Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History & Culture Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva's Black History

Record Detail

Record #10 from Abstracts of Petitions to Southern County Courts, 1775-1867

Part of Series B
Microfilm Reel in Collection Series 3
Microfilm Frame on Reel 144
Accession Number (identifies petition on microfilm) 20981113
County Dorchester
State Maryland
Year Legislative Petition Filed 1811
Abstract of Petition John Colsten and his wife, Alice Orem Colsten, petition the court to subpoena the executors of the estate of Hugh Orem and to order them to return slaves they claim were given to them by Alice's father, Hugh Orem. The Colstens say that more than ten years before Orem's death in 1811, he gave a fifteen-year-old slave, Sinah, to Alice as a marriage gift. When Orem became ill, the Colstens went to live with him, bringing with them Sinah and her two children. About six years later, they returned home, leaving Sinah and four children with Hugh Orem to "render him any assistance he might require in his distressed and helpless situation. "Now he has died, and his executors, sons Hugh and Speding, "refuse to comply with [the Costens'] reasonable request" to return the slaves. The Colstens maintain that Orem divided this property among three of his children and cite as proof this excerpt from his will: "I hope my belived daughter Alse [Alice] Colston...will be satisfied with what I have already done for her." The petitioners aver this clause refers to Sinah and her childrlen. Her brothers deny knowledge of such a gift and claim Sinah and "her issue" under the provisions of their father's will.

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[Author (if known)], Abstracts of Petitions to Southern County Courts, 1775-1867, [Date (if known)], Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva’s Black History, Nabb Research Center, Salisbury University.