Petition #20185536


David Overton and his wife Rachel M. Johnson Overton, petition the court for their fair share of the slaves in the estate of Hannah T. Frost Johnson, Rachel's mother and that of her siblings and co-petitioners, Jesse, Isaac, and Francis Johnson. At stake is a family of slaves, headed by Permelia, a slave that was initially given by Hannah Frost to her son-in-law, Moses Johnson. Sometime in 1838, when he had fallen on hard times, Moses Johnson put Permelia back in the possession of his mother-in-law. Hannah Frost, however, died soon in 1839, followed in death shortly thereafter by her daughter, Hannah T. Frost Johnson. In 1842, some arrangement was arrived at whereby Permelia and her children, born over the years, became the property of Hannah T. Frost Johnson's children. At that point, Permelia and her son William went back into the possession of Moses Johnson. In 1845, Moses Johnson, assuming de facto guardianship of his children, sold Permelia and her family, four children at that point, to one Daniel W. Prentice, and applied the proceeds to pay his own debts. The petitioners assert that Moses Johnson had no right to sell the slaves since he had relinquished his title to the slaves as a way to avoid payment of debts he had accrued at the time and thus had placed the slaves in the possession of his mother-in-law, Hannah Frost. Overton asks that Johnson and Prentice account for the slaves' hires and that a guardian be appointed to protect the property interests of the minor heirs.

Result: Dismissed.

21 people are documented within petition 20185536

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Citation information

Repository: County Courthouse, Columbiana, Alabama