Petition #20184607


In 1822, Charles Ewing of Madison County, Alabama, died intestate. Before his death, he gave a slave named Lucy to his son Charles and he gave Lucy's son named Jack to his daughter Sally, as advancement on their inheritance. Charles Ewing had ten children, two sons and several unmarried daughters at the time of his death. After their father's death, his two sons, Joseph and Charles, took in their single sisters, Grizzy, Ann, Jane, and Sally, boarded, lodged, supported, clothed, and schooled them until they were married. In 1827 Charles sold Lucy and her younger child named Willis to the petitioner, John M. McGaughey. Three years later Charles Ewing also sold Jack, whom he had purchased from his sister Sally, to McGaughey. These transactions, McGaughey asserts, were transparent to the other children of Charles Ewing Sr., who for the most part lived in the same neighborhood and never objected over the many years. Somewhat recently, however, a suit has been filed on behalf of the various children and grandchildren of the late Ewing Sr., in order to recover the slaves and their hires. In his suit, McGaughey seeks an injunction to halt the "said suit at law now pending in the circuit Court of Lawrence County," and a decree validating his title to the slaves, who include Jack and his three siblings, Willis, Jane, and Sally. Lucy is now dead.

Result: Dismissed.

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Citation information

Repository: Lawrence County Historical Commission Archives, Moulton, Alabama