Petitioner John Lyon seeks the return of a slave family—a woman named Patsey and her three children, Robin or Robert, Isbel or Clary, and Louisa or Eliza—that has been assigned to the defendants, Harvey W. Pitts and John Cottingham, for sale in order to pay his mounting debts. In order to pay the debts, Lyon assigned the slaves along with two tracts of land, livestock, and notes for amounts owed to him. Lyons charges that proceeds from the sale of the land and livestock with the amount to be collected from the notes were more than sufficient to pay the debt. However, the petitioner claims that Pitts and Cottingham have neglected to collect payment from the notes and "retain the possession of said negroes and are offereing the same for sale pretending that they have not collected a sufficient amount to discharge their trust." The petitioner assesses the value of the slave mother and her three children to be $2000. Lyon seeks "a full and perfect account and inventory of all the property, notes and accounts;" the return of the slaves if a sufficient amount "has been collected to satisfy said trust;" and a court order prohibiting sale or removal of the slaves.
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Repository: Shelby County Archives, Columbiana, Alabama