Complete Record Book 1845C-1853 pp 621-623
Camden Courthouse, Wilcox County, AL

Transcribed by Pamela Pearson,

Susan Kennon by next frd.


A.B. Kennon


1st: To the Honorable Wade Keyes Chancellor of the third chancery District of the Southern Division of the State of Alabama.

Humbly Complaining your Oratrix Susan Kennon wife of A. B. Kennon who files this her bill of Complaint by her Next friend Elijah Autery.

2nd…Showeth unto your Honor that her first Husband whose name was Azariah Dumas departed this life some time in 1851.

3rd …That previous to his death he made and published his last will and testament which among other things Contained the following provisions made for your Oratrix to wit:

Item 3rd…I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife during her life the following slaves, to wit: Toney, Little Silon, Rachel, Isom, Fanny, Oran and Bet. Also Household and Kitchen Furniture. One Horse, two Mules, One Ox Wagon, One Yoke of Oxen. One third of the balance of the Stock not otherwise willed. Corn & fodder for the first year together with Meat, Sugar, and Coffee, one third of all the Plantation Tools, Blacksmith Tools, and Iron, and the following described lands, to wit: The West ½ of South West ¼ of Section 19 together with the dwelling House, all Out Houses, Gin House and Screw (?). Also the West ½ of South East ¼ and the East ½ of South West ¼ Section 19. All in Township 13, Range 5, East….

In all of which property she had a life Estate under Said Will with remainder at her death to Obidah Dumas, Lafayette Dumas, and Wade Hampton Dumas, sons of the testator and also to Malvina Horton, Wincy Autery and Mary Hawkins, daughters of the Said Testator and to the heirs of their bodies, which said will was duly proved and admitted to the Probate in Wilcox County, which your Oratrix prays may be taken as a part of this Bill, with leave of reference thereto as often as may be necessary.

Your Oratrix states that Henry W. Hatch of the County of Marengo was appointed the Executor of said Will that he was qualified as such taken upon himself the due Execution thereof and assented(?) to the same so far as provisions are made for your Oratrix and delivered said property into the possession of your Oratrix.

Your Oratrix further showeth that after said property was so delivered into her possession to wit some time about the first of January Eighteen Hundred and fifty three, she intermarried with her present husband the said A. B. Kennon, now a resident of Wilcox County; that after said marriage the Said Kennon took the marriagement(?) and Control of said property and has received the rents, proceeds, and profits thereof eversince…

Your Oratrix further Showeth unto your Honor that the management and Control of said property by the Said A. B. Kennon , her Said Husband since the time of their Said Marriage, has been indiscreet and injudicious.

In the Management and Control of said property he has created debts and incurred liabilities by making Contracts for Articles of Comfort and support of the Household, Imitable(?) to the degree and consideration in life of the family; which debts he has refused and still refuses to pay although he has used the issues and profits of all the property, as she is informed and believes and so charges.

Your Oratrix further charges that the Said A. B. Kennon instead of appropriating the income and profits of said property to the payment of said debts which was amply sufficient for that purpose, he willfully allows the Creditors to institute writs(?) against him on the Contracts made as aforesaid, and obtains Judgements and Execution in the hands of the Sheriff of Wilcox County which has been levied upon one of the Negroes.

Your Oratrix further states that she is informed and believes and therefore charges there are other debts contracted by him in Mobile in 1853 & 4 amounting to the sum of between six and seven hundred dollars made for the support of the family which he refuses to pay. Also a debt for the him(?) of a negro on the plantation in the year 1854 for $160 which he has failed to pay.

She further states that about thirty three bales of cotton of an average weight, say 500 pounds made on the plantation and by the hands belonging to said Estate managed and Controlled by him as aforesaid in the year 1854 were reca(?) by the said A. B. Kennon the proceeds of which he refuses or has failed to apply to the payment of said debts but you(?) is informed and believes and so charges that said A. B. Kennon has received this money arising from the sale of said Cotton and converted the same to his own use and refused to pay the aforesaid debts which are legitimate charges on said property.

Your Oratrix charges that the said A. B. Kennon has no property of any description of his own of which said debts could be paid or any other debts he may contract. That by the comise(?) of conduct heretofore (promised?) and still (promised?) by him in allowing suits to be instituted and judgements rendered against him and Executors(?) to be levied upon said property would be squandered, wasted, and utterly deprated(?) and your Oratrix reduced to poverty and want.

Therefore your Oratrix prays that the Said A. B. Kennon be made a party defendant to this Bill that a writ of Subpoena issued to him directing him to appear in this Honorable Court on a Certain day and under certain penalty therein Named then and there forsee(?) time and perfect answers(?) make to all the allegations charged and Statements in said bill contained and further that your honor decree that the said A. B. Kennon Shall No longer have any control over the said Estate of your Oratrix or the rents, issues, or profits thereof. And that your oratrix may have the same control over her said estate and the rents, issues, and profits thereof as if she was a femme sole and for such other and further relief as your Honor Shall see proper to grant in the premises(?). and as in duty bound she will ever pray.

Johnson Roach

For the county

The State of Alabama, Wilcox County

Personally came before me, A. Tomlinson Register in Chancery for the district of the Southern Division of Said State, Susanah Kennon who being duly sworn says the allegations and charges contained in the foregoing bill made upon her own knowledge are true and those not of her own knowledge, but upon information she believes to be true. Sworn to and submitted before me this the 4th of June, AD 1855. A. Tomlinson, Register.

Susanah {her X mark} Kennon

Note: Susannah Hare married Azariah Dumas 26 Dec 1824 in Wilcox Co, AL.
Note: Susannah Dumas married Augustus B. Kennon 3 Feb 1853 in Wilcox County, AL. (Pg 52 of Wilcox Marriage Records, 1852-1858).
Note: Elijah Autery, the “next friend” in this case, was Susannah’s son-in-law, husband of Wincy Ann Dumas Autery.
Note: I evidently forgot to copy the outcome of the case, but I do remember reading it. Susannah Kennon won (probably to be found on pages 624-631, according to my notes).

31 May 2003
© 2003 by B.J. Smothers. All rights reserved.