Petition #20184507


Following the death of her parents, Missouri Boyett was left "without any other white person" on their plantation. She was the owner of ten slaves who came from her father's estate and whom she had purchased from her mother. With little knowledge of business, and "being scarcely able to read & to write her name," she hired Andrew Edwards as an overseer and manager. According to Missouri, she soon discovered that he was seeking to deprive her of her property. She claims that he virtually stole one of her slaves and later hired him out. He then tricked her into signing a bill of sale for five slaves--Abram, Isham, Bailus, Joe, and Moses--and signing a promissory note for twenty-five hundred dollars. The bill of sale was executed as a mortgage to secure the payment on the promissory note. Edwards then transferred the bill of sale and mortgage note to James W. Alford. She never "obtained any thing of the smallest value" for either the bill or the note, she asserts, and now is "absolutely penniless & stripped of her property." If nothing is done, she will be "totally ruined & rendered bankrupt." She charges fraud and seeks relief. A related document reveals that one of the slaves, Abram, had been sent to Mississippi to shield him from the law, as he had been charged with a crime. The same document also reveals that Missouri may have had plans to send Abram to Ohio to be freed. A related petition gives the name of Missouri's mother as Sarah Boyett.

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Citation information

Repository: Sumter County Courthouse, Livingston, Alabama