A bequest of freedom to a slave was void.
Facts of the Case
John Robersonís will liberated, "for good services and regard," Old Peter, his wife Chany, Little Peter, and his wife Jinny. Nevertheless, the executors sold the slaves as part of the estate.
The Courtís Decision
Judge David G. Ligon wrote the opinion of the Alabama Supreme Court. He ruled that the slaves were rightly treated as part of the estate, in spite of the provisions in Robersonís will. Alabama had an established principle that slaves could not acquire property either by descent, bequest, or purchase, so the gift of their freedom was void as had been determined in Trotter v. Blocker.