Petition #21380710


John Harvil seeks a division of the slaves, whom he holds jointly with Augustine Williams. Harvil claims that he is entitled to a one-third interest in Molly and her increase in right of his wife, Sarah. Formerly the wife of Jacob Kontz, Sarah acquired the slaves upon her first husband's death in 1776, sharing ownership of them with her daughter, Mary. In 1791 Sarah died, and two years later Mary married John Goodwyn, who sold Mary's two-thirds interest in the slaves to Augustine Williams. By 1807, Molly's family numbered ten, counting her children and grandchildren. Harvil seeks an "actual division" of these slaves or "compensation for his right in the slaves." He also seeks one third of the profits from the slaves' labor since Williams has owned them. Depositions from Harvil's neighbors reveal that John and Sarah may not have been legally married. They also relate that a male slave owned by Kontz, possibly the father of Molly's children, was "whipped to death" after Kontz died. The perpetrators were deemed to be Augustine Williams, who worked as an overseer, or John Harvil.

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Citation information

Repository: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina