Petition #21484311


Adam, "a man of Colour," sues for his freedom. On 1 November 1841, Amos Hurley, guardian of the minor heirs of Leonard Smith, sold Adam for $901 to Michael Garrett. Adam asserts that his former owners "were willing, he should acquire his freedom, by paying the price, that should be bid for him at publick sale." In fact, Adam contends that he, Hurley, and Garrett agreed before the sale that Adam would repay the purchase money and that Garrett would free him. Adam thus acquired "notes bonds and evidences of debt upon good and Solvent persons" for $550 and gave them to Overton Kennedy, one of Garrett's securities. On 8 January 1842, Michael Garrett wrote a deed freeing Adam, whereupon he "engaged in business acquired property in his own name, and in all respects, acted as a free man." Adam reveals that Hurley won a judgment on the debt never paid by Kennedy and that the sheriff seized his land, two horses, a saddle and bridle, and his person to satisfy said judgment. He further argues that Garrett falsely promised to pay Hurley's judgment, but instead kept the $407 worth of bonds and notes that he had given him. Adam reports that most of his property was sold and that he was sold at auction for $401 to Amos Hurley, who put Adam back in jail until seventeen days ago. At that time, Hurley directed an agent "to carry your Orator to the State of Mississippi and Sell him into perpetual slavery for what he would bring in that Market." Of the opinion "that he was entitled to his freedom ... and seeing that ... he was about to be kidnapped & Sold into hopeless and perpetual slavery, far removed from his friends and the evidences of his claim to freedom," Adam "openly left" Hurley's agent on the way to market and returned to Davidson County. He asks the court to void the sale to Hurley and to confirm his freedom.

Result: Partially granted.

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Repository: Williamson County Preservation of Records and Archives, Franklin, Tennessee