Petition #20184502


In 1842, Henry J. King, conveyed to Damaris Barnes, and her four children, nineteen slaves to hold "share & share alike, the said Negroes and their increase forever." Damaris gave King two notes for $1,250 each, payable twelve months and two years afterwards, and took possession of the slaves. Later, Damaris married Elza Bland, who "assumed the Control and direction of most of said slaves, and evinced a disposition to possess, manage and use" them for his own benefit. In 1845, the two eldest children, Lucretia and William, ages eighteen and sixteen, left home because of their stepfather's abuse, and now live with their guardian, John S. Barnes, who, along with the other children, has now filed suit seeking compensation of four-fifths of the value of the services of the slaves. They are "family Negroes," Barnes says, and the children feel an "unusual family attachment for them." The plaintiffs ask that the sheriff "take possession of said slaves" and retain them in "safe Custody" until a decree can be issued.

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Citation information

Repository: Dallas County Courthouse Annex, Selma, Alabama