Petition #21485202


Penelope Hickman, a married woman or "feme covert", seeks an injunction to protect her slaves from a levy executed by the Davidson County sheriff on her husband's property. Hickman represents that she received the slaves from her late father's estate when she was still a minor, "and there is a mutual attachment between herself & said slaves, such as belongs to the relation between them." When Penelope married Edwin W. Hickman, the slaves legally became her husband's property. However, Penelope's mother convinced Edwin to settle the slaves on his wife and allow her to own them as her sole and separate possession, protected from seizure for his financial liabilities. Some years later, in 1851, Edwin indeed executed a deed of gift of the slaves upon Penelope and her children. He kept "a large estate-- consisting of valuable lands" and thirty or forty slaves for himself. However, Edwin went into debt and "the most exorbitant usury was extorted" from him by his creditors; the latter have caused his property to be seized and sold at unfair rates. Further, the creditors have also obtained a levy against Penelope's slaves. She asserts that "it is manifestly unjust & oppressive to subject her property for the payment of said debts," and she therefore prays that the sheriff and the creditors be enjoined from selling her slaves for the sake of her husband's debts.

Result: Denied; appealed; affirmed.

24 people are documented within petition 21485202

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Citation information

Repository: Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee