William Read, a creditor of his late sister-in-law, Jane Rutledge, seeks an account of her estate from her stepdaughter and administratrix, Augusta Rutledge. Jane's mother, Elizabeth Harleston, bequeathed four slaves to her daughter and her daughter's husband, Edward Rutledge. Harleston's 1801 will also stipulated that the value of the shares devised to each of her three daughters be "equalized among her said children." To this end, the Rutledges "became bound to execute a Bond" to Jane's sisters and their husbands "to pay them respectively the said excess in value." Under the terms of the will, the bond "became a Lien upon the property derived by said Edward & Jane" from Harleston's estate. Read reports that the Rutledges made "but very slender payments thereon," but he, "not wishing to distress relations so near," took no measures "to compel the payment." Jane Rutledge survived both her husband, who died in 1811, and her four children. At her death in 1835, she left "no issue other than her six Grand children," the children of Augusta Rutledge. Augusta now "holds all the property of which the said Jane died seized & possessed," including the slaves purchased with 2000 guineas given to the couple by Jane's father upon their 1794 marriage, as well as slaves derived from her father's estate by a residuary bequest. He asks the court to compel Augusta to account for the property, which he asserts should be "made liable to pay the debts of the said Jane."
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Repository: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina