3 Hen. & Munf. 37. ; 5 Cranch's Rep. 358.; and the same doctrine has been recognised in Thompson v. Caldwell, 3 Little's Rep. 136. And it appears by the case of Stanley v. Earl, 5 Little's Rep. 281., that the statute of Kentucky runs in the case of a person out of the state in possession of slaves.

9. MIDDLETON V. CARROL. June T. 1830. 4 J. J. Marshall's

Rep. 143.


And the Held by the court, Buckner, J., that five years adverse possessame prin ssion of slaves by the vendee, and those claiming under him, under ciple applies to a an unrecorded conditional sale to vendee, bars recovery of them by conditional

vendor; nor will notice to purchaser from vendee of the condition in such unrecorded conditional sale, enable vendor to recover the slave from such purchaser. See the case of Withers v. Smith, 4 Bibb’s Rep. 172.; Craig v. Payne, ibid. p. 337. ; Ferguson v. White, 1 Marshall's Rep. C.



for more than 20

10. Cook v. Wilson's ADM’r. Fall T. 1821. 6 Little's Rep. 437.;

CHAPMAN V. ARMISTEAD, 4 Munf. Rep. 382. Where

Detinue for a slave. Verdict for defendant, and motion for a held peaceable new trial. possession of a slave Per Cur. It appears by the bill of exceptions, that the defend

ants attempted to maintain the title of their intestate by proving, years, after that during the revolutionary war, he was an officer in the ten which he lost the months' service in South Carolina; that an officer in that service possession, and it was was entitled to two confiscated slaves ; that the mother of Juda, obtained by one who

the slave in controversy, was allotted to him as one of those to claimed ti- which he was entitled; and there being no express proof that any tle, the court held other was allotted to him, it was inferred that Juda, who was then that

a suckling child, was given to him as the other to which he was of the

entitled. On the other hand, it was positively proved that Juda, plaintitt

con- about the close of the revolutionary war, was given to the wise of clusive evidence of the plaintiff, as a compensation for her trouble in taking care of property

the other confiscated slaves, and that she then obtained possession of her, claiming her as her own, and continued to hold her until she intermarried with the plaintiff, who has held her as his property ever since, until within less than five years before the commencement of this suit, when the defendant obtained possession of Juda, and her children, born while in the possession of the



plaintiff. We think these facts do not warrant the verdict of the jury. The possessory title of the plaintiff is conclusive. Supposing the defendant'sintestate to have had a good title to Juda, his failure to assert that title for a period of between 20 and 30 years, during all of which time the plaintiff and his wife held possession of Juda, claiming her as their own, must excite an irresistible presumption, that he had parted with his title, and that the right of property was in the possession. The same principle was decided by Judge Cranch, in Mitchell v. Wilson, May T. 1827. Circuit Court U. S., Washington, D. C. (MS.)



6 J. J. Marshall's Rep. 20. Thomas Sneed died intestate, and administration was granted to Twenty Sarah Sneed, his widow, and to Achilles Sneed, her brother, in 1803. years' pos

session by a In 1805 Achilles Sneed purchased from the heirs and distributees distributee

will not of their interest in the negroes belonging to the estate of the intestate, itself be

sufficient to by writing. The widow and administratrix still retained possession

infer an of the slaves, and in 1808 married Bartlett, and died in 1825. assent by

the adminAchilles Sneed died a few months after, and Munsell administered istrator. on his estate, and brought this action against Bartlett, who kept possession of the slaves after the death of his wife. A verdict of nonsuit was entered, and Munsell appealed.

Per Cur. Buckner, J. The nonsuit was entered on the ground that the administratrix had not consented that Achilles Sneed should take the slaves.

It has been contended in argument, that the assent of the administrator must be presumed after the lapse of 20 years from the time that letters of administration were granted ; that a jury may at all events rationally draw such an inference from the lapse of such time only, because it would bar all personal actions, and by its own force pay all debts. This position has not been supported by the citation of any authority; nor can the argument be sustained on principles of reason, however plausible it may be. The lapse of 20 years from the grant of administration is not sufficient of itself to raise a presumption that the administrator has consented that the distributees may take the slaves which belong to the intestate's estate ; nor can a jury, from the lapse of 20 years from the grant of administration, rationally infer that the administrator has consented


that the distributees should take the slaves which belong to the estate of the intestate. Ch. J. Robertson dissented. Judgment affirmed.


ORR et al. v. PICKETT et al. January T. 1830. 3 J. J.

Marshall's Rep. 268. Five years' Per Cur. Underwood, J. Under the statute of limitations five of a slave years' continued adverse possession vests in the holder a complete gives title. title to a slave against all the world ; those laboring under some

disability provided for in the statute, excepted.

tute does

13. Orr et al. v. PICKETT et al. January T. 1830. 3 J. J.

Marshall's Rep. 268. But the sta Per Cur. Underwood, J.

Underwood, J. So long as Orr held possession of not apply

the slaves according to Pickett's title, the possession would be adwhere the

verse to Pickett; and if the slaves were not delivered to him on possession is not ad- demand, he might maintain detinue, or any appropriate action, and

recover, although Orr's possession may have continued more than five years. The possession must be adverse, or the statute is no protection. Mims v. Mims, ibid. 106.


14. Mims v. Mims. Fall T. 1829. 3 J. J. Marshall's Rep. 103.

Per Cur. Underwood, J. Possession must be adverse, or the statute is no protection to the possessor; as where he holds slaves as pawnee, or pledgee, or bailee. In such cases there is no limitation, but chancery may presume that the equity of redemption has been relinquished.

15. ELMORE v. Mills. Sept. T. 1796. Haywood's Rep. 300.;

BERRY V. PULLIAM, ibid. 16. When the

Per Cur. The act of limitations began to run from the time statste be the negroes came into the possession of the defendant, unless he gins to .

was entrusted with them by the plaintiff for an indefinite period of time; for then the act will not begin to run till demand made, or unless the plaintiff can show that the defendant re

moved himself to such places where the plaintiff could not find him to institute his suit, or that the defendant had the negroes without the knowledge of the plaintiff.

tle of the

16. Davis v. MITCHELL. Dec. T. 1833. 5 Yerger's Tenn. Rep. 281.

This suit was brought to recover a slave. The plaintiff proved An infant that the slave had been given to him whilst an infant ; that at the nay hold time of making the gift, possession of the slave was given to his possession

of a slave, guardian, and that he had remained with his guardian for three years, either by

himself or and more, before he came to the possession of the defendant.

guardian, The court charged the jury, that possession of a slave for three and such years by an infant claiming the slave as his own, would communi- for three cate no title to the infant, as the infant could not hold adversely un- vest the titil he arrived at the age of twenty-one years.

slave in the The jury found a verdict for the defendant, and a motion for a infant. new trial having been made and overruled, the plaintiff prosecutes this writ of error to this court.

Per Cur. Green, J. The court further charged, that “a possession of three years by an infant would not be an adverse possession, nor until the child arrived at twenty-one could be adverse.” In this, also, there is error. The possession of an infant, either by himself or his guardian, may as well be adverse as to all other titles, as though he were an adult. Infancy protect a party from the consequences of many of his acts; but no one else can take advantage of that infancy. Judgment reversed.

17. KEGLER V. MILES. Jan. T. 1825. Martin & Yerger's Tennes

see Rep. 426. Per Cur. Catron, J. In this cause, the facts are substantially The adthese : Hartwell Miles, in 1815, was very dissipated, and bad verse pos.

a wasted most of his property, and was tending towards insolvency. slave so

long as to Wm. Boyd paid his debts, and took his plantation in payment. bar any acSome negroes were left; of one of them, now in controversy, he tion which made a bill of sale to his daughter Nancy, then about 14 years brought, aold. No consideration was given, and it was made avowedly in possession, anticipation of future insolvency. In 1816, or 1817, Nancy mar- him an'abried David Kegler, the plaintiff; the slave was taken into Kegler's solute right

properpossession, by virtue of the bill of sale, and continued so until 1822, ty. when Nancy, the wife, died, leaving two children. Kegler then

could be


resided in Mississippi. Kegler, soon aster the death of his wife, returned to the house of his father-in-law, Hartwell Miles, in Davidson county, Tennessee, with the negro girl and his two children. He made a deed of gift of the girl to the children, which was duly acknowledged, and registered in Davidson county. The bill of sale made by Hartwell Miles to his daughter, in 1816, was not registered until 1825, aster the suit was brought. Soon aster making the deed of gift, Kegler left Tennessee, leaving the negro girl and his children with Hartwell Miles. In 1823, Hartwell Miles took the negro to Rutherford county, and sold her to Peter N. Smith, and made a bill of sale for her, which was duly proven and recorded. Smith paid a full price, and believed he was acquiring a good title. He loaned the slave to his brother-in-law, Thomas Miles, who was sued in this action of Kegler's children. The jury found for the plaintiffs, upon the complicated matters of law and of fact arising under the statute of frauds and registry acts. The court charged the jury. A new trial was moved for, and refused; and the whole evidence set out. That Nancy Miles, before her intermarriage with Kegler, acquired no valid title, as against a purchaser from Hartwell Miles, is a perplexed question of law and fact; that Kegler acquired any title in consideration of the marriage, depends upon facts, doubtful in their character. There can be little doubt he claimed title by virtue of the bill of sale to his wife only. But one simple and undisputed fact exists in the cause, to wit: that Kegler took possession of the slave as his own, and held her as such adversely to all others, for more than three years before he conveyed to his children. That the art of limitations gave him a good title to defend himself, and barred the remedy of all others, is certain ; but did it vest in Kegler an absolute title, which he could assert as plaintiff? is the question. It is contended, that the remedy of Hartwell Miles was barred, but the right remained ; consequently, if he got possession of the slave by recaption, the right and possession were again united; of which he, or those claiming under him, could not be deprived by Kegler, to whom the statute gave the power of resistance, as a defendant, vesting no right that could be asserted as plaintiff ; that the statute alone operated upon the remedy, without touching the right. Such are the reasonings upon the statute, when applied to debtor and creditor in the English and American courts. That a claim barred by time is a good consideration for a new promise, is settled beyond controversy. Clementson v. Williams, 8 Cranch's

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