During the early 1850s, Ruth Williams, fearful of a twelve or fourteen-year-old male slave named Pickens, whom she had received by division of property given by her mother to her two daughters, asked her husband William Williams to sell or trade the slave and acquire a black woman in the boy's stead. William Williams did so, and in 1852 purchased Nancy, fifty or sixty years of age, with his wife's money, but he also signed an "individual note for a part of the purchase money, which arrangement she states she knew nothing about at the time, nor until long afterwards." Now Ruth Williams, who claims to be illiterate, sues through her next friend William A. B. Falkner, asking the court to prevent her husband's creditors from seizing Nancy, arguing that she could not read the original bill of sale and that she trusted her husband who said he had bought the woman in her behalf.
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Repository: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama