Petition #20183203


Drusilla McMeans and her children claim ownership of a female slave and her six children. Becky was bequeathed to Drusilla by her father Rheuben Allen as a life estate. In his will, dated 5 March 1812, Allen gave "one negro woman with her increase named Becky which negro has heretofore been loaned to my daughter Drusilla to be hers during her natural life and after her death to be equally divided between her children the heirs of her body." Because Drusilla "was at the time of the said bequeath covert of Isaac McMeans," her husband took possession of the slaves when Allen died. The McMeans family moved to Alabama, taking with them Becky and children. The petitioners state that at present Isaac McMeans is "much involved in debt and that he is probably wholly insolvent." They point out that his creditors have obtained judgments against him, and "have levied an execution on all the said Negroes slaves and will proceed to sell the same unless restrained by the injunction of Your Honor." The petitioners insist that "the said Negroes are the seperate property of your Oratrix Drusilla and after her death of your other Orators jointly," yet the defendants pretend that the terms of the will stipulate that Isaac McMeans has a vested interest in the slaves. The petitioners therefore seek an injunction to prevent a sale of the slaves and ask that Hubbell Pierce be appointed as trustee. They also pray that the court will award a writ of subpoena directing the defendants to answer the bill of complaint. In her amended petition, Drusilla McMeans informs the court that she and her husband had in fact made a gift of the slaves to their children before the husband got involved in debt.

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Citation information

Repository: Talladega County Judicial Building, Talladega, Alabama