Petition #21382825


Elizabeth Armstrong asks that Austin Peay be compelled to return a group of slaves, whom he acquired from her late husband, William Armstrong. Mrs. Armstrong asserts that the slaves are subject to an 1805 marriage contract that she signed with her husband intended to secure "the property of each ... to him or her." Four years into the marriage, however, William mortgaged the slaves to Peay to secure a debt. Elizabeth asserts that "it was not a fair and bona fide debt" but was "for the purpose of effecting some fraudulent object." That same year, Peay caused the sheriff to seize the slaves, and their children, and to sell them at "public outcry," where Peay then purchased them himself. She contends that Peay knew about the marriage contract and that, as the administrator of the estate of Nicholas Peay, Austin Peay actually has the contract in his possession. She asks that he present the contract, explain the nature of the transaction with her late husband, and deliver the slaves in question to her.

Result: Dismissed.

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Citation information

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