Petition #20284702


At issue is the estate of the late Susan Mills, widow of the late Ambrose Mills. The petitioners are the couple's children and their spouses. The minor children are represented by their next friend, Thomas H. Humphries. They inform the court that the heirs of the late John W. Maulding are in fraudulent possession of a female slave named Cinthy and her daughter Sarah, who by right both belong to their mother's estate and must descend to them according to the laws of Arkansas. They explain that, in 1826, their mother, Susan Mills, most commonly known as Suky, received Cinthy, in the form of a life estate, from her father, Thomas Humphries. At that time, Suky and Ambrose Mills were residents of the state of Kentucky. Sometime between 1830 and 1833, the couple moved to the territory of Arkansas where Ambrose died shortly thereafter. In 1833 or 1834, Suky sold her life estate's rights in Cinthy to her neighbor, John W. Maulding. However, after Maulding died, in 1836 or 1837, Cinthy and Sarah were not returned to Suky's heirs as they should have been according to the terms of the life estate and the laws of Arkansas; they remained in Maulding's estate until 1844 and then passed into the possession of Maulding's heirs, where they both are at the time of the filing of this petition. The petitioners contend that Maulding knew at the time of the purchase that Suky Mills only had a lifetime investment in the slave and that she had no right to transfer title of ownership, which, by the laws of Arkansas, belonged to her heirs. The petitioners assert that they have asked Maulding's heirs to return the slaves, but to no avail. The petitioners therefore sue Nancy Maulding, John W. Maulding's widow, and her children.

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Citation information

Repository: University of Arkansas at Little Rock, School of Law, Little Rock, Arkansas