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13. T. AND N. SCUDDER V. SEALS. June T. 1824. Walker's Mis
sissippi Rep. 155. A refusal Per Cur. Ellis, J. After the death of Nathaniel Scudder, his by a person wise administered upon the estate, and at the sale of the personal lor of a title property, Margaret Scudder, daughter of the deceased, purchased slaves upon Diesy and Daniel, the negroes in controversy, for which she exethe dentne cuted her promissory note. After the purchase she intermarried owner to with one Thomas Seals, who reduced the negroes into possession, sion, is such and worked them on the old lady's plantation, but separate and brings the distinct from her crop. In July, 1822, Mrs. Thomas Seals died, case within and her husband sold the standing crop, and hired the negroes to the provisions of the Thomas Scudder, one of the present defendants. corpus act. were hired twice to Scudders, and finally came into the possession
of T. Seals, who carried them to the house of James Seals, the plaintiff below, who purchased said negroes. The petition of James Seals, supported by the oath of D. Muse, states that Diesy and Daniel were either stolen or enticed out of his possession, some time in September last. Upon the hearing of the evidence on both sides, the judge had the property restored to the petitioner.
From the evidence introduced on the trial below, there cannot be a doubt in relation to the right of property. The only question for our consideration is, whether the petitioner has brought himself within the provisions of the 19th section of the habeas corpus act, which says : “If any slave or slaves for life shall be taken or seduced out of the possession of the master, owner or overseers of such slave or slaves, by force, stratagem, or fraud, and unlawfully detained in the possession of any other person,” &c. The fact of the detention of the negroes by Scudder, when he must have known they did not belong to him, was an imposition upon the rights of the plaintiff below, and will bring the case within, not only the letter, but the spirit of the statute. It was a trick, a stratagem, to deprive the owner of the possession of his property, otherwise they never would have been detained after legal demand being made. Diesy and Daniel being in the possession of Scudder, is evidence they were taken by himn, until the contrary appears; and a refusal to deliver thein over to the owner, is conclusive that he wished to hold the property without even the color of title. This amounts, (as I have before stated,) to imposition, trick and stratagem, presenting a case liable to the operation of the statute, in
such case made and provided. I am of opinion the judgment of the court below ought to be affirmed.
14. DILLIARD V. TOMLINSON. April T. 1810. 1 Munf. Rep. 183.
BREWER V. HASTIE, 3 Call's Rep. 24.; DEANS v. SCRIBA,
2 Call's Rep. 419. Held by the court, that an executor or administrator who hires Of interest
on the hire slaves belonging to the estate of his testator, or intestate, ought of slaves. not to be charged with interest on such hire from the day it be. comes due, where there is no proof that it was then collected, or that interest from that day was received upon it; but a reasonable time to collect and
should be allowed before the commencement of interest; and no interest ought to be charged where the right to the slave was in dispute. The same principle was adopted and acted upon in Whitehorn and Wife y. Hines, 1 Munf. Rep. 557.
15. STAFFORD V. STAFFORD. Oct. T. 1826. 17 Martin's Louisiana
Per Cur. Porter, J. The plaintiff claims from the defendant The defena negro slave, and hire for the time he has been in his possession. dantcannot The answer neither admits nor denies the allegations in the peti- plaintiff's tion, but avers, that no demand has ever been made for the slave, his negro, and that if he be on the plantation of the defendant, it is without hire. On the bis consent, and that the plaintiff might have taken him away. ground that The evidence fully sustains the allegations of the petition, and no demand justifies the verdict given in the court below, for the slave and the hire. The judgment rendered thereon was correct, and it is, therefore, adjudged and decreed, that it be affirmed with costs.
16. KING v. COOPER, Executor of King. Dec. T. 1829. Walker's
Per Cur. This was an action of assumpsit, brought by the ap- Where A.
dies, bepellee in the court below, as executor of the last will and testament
queathinga of George W. King, deceased. The second point raised in this slave to B., case grows out of the following facts, stated in the bill of excep- is in his
possession tions, viz. that a certain negro man, named Denis, (for whose at the testa
cover his hire for the
time to ex
tor’s death hire the plaintiff bad in part sued,) had been hired by testator, mains, the a short time previous to his death, to the defendant; the negro A. may re man was in the possession of defendant at testator's death, and the
testator, by his last will and testament, had bequeathed the said neslave, upto gro man Dennis to the defendant; that the plaintiff, as executor, of one year had demanded said negro from said defendant, immediately after
testator's death, but the defendant refused to deliver up said negro granting of letters tes to the said plaintiff ; that one year after letters testamentary bad tamentary to the exe- been granted, an order of the orphan's court had passed, re
, having by quiring the executor to pay off the legatees and distributees. The law, that
counsel for the defendant requested the court to instruct the jury, amine into, that the said negro man Dennis, of right, and according to law, bethe debts of longed to the defendant, and that the plaintiff was not entitled, at the
time this action was commenced, to recover from the defendant hire for the negro's services since the death of the testator, without evidence, on the part of the plaintiff, that there were debts due by the estate, which could not be paid without it; and the counsel further requested the court to charge the jury, that plaintiff had misconceived his remedy, and was not entitled to recover in this form of action. All of which instructions the court refused to give. The question for this court, arising upon this statement of facts, is, whether the defendant was bound to pay for the hire of this negro slave for the time specified in the agreement between him and the deceased, inasmuch as the deceased had bequeathed said negro to him, the said defendant. There would have been no doubt, if this slave had been hired to a stranger, but that the plaintiff might have recovered the hire; and although this slave was bequeathed to the defendant, he could not legally call on the executor for his bequest, until after the expiration of one year from the time of taking out letters testamentary. See Revised Code, p. 55. sec. 91. And although a legal right in the property of said slave vested in the defendant, as legatee on the death of the plaintiff's testator; yet the legatee could not reduce that right to possession, until after the expiration of one year from granting the said letters testamentary, during which time he was bound to pay the hire. The executor had one year to examine into, and settle the debts, &c. of the estate. I am therefore, clearly of opinion, that the plaintiff had the same right to have recovered this year's hire from the legatee, as he would have had from a stranger, who had no interest in the bequests of the deceased. Judgment affirmed.
ner, he is
17. CLAGGETT V. SPEAKE. May T. 1798. 4 Har. & M Hen.
Rep. 162. Special action on the case for the nonperformance of a parol If a person agreement, to take care of, and return certain slaves to the plaintiff, slaves, and who were at work on the defendant's vessel, at Alexandria. It engages to appeared that the defendant agreed with the plaintiff, if he would them safe
in a partisuffer the negroes to remain until Saturday at their work on the cular manvessel, he would carry them up to Georgetown in the ship’s yawl, they are and deliver them safe to the plaintiff. It further appeared, that lost
, having afterwards the plaintiff told the negroes that on Saturday they must in a differleave the vessel, and make the best of their
way home, and take care of the tools. On Saturday after the work was finished, the for their
answerable negroes went off in a pilot boat, and were drowned.
loss. Per Cur. Gouldsborough, Ch. J. The court are of opinion, and direct the jury, that if they shall be of opinion, from the whole of the evidence, that the plaintiff gave the negroes orders to return inconsistent with the contract and engagement made by the defendant and the plaintiff, then such directions, so given to the negroes, will release the defendant from any responsibility for the event which afterwards happened. But the court refuse to direct the jury, that if the plaintiff did give the directions stated by the defendant, in the manner, and under the circumstances so stated, the defendant is thereby freed from responsibility for the loss of the negroes. Verdict and judgment for the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed to this court, and the judgment was affirmed.
Carolina Rep. 472.
The act of “ The jurors for the state, upon their oath, present that Willie 1794,(Rev.
C. 406.) to Clemens, late of &c. on &c., with force and arms at, &c., unlaw- prevent fully did permit his slave, by the name of March, to hire his own slaves from time to divers persons, to the jurors aforesaid unknown, contrary them their
to to the act of the General Assembly in such case made and provi- time, does ded, and against,” &c. The defendant was convicted, and judg- the master
to an inment for the state being rendered, he appealed.
dictment, Per Cur. Ruffin, J. This is an indictment against the master; thatremedy and is founded on a misconception of the act of 1794. The sta- gainst the
tute directs the grand jury to make " presentment of any slave.” The great purpose of the act is to prevent and abate the nuisance, as was said in Woodman's case. The proceeding is, therefore, primarily against that, and the notice to the master is to give him an opportunity, as in other cases, of defending his slave, and not defending himself personally. It is true, the owner is indirectly punished, by having his slave hired out for one year. But that is only the incidental consequence of the judgment. The personal liability of the master is for the penalty of twenty pounds. The act does not make him guilty of a misdemeanor, nor subject him to indictment. Judgment reversed.
19. GRICE V. JONES. July T. 1827. 1 Stewart's Alabama Rep.
When a special demand ofthe hirer is necessary.
Detinue for a slave hired to the defendant until he was demanded by the owner.
The defendant prayed the court to instruct the jury, that, if they believed the slave in question had been hired to him to continue in his service until demanded, a special demand was necessary before the plaintiff could bave a right of action. The court refused to give the instruction.
Per Liscomb, Ch. J. We are of opinion, that if the slave was hired on these terms, a special demand must precede the right of action. Judgment reversed.
(IX.) OF MORTGAGE OF SLAVES.*
1. A mort
VERDIERE v. LEPERTE. May T. 1832. 4 Louisiana Rep. 41. slaves made out
The action was brought to recover from the defendant a numof the state ber of slaves, which the plaintiff purchased of one Campbell, at will not affect a subsequent bona fide * It has been frequently stated that slaves are considered as properly, and in most of sale by the mortgagor,
the states, they are considered as chattels personal. They are, therefore, subject to unless it bé those rules and regulations, which society has established for the purchase and sale, and recorded in transmission from one to another, of that species of property. They, therefore, may be the state.