Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20185206 Details

State:Alabama
Location:Shelby
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honorable James B. Clark Chancellor of the 24th District of the Middle Chancery Division of the state of Ala (CLARK, James B.)
Filing Date:1852-January

General Petition Information

Abstract:On 8 February 1851, Alfred M. Coldwell and his wife Susan A. Coldwell purchased a "Certain Negro Woman" named Mariah, a cook, age about forty-five, for seven hundred dollars. Coldwell paid Elbert H. Sawyer, Mariah's owner, partly in cash and partly with a $370 note co-signed by his wife. The note was due on the first of January 1852. When it went unpaid Sawyer brought suit. Although Alfred was insolvent, Alfred's wife Susan possessed a substantial amount of property. Sawyer argued that she should be held accountable. The wife entered a plea of dismissal on the grounds that even if the statements were true they did not constitute grounds for a suit. She said that her estate was separate from her husband's and making her responsible for his debts would be to put "the woman upon a platform of Equality and joint responsibility with the husband." The judge agreed, but when Alfred Coldwell died Sawyer instituted another suit for repayment, this one against the widow.
Result:No recorded result
# of Petition Pages:3
Related Documents:Copy of Writ, 30 January 1852
Pages of Related Documents:0

People Associated with Petition 20185206

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

Citation Information

Repository: Shelby County Archives, Columbiana, Alabama

  • Records of the Chancery Court, Chancery Court Records Minutes and Dockets, Divorce, Slaves 1857-1861
  • Page: 430-32

Processing Information

Record Created:11/7/1995
Record Final Edited:7/16/1999
Record Last Updated on:5/29/2007 12:10:00 PM