Petition #21384639


Eley Hall seeks alimony from her husband, Laban, and the return of her slaves. She represents that she married Laban in 1844 and lived with him for some time in “peace & harmony.” Soon after the marriage, however, Laban began beating and abusing her, and he authorized his children from a previous marriage to do the same and to usurp her authority in the management of the house. Eley was denied her “proper place” at the table and in the bedroom. She further charges Laban with adultery and cohabitation with one of her slaves, named Charlotte or Dinah. Eley claims that her life has been made so “wretched” by such treatment that she and her child have been forced to seek refuge with people who have been moved by a sense of humanity to shelter her. Charging that Laban refuses to support her, Eley asserts that she owns, as “feme sole,” nine slaves, who were confirmed as her property either by her marriage contract or by an act of sale. Four of the slaves, she owned prior to her marriage to Laban; she received two from Laban at the time of the marriage, including Charlotte, also known as Dinah; and she purchased another slave from Laban with her own funds. She charges that Laban has now either sold or “caused” to run off two of her slaves, alleging they are not hers since no trustee was ever named. Eley prays for the appointment of a trustee, the return of her slaves, and alimony for her and her child.

Result: Partially granted.

12 people are documented within petition 21384639

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Citation information

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