Petition #20184512


Prior to their marriage in Newberry District, South Carolina, in 1819, Ruth and Sterling Balderee signed a contract granting Ruth control of her separate estate. She possessed a large amount of property, including slaves, while Sterling was "totally destitute." In her bill of complaint, Ruth explains that her husband is not only intemperate, vulgar, and tyrannical, but often beats and whips her and on one occasion hit her with a weapon so hard on the skull that the wound still remains "painful and distressing." Driven from their home by her husband's behavior, Ruth seeks the return of her property, which includes twenty-four slaves, twelve of whom are now in Sterling's possession and claimed by him as his own. She also seeks a divorce and "comfortable support and maintenance."

Result: Partially granted.

20 people are documented within petition 20184512

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Citation information

Repository: Lowndes County Courthouse, Hayneville, Alabama