Petition #21382024


Ann Kennedy asks that her stepson, William Kennedy Jr., be compelled to return two slaves to her. Ann asserts that said slaves belong to her by virtue of her marriage contract with William Kennedy Sr., her late husband. The contract, signed by the couple in 1811, ensured that "your oratrixes estate was not to be answerable for the debts of the said William Kennedy" and vice versa. The couple also agreed that William would manage Ann's slaves in order to acquire "great profits from the said property." In 1816, her husband "prevailed upon" her to execute a bill of sale for the three slaves--Ned, Tom, and Phoebe--to his son, William Kennedy Jr., with the promise that they would eventually be "revested" in her. His 1819 will, in violation of the marriage contract, bequeathed Ann's two of said slaves to his children. Ann claims that William Jr., as executor of the will, now keeps her property from her and in fact disposed of Tom to his son-in-law, Henry Horton. She asks the court to restore her property and to force her stepson to account with her for her slaves' hire.

Result: Partially granted.

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Citation information

Repository: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina