A bequest of property in trust for slaves, who the deceased attempted to emancipate by will, was void.
Facts of the Case
Richard Harrisonís will emancipated Harriet, Sally, Margaret, Jim, Celia, and Fernandez. He wished them to remain in Alabama, provided a special act of the legislature could be obtained for that purpose. If it could not, he directed that they be taken to a free state and supplied with money out of a trust created through his will. Furthermore, he gave Ephriam Pool other slaves for the use and benefit of those intended to be liberated. Kirkland Harrison, administrator of the estate, came into possession of these slaves and Pool sued in Dallas County Circuit Court to recover them.
The Courtís Decision
Judge William P. Chilton wrote the decision for the Alabama Supreme Court. He cited Trotter v. Blocker and subsequent decisions of the Alabama Supreme Court in ruling that slaves could not be emancipated by will. Consequently, the trust created in the slavesí behalf was void.
*The court heard this case previously in 16 Alabama 167.