Petition #20485104


Margaret M. Ashton, petitioning by her next friend Thomas Hereford, seeks the resolution of a property dispute. She states that her father, Hugh Steuart, now deceased, gave her a slave, Kate, and her future increase. Since his death, Kate has had five children: James, John, George, Jerry (or Gerry), and Martha. Ashton avers that her mother, Ann Steuart, now deceased, persuaded her to sell John, "who had become very valuable," and to invest the proceeds from the sale in real estate at Greenleaf Point. Ann Steuart then convinced Ashton to sell three more slaves and the property in Greenleaf and invest in several lots in Washington City for the petitioner's sole use and benefit. Ashton states that it was the intention of her mother to convey the ownership of the lots to her or to bequeath them to her in her Last Will and Testament. Ann Steuart, however, died before this was done. Ashton asserts her mother's heirs have contested her ownership of the lots and have persuaded the court to divide the lots amongst them. She asks that the defendants be called to answer her complaint and requests recognition of her right to the property.

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Citation information

Repository: National Archives, Washington, D. C.