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United States Supreme Court

25 U.S. 568

Williamson  v.  Daniel

APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Georgia.

The controversy in this cause arose out of the following clauses in the will of James Daniel: 'I lend my wife twenty-one negroes,' naming them, and also certain lands, 'during her natural life.' And subsequently, 'I give and bequeath unto my grand daughter, Patsy Hendrick, three negroes, viz: Joe, Parker, and Willis-I also give her one half of the negroes I have lent my wife, to her and her heirs for ever. I give and bequeath unto my grandson, Jesse Daniel Austin, son of Betty Austin, one half of the negroes I have lent my wife, after the death of my wife, Nancy Daniel. Now my will is, that if either of my grand children, Patsy Hendrick, or Jesse Daniel Austin, should die without a lawful heir of their bodies, that the other should heir its estate.' Jesse Daniel Austin, (now called by special act Jesse Austin Daniel,) survived Pasty Hendrick; and after the death of Nancy Daniel, the widow of the testator, took into possession all the negroes bequeathed to her during her life. Patsy Hendrick died about the year 1805, intestate, and without heirs of her body, being at the time of her death an infant about nine years old, leaving Robert Hendrick, her father, and Louisa Hendrick, her half sister, by the father's side, now Louisa Gibbes, one of the Complainants, her next of kin. Robert Hendrick died in 1814, having first made his will, bequeathing his estate to the said Louisa, his daughter, and his wife Mary, now Mary Williamson, also a complainant. Some of the slaves, to wit, Sally and her children, were born in the lifetime of Nancy Daniel.

The Court below determined that the limitation over was too remote, and decreed one-half the slaves to the representatives of Patsy Hendrick, the complainants. It also decreed that the slaves, Sally and her children, did not belong to the estate of the tenant for life. The defendants appealed to this Court.

March 12th.

The cause was argued by Mr. Berrien, for the appellants, [a] and by Mr. Wide, for the respondents. March 16th.

Mr. Chief Justice MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.


^a  Fearne, 445. 471. 478. 482. 485. Prec. in Ch. 15. 1 P. Wms. 534. Prec. in Ch. 108. 3 P. Wms. 253. 3 Johns. Rep. 289. 2 Mass. Rep. 56. 1 P. Wms. 663. 3 Atk. 396. 2 Term Rep. 720. 7 Term Rep. 585. 8 Ves. 11. 17 Ves. 479.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).