Jackson County, Tennessee
Court Cases

Transcribed by Kara Porter

Amonett v. Bransford

08 Jul 1850. W. C. Walker and Varney Andrews were commissioned by the Chancery Court to divide the "negroes belonging to the late firm of Amonett & Bransford between Nancy B Amonett, Virginia Amonett, Tennessee G Amonett, and Benjamin F. Amonett distributees & Martha P Amonett widow of William Amonett decd of the one part and Thomas L Bransford of the other part on the 2 day of November 1849 at Kinderhook near Celina in the county of Jackson in the presence of said Martha P. Amonett and Luke T. Armstrong next friend of said distributees who are minors, and Thomas L Bransford divided the negroes between the parties . . ." The slaves allotted to the Amonetts were: Sandy, Susan and child, Jack, Dave, Charles, Elizabeth, Crayton, and Jim. Bransford received Jinkins, Jim, John, Polly and child, Jasper, Spencer, Daniel, and Charles.

Undated document transferring title of the slaves refers to Martha P. Amonett and her husband James Amonett. The document mentions that James Amonett was made a party plaintiff last term.

07 Feb 1851. Award of dower to Martha.

[first Wed after a Mon] Jul 1849. Ordered that Sheriff find five freeholders unrelated to Martha or the heirs of William Amonett to set aside her dower. William P. Witcher, Deputy Sheriff, performed the task. Martha was awarded "a tract of land in the county of Jackson on the waters of Proctors Creek containing by survey one hundred & Eighty three acres and bound as follows (to wit), Beginning at a Sycamore in the Bed of sd creek running north 15 {degrees} east twenty eight poles to a stake, thence south 75 {degrees} east twelve poles to a stake, thence north 5 {degrees} east sixty poles to a black Walnut, Thence north 25 {degrees} west forty two poles to a hickory, Thence north five {degrees} west thirty nine poles to a hickory, Thence north ten {degrees} easte thirty poles to white Oak, Thence north 70 {degrees} west, twenty five poles to a white oak, Thence west 57 {degrees} twenty two poles to a white oak, Thence north 80 {degrees} west Thirty poles to a hickory Thence south 30 {degrees} west sixty three poles to an ash, Thence south 48 {degrees} west twenty two poles to a small elm, Thence south 18 {degrees} thirty two poles to an Elm, Thence south 18 {degrees} east twenty eight poles a small hackberry in Savages line, Thence esat 18 poles with said line to a stake savages corner, Thence south 20 {degrees} west eighty poles to a beech on the south Bank of Proctors Creek, Thence down said creek with its various meanders to the beginning." The freeholders were S. B. M. Fowler, Bennett Stone, William Geaheart, Varney Andrews, and J. A. Stone. Execution certificate says James A. Stone. The land was set off 27 Dec 1849.

[apparently another case]

02 Oct 1842. Letter from Wm Cullom, written in Sparta. To George McWhirter Esq. "Dear sir I send you a bill which I wish filed instantly upon its delivery as the statute will run on the 5th please set my name to the bond as security for the prosecutions. I came by to file it but you were absent do not delay a day or moment as it is of great importance. Your friend, Wm Cullom." The name Thos L Bransford is written below a postscript written by Cullom. {This is a letter accompanying a complaint to be filed. Cullom is Bransford's attorney.}

William Amonett & Thomas L Bransford of Jackson County and Wilton? W Melton of Monroe County State of Kentucky: on 24 Mar 1842 one Joshua P Hale of Jackson County Executed a Deed of Trust making William Amoratt trustee for the purpose of securing a debt. The debt has not been paid, except that the debt to Meagy? Stone may be paid. Hale was to have the use of a slave for twelve months, at which time Amorett was authorized to sell siad slave if the money was not paid. Amorett believes said Hale intends taking the boy out of the state to avoid payment. Petitions that Hale and Stone, who resides in Overton county, be made defendants. A Collum, sol. William Amonett verified the statements 21 Jul 1842. Ab Carruthers, Judge, grants the bill.

[back to original case]

26 Jul 1849. Draft of Decree (submitted by Bransford?) states that "William Amorett departed this life intestate in the county of Jackson his place of residence about March 1849, that previous to his death he and defendant were merchants in co-partnership and that one David Biggerstaff conveyed to them for the consideration of five thousand dollars which was to be paid out of the partnership efforts a tract of land lying in the county of Jackson and state of Tennessee on the North side of Cumberland river in District no. 6 bounded as follows (here insert the boundaries) and at the time of the purchase of said land it was agreed upon by and between said Amonett and Bransford that at the termination of their partnership said Amonett was to take the land for the consideration of four thousand five hundred dollars . . ." Partnership also owned other land, not described. Martha is entitled to her dower in said land. (See dower document). Title is now vested in Amonett's heirs, but Bransford gets to retain $4500 of the partnerhsip assets.

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Amonett & Bransford v. Jno. N. Gates, et al

Deed dated 17 Feb 1843. John N. Gates of JACK TN conveys to Russel M. Kinnaird of same, one tract containing three hundred and twenty acres on Cumberland River being one half of a 640-acre tract granted to James McColgier, beginning above the mouth of Dry Creek, Another tract granted by the State of Tennessee to Samuel Wilson by grant no. 24737 on north side of Cumberland in JACK TN; another tract containing 439 acres lying south of Walkers line, west of Cumberland river between said line and the parallel of latitude 36 degrees 30' on the Waters of Cumberland river on the road leading from Tompkinsville to Bennetts ferry, bounded by Emanuel Holmes, Wilsons line, and McColgins 640 acre survey granted to said McColgin, James McColgin's 100 acre survey, Moses Arterberry, two hickories dividing the Waters of Knob Creek and Arterberry's branch; the land was granted by the State of Kentucky to Samuel Wilson. Also another tract, 31A, on north side of Cumberland river adj a 10-acre survey in the name of Samuel Wilson and a survey in the name of James Black South of Walker's line west of Cumberland River, bounded by Samuel Wilson's 10A survey, a line of the heirs of James Black decd, bank of Cumberland river; granted by State of Kentucky to said Wilson. 43 acres of said 439 acre tract bounded by Wilson McColgins, and 26 acres of the 320 acre tract is excepted, having been decreed to said Wilson McColgin by the Chancery Court at Gainesboro at Nov. term 1842.

This deed is to secure indebtedness to William Amonett & Thomas L. Bransford, merchants in co-partnership trading under the name of Amonett & Bransford. Notes dated 02 Jan 1843, 01 Jul 1842, 01 Jan 1842, 01 May 1842, 16 Feb 1843. Also indebted to James T. Quarles by note dated 2 Jan 1843. If he pays debts by 17 Feb 1844, land will be reconveyed to him.

Complaint of Amonett & Bransford (faded in places) indicates that the trustee sold the land after Gates defaulted on the notes. Amonett & Bransford purchased the land. The land was decreed to be sold by the November court at the instance of the heirs of Samuel Wilson or a part of them, and Gates bought the land. Apparently, there was a deficiency after the sale of the land, which Amonett & Bransford sought to collect from Gates and a defendant named McWhirter who was a court clerk. (The clerk apparently had in his possession some money of Gates'.) Dated 29 Jan 1846, by agent Russell Kinnard.

Document dated 14 May 1859. William L. Gates and John N. Gates are bound unto J. D. Goodpasture, L. B. Settle, surviving partner of S. E. Stone & Co., Joel W. Settle, Jones & Cassetty in the sum of $5000. Condition is that Goodpasture and the others have agreed to postpone the sale of John N. Gates' land where he now lives, known as the Garvis tract, bounded on the east by Cumberland river, on the south by Shrewsberry & Dickerson, on the west by Wilson McColgin, on the north by Wm Walkers lands and the Knob creek place also the 60 acre tract adjoining the same held by a Kentucky warrant, said land having been ordered to sell by the Gainesboro Chancery court without right of redemption. Also in question is a tract of land called the Hile tract adjoining the aforesaid tract containing 300 acres, adjoining the lands of Belew Gist and Erwin Langford. Land is to be sold in accordance with the decrees entered in Settle and others against us and Jones & Cassetty against us. Witnesses: Bennett Stone, S. L. Hall. James T. Quarles writes "A true copy of the original in the possession of Benjamin B. Washburn, Esqr." Dated 27 Jun 1860.

This document was Exhibit A to the answer of Motley & Campbell in the case of John N. Quarles against them in the Chancery Court at Gainesboro. Filed 10 Feb 1860.

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Edward Anderson v. Lewis R. Vance

19 Jan 1850. Summons issued for Isaac Prentice, Thos McCollough and Elisha Abny to appear for depositions to be taken at McCollough's house 26 Jan 1850. Summons for Lewis R. Vance to answer Edward's complaint is dated Jan 1849.

27 Nov 1847. Deed from Lewis R Vance to Edward Anderson for $500 a tract of land in district number 13 containing 300 acres. Beginning on a butch marked LRV and EA on the west side of the Buffalow valey at a wet weather spring, branching out at the foot of the hill just above an old tobacco barn called the Kirkland barn, the Marr tract, Bartletts line, the Smith county line, including the plantations where Thos McCollough & Thos Bewington? now live. Witnesses: F. M. Anderson, J. W. Vance. Acknowledged by Lewis 06 Dec 1847.

02 Jun 1851. Report of sale. Edward Anderson bought the land ordered sold by an interlocutory decree in this case.

26 Jan 1850. Deposition of Thomas McCollch, aged about 46. He states that he has lived on the land in controversy ever since complaints purchase and has paid the rents to defendant, until McCollough told him to stop. Thomas (X) McCollough.

26 Jan 1850. Deposition of Elisha (X) Abny, aged about 28. Relates conversations by Vance and Anderson regarding interest on a loan from Anderson to Vance.

27 Nov 1847. Document signed by Edward Anderson indicates that he is bound to Lewis R. Vance in the amount of $1000, conditioned on deliverance of good title by Anderson to Vance of the$500 tract purchased by Vance. Witnesses: F. M. Anderson, J. W. Vance.

11 Jul 1850. Lewis Vance makes oath that J. Pucket of De Kalb county, Tenn., is a material witness for him. Vance says Pucket heard some of the conversations between himself and the plaintiff. "Affiant lives about 25 miles from Gainesboro - thinks he can take the deposition of said witness in time for next court . . . . Affiant thinks the witness is named John Pucket is certain he writes his name J. Pucket."

14 Apr 1849. Edward Anderson and Francis M. Anderson post bond for $250, to be paid if prosecution of Edward's suit against Vance fails.

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Hezekiah Crowell v. Elizabeth Presley, et al.

07 Oct 1841 (Letter enclosed with complaint). Complaint: On 02 Nov 1837 Crowell purchased of Sanders M? Prestly a tract of land of one hundred and forty acreas in Jackson County. Prestley departed this life in said county intestate, leaving the following his only children and heirs at law: Casarb??? W. P. Prestly, Milinum B. Prestly, Arsny H. Prestly, Didyonus P. Prestly, Sarah J. Prestly, Ruth E. Presly and John P. Prestly, all citizens of said county and minors under the age of 21 and have no guardian. Crowell has paid full consideration for the land. Prestly purchased said land of Joseph Garratt (also spelled Jarratt) of Jackson Co. Crowell wants to clear his title to the land.

Approved 16 Oct 1841: Elizabeth Pristly, guardian of Coosa M. Prestly, Millennium B. Prestly, Arsena H. Prestly, Dyonisius B. Prestly, Sarah J. Prestly, Ruth E. Prestly, and John P. Prestly.

24 Nov 1837. Deed from Sanders M. Presly of Smith Co., Tenn. to Hezekiah Crowell of same. Tract situate on the waters of indian creek of caney fork river containing 140 acres, one entry of 100 acres located by Robert Wallace and one entry of 40 acres located by Asey Merfey encluding the house and primecis where Holden Hargett now lives up the creek above where Elijah Crowell now lives. Witness: Stephen Petty.

THIS IS THE ONLY PRE-1860 CASE ON THE REEL 985314. I ALSO HAVE DONE 985313.

Roll 985315:


William G. Darwin v. John G. Burk.

Hearing 08 May 1844. Chancellor Ridley concludes that since Darwin had the possion and use of the negro boy Hall for six months and 13 days, and that the labor of said boy was worth $3 per month, Darwin owes Burk $19.50.

Document subpoenaing deposition testimony to be taken 1st Monday of May 1843: witnesses are Robert Chaney, Fenton Patterson, Neal Smith, Achilles Collins, George C. Darwin jr, Geo. C. Darwin Sen., William Darwin and Beverly Graves to appear at the courthouse in Gainesboro. [Later subpoena says Killis Collins.]

26 Sep 1843: Depositions:

Deposition of William C Burke, witness for defendant, ages 26 years:

"Question 1 by Defendant John G Burke: Do you know of my removing any of my property out of the state of Tennessee before or since the purchase of the negro boy Hal and whether you heard of the report in the neighborhood or not . . . that I was going to the Missouri last Spring?" [William answered no to both.]

Question by same. State whose carryall and mare that was that Henry F Burk took off to Missouri last September? and state whether you heard the contract between me & Henry F Burk.

Answer) Henry F Burke took the mare and made ?? and took her and the carry all of and he had them sometime in his possession before he left the country. I did not hear the contract between them." . . .

Question by Complt. What relation are you to deft John G. Burke-

Answer) I am his brother. . . .

Question by same. Did not Defendant tell you he was going to Missouri last Spring?

Answer he told me if he could settle his debts he would go but he said that he was not agoing unless he settled his debts.

Question by same. Was not Defendant in debt for the property you stated he owned, such as the hogs corn tobacco beds &c?

Answer) what he bought at his fathers sale he owed for.". .

Deposition of James W. Burke, witness for defendant, aged 23 years. "Question by Complt. How came the negro Hall in possession of deft in the spring of the year, whether by my consent or not?

Answer) the negro was left in my possession when he was attached John was living with me at the time the Sff put the negro in my possession and then he went over the river to live and took the negro with him by my consent but not by dir vires? consent."

Deposition of John Scanland, aged 28 years, testifies that he delivered the negro to Darwin and James Burke 29 Nov 1842, and delivered the slave to Darwin on 25 Apr 1843, and took him from Darwin on 8 Nov 1843.

Deposition of Silas C. Cornwell, aged 52 years. States he never saw the boy in question; a boy aged 11 or 12 years that can plough which has worked for him was not worth more than $2 per month - that boys may be more valuable to others than himself.

Deposition of Jonathan Rogers, aged 54 years. Has seen the boy many times, and if a man had a use for him at the ploughing season of year, he would be worth $2 per month.

Deposition of Wm R Kinner, aged 37 years. States that he thinks a negro boy aged 11 or 12 years in the ploughing season of the year is worth $2 per month.

Deposition of Robert M Chaney. says p. 9. "Answer. Sometime last winter I heard John Burke say that he would make a trip down the river with a load of slaves and other produce and then he thought he would arrange his business and move to Missouria in the spring 1843 report said that he was going in the spring."

Richard P. Brooks, aged 33 years. "Question 1st by complt. If John G Burk ever proposed to sell his interest in the lands of his deceased father, state what he said about it.

Answer. He did and I told him that I had not the money . . . He ast me ten dollars per acre for that on this side of the river and five dollars per acre for that on the other side of the river providing I would buy both pieces. I consider his interest in that estate and his negro worth seven hundred dollars and the estate holds claims against him for five hundred and fifty dollars and fifty five cents . . ."

07 Nov 1843. Bond filed by John G. Burkes, W C Burkes, Martin Young, and Wm P Witchen?, $800 if John Burkes fails to produce the boy at the appointed time.

22 Nov 1842. Complaint. In Sept 1842, John Burke purchased at publick sale a negro boy named Hall for $450, and signed a note, with Darwin as security, to Richard P. Brooks and William C. Burke as admrs of John Burk decd for the same. Burkes has removed all his property out of state, and is planning to remove himself from the state. Darwin is fearful that if Burke is allowed to take the negro from the state, Darwin will be compelled to pay the note. John Burke has an undivided 1/16 part in about 700 acres of land but the widows dower has not yet been assigned her. Darwin wants the slave to be attached, and some security to protect himself.

02 May 1843. Answer of John G. Burke. He executed his note to R P Brook and W C Burk admr of his father John Burk decd for the sum of $431, sometime in Sept. 1842, for a negro boy named Hale. James M Burk, Henry F. Burk, Alvey Graves & Darwin became the security for the note. James M Burk is a citizen farmer of Jackson County and is in good circumstances; Henry F Burk & Alvey Graves, he believes to be solvent and holding considerble property. This deft is a farmer and resides in Jackson County and made a crop of tobacco and corn last year upon the land left by his decd father to his heirs, and is now residing upon said land & engaged in making a crop. He has an undivided interest in the 700 acres, and also has a 1/17 interest in the personal property of his fathers which was sold by the said administrators for an amount of upwards of $3000 of which this defendant has yet received nothing.

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SEVERAL GOOD PRE-1860 CASES ON THIS ROLL. NO OTHER pre-1850.


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Jackson County Coordinators
This page last updated:  Thursday, August 13, 2015