave Spencer as part of her husband's estate. On 13 February 1840, three years prior to his death, William Grissett Sr. purchased twenty-six slaves from his son Benjamin for "valuable consideration." Shortly thereafter, Benjamin was sued for non payment of a promissory note and one of the slaves who had been sold to his father, a thirteen or fourteen-year-old boy named Spencer, was seized to satisfy the debt. The petitioners contend that "said slave Spencer is the true and bona fide property of said estate for whom full consideration was paid by said William," and they pray that the court will restrain "any further proceedings under and by virtue of said execution touching said slave Spencer."

PAR Number 20184308

State: Alabama Year: 1843
Location: Sumter Location Type: County

Abstract: Nathaniel Waldrip, grandson of George Grizzle, is petitioning for his share of slaves left by Grizzle in trust to his son-in-law Hillen Waldrip for the use and benefit of three grandchildren. The slaves included John, age eighteen, Matilda, age twenty or twenty-one, Osbourn, about two, and Leer, a girl about twenty months, as well as the future increase of the females. When the grandchildren reached twenty-one they were each to receive a share of the property. Grizzle also gave his granddaughter Sarah Ann a slave named Catherine, age fifteen, in the same trust. Following the deaths of Grizzle, of his daughter Sophia, wife of Hillen Waldrip, and of his granddaughter Sarah Ann, Hillen Waldrip sold Osbourn for $575, swapped Matilda and her two children for a slave named William plus two hundred dollars, and sold Leer for seven hundred dollars. In 1843, Nathaniel reached age twenty-one, and demanded his share of the property. Hillen refused and Nathaniel is suing for a division of the remaining slaves: John, Catherine and her three children Viney, Martha and Hillen, Matilda's children Jefferson and Elizabeth, and William.

PAR Number 20184313

State: Alabama Year: 1843
Location: Barbour Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1820, a trust was established in the name of John L. and Sarah E. Bowler Hunter, which included land and slaves. The trust was designed for the use and benefit of the couple during Sarah's lifetime. Upon her death, John would receive one-third of the trust and the remaining two-thirds would be divided among her surviving children. William Aiken was appointed trustee. A separate trust was established for four other slaves for the sole use and benefit of Sarah. Sarah has recently died. Sarah and John's married daughters, Violetta Hoole and Elizabeth Merrill, along with their husbands, petition the court for their rightful share of the slaves mentioned in the said trust. They report that the trustee Aiken has died and that since their mother's death in March 1843 the entire trust estate has been in the possession of their father, John. Each petitioner requests that "the share of said personal property to which she may be entitled may be ... conveyed to some suitable person to be appointed in trust for the separate use and benefit of your Oratrix and the heirs of her body."

PAR Number 20184411

State: Alabama Year: 1844
Location: Sumter Location Type: County

Abstract: Elizabeth Greene asks the court to settle the estate of her husband, Zachius Greene, deceased. She writes that prior to their marriage in 1827 the couple agreed "that as each one had brought into the matrimonial union about an equal share of property ..., that upon the death of each other the survivor was to be entitled to one half the estate left," and that the lawful heirs "should be entitled to the other half." Zachius died on 11 August 1844. The petitioner charges that Samuel Robert Grigsby, the son of Zachius's daughter by a previous marriage, took advantage of Zachius's failing memory and induced him to draw up deeds of gift giving Samuel and his siblings "an undue and unreasonable share of his property." Elizabeth states that she never saw these "pretended" deeds, designed "in fraud and with the intent to defeat her of her just marital rights," until Samuel M. Grigsby, the guardian of his children, showed them to her after her husband's death. The petitioner points out that he "now has the slaves in his possession," and intends to disburse a portion of them to Mississippi and keep a portion "for the use & benefit of his said children." Elizabeth Greene asks the sheriff to take the slaves into custody until the defendants post bond, and that if they should default on such security, return the slaves to her until the suit is resolved.

PAR Number 20184508

State: Alabama Year: 1845
Location: Sumter Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1840, Charles E. B. Strode and Harriet S. Strode, son and widow of the late Thomas Strode, executed a deed of trust to Robert F. Houston for certain slaves, with William F. Gillespie as security, to cover a note for one thousand dollars and other liabilities. The note, dated about the first of September 1837, was due in three annual installments the first of which had been paid. The slaves are about to be sold at the courthouse in Livingston to satisfy the debt which remains, for the most part, unpaid. Harriet Strode's minor children, her married daughter Virginia, and Virginia's husband, Francis Roby, contend that some of the mortgaged slaves were part of a trust created by their father for their mother during her lifetime. The other slaves are the children of the original trust created by Thomas Strode. The terms of the trust stipulated that, after Harriet's death, the slaves and their "increase" were to be equally divided among the children. The petitioners seek an injunction to halt the sale.

PAR Number 20184608

State: Alabama Year: 1846
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: In his will, written in 1844, Robert Hamlet left his daughter, Sarah Johnson, a life estate in four slaves: Jim, Toby, Jully, and Ann. Ann was to remain with Hamlet's wife until her death, and then transfer to his daughter. Two years later, Hamlet died. Now Sarah explains that her husband, Alexander Johnson, a merchant, is heavily in debt and has "no property or means." She seeks to put her inheritance in a separate estate for her sole and exclusive use.

PAR Number 20184619

State: Alabama Year: 1846
Location: Lowndes Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1823, James M. Pearson of South Carolina gave his wife Elizabeth Gill a trust estate of ten head of cattle, two horses, household furniture, and four slaves, including Hannah and her children: Isabella, Peter, and Jackson. Later the couple moved to Alabama, and Hannah bore the following children: Sam, Anthony, Eprhaim, Isby, Mariah, and Margaret, while Mariah gave birth to three children, including Hannah and two others whose names are not provided. When Pearson died in around 1836, his father, James A. Pearson, "got said negroes into his possession and sold & disposed" of them. Although the trust deed has been lost, the slaves dispersed, and Hannah has died, Elizabeth Gill seeks the return of her trust slaves, or "the value of said negroes in money" together with "the value of their hire." The related court decree reveals that it is probably that James M. Pearson probably did not have title to the slave family he gave to his wife; the slaves were either loaned to him by his father or the descendants of a slave loaned to him by his father.

PAR Number 20184622

State: Alabama Year: 1846
Location: Barbour Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1805, Martha Walton of Prince Edward County, Virginia, conveyed in trust to her granddaughter Martha Williams and her children, a nine-year-old slave child named Nancy Dean and her future increase; in 1806, Thomas Scott conveyed to Martha and her children a ten-year-old child named Cloe, and their future increase. In 1807, General Thomas Glasscock of Richmond County, Georgia, conveyed to Martha and her children nine slaves, including Rose and her children Ben, Lizza, and Bob, and Jim and his wife Jenny and her children George, Anny, and Jim; and in 1807, James Gresham of Wilkes County, Georgia, conveyed to the same three more slaves. Martha and Zachariah had three children: Robert, Blanche, and Mary, who stood to inherit the slaves at Martha's death, but many years after Martha had died and Zachariah had remarried, the father maintained control over the slaves. In 1827, the children--Robert W. Williams, Blanche Gibson, and Mary W. Evans--conveyed to their father all of the slaves with their increase they had inherited from their mother. By then the slaves numbered "upwards of thirty." In 1837, Zachariah Williams moved from Richmond County, Georgia, to Barbour County, Alabama, where he died in 1840, leaving as heirs children from his first marriage and also children from his second marriage. Now Mary W. Williams Evans and her husband are suing Zachariah's widow, Sarah, and the children from the second marriage, including Zachariah, Evelina W. Dobbins, and Gazaway D. Williams. Mary Evans seeks a portion of the slave property, and compensation equal to the hire of slaves purchased by Zechariah "out of the trust funds in his hands."

PAR Number 20184623

State: Alabama Year: 1846
Location: Shelby Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1838, in order to pay off a small debt and take some time for travel, John E. Hughs conveyed to his brother Abner A. Hughs "seven likely negro slaves," including Alexander, a man; Henderson, age eighteen; Dinah thirty-four; Patsy twelve; Jerry ten; Harry eight; and Reuben about five. In 1840, John Hughs died, and his sister and brother-in-law, Simeon Chapman, became administrators of his estate. Simeon Chapman, suing with his wife, Mary E. Hughs Chapman, now seeks to force Abner to "pay the hire or so much as shall be left after deducting the amount due him and his distributive share." They also sue the other heirs who have declined to join them in their suit. They request that the slaves be sold and the proceeds distributed among heirs.

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