Pierre Adolphe Rost and Jonathan Montgomery, executors of the late Stephen Henderson’s will, seek the court’s assistance in enforcing one of the will’s clauses. Rost and Montgomery represent that Henderson directed his executors to draw by lot, five years after his death, five male and five female slaves to be given free passage to the Louisiana colonization settlement in Africa and $100 each. Henderson provided further instructions that would result in the gradual emancipation of all the slaves on his several plantations, over a number of years, and their transportation to the colonization settlement. Rost and Montgomery inform the court that five years have elapsed since Henderson’s death and, accordingly, ten slaves have been randomly selected for emancipation. They charge, however, that the heirs to two of Henderson’s plantations refuse to comply. They therefore pray that the court will order George Henderson, Caroline E. Henderson and her husband, Dr. Whitman Wilcox, and Stephen Henderson Jr. to “manumit” the ten selected slaves, give them a $100 each, and provide them with money for a “convenient & safe passage” to Africa.
Result: Denied; appealed; reversed.
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Repository: University of New Orleans