Petition #20182803


The petitioners, last surviving heirs of Thomas Blount Whitmill, seek to settle a dispute about the ownership of slaves in his estate. In his will, dated 1798, Whitmill, who resided in Halifax County, North Carolina, loaned to his then unmarried daughter, Elizabeth "six negroes-to wit: Sam, Eli, Charity, Tempy, Lewey & Molly & their increase during her natural life." If Elizabeth bore children, they were to inherit the slaves forever; otherwise, the slaves were to be divided equally among Thomas's other four children. Elizabeth married a man named Claudius David L. shortly after the making of the will and shortly before her father's death. Widowed a few later, she married Arthur S. Hagan, and then died, childless, in 1824. Her widowed husband is now in possession of the slaves and their increase. Anne S. Bell, wife of the petitioner, is the only surviving Whitmill heir. She and her husband, John J. Bell, are suing Hagan for title to the slaves and their increase, in addition to the proceeds from their hire since Elizabeth's death. The petitioners cite the status and value of the said slaves to be: "that Sam died before the death of Elizabeth W. Hagan. They estimate the aggregate value of the slaves, who now number fifteen, to be $5,550. They seek an attachment to prevent the defendant from removing or selling the slaves.

Result: Granted.

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Citation information

Repository: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama