[ Memphis: Memphis City Courthouse, ], February 25, 1854.]. Printed on one side and completed in manuscript. Some chipping to one edge and some toning. Document tape reinforcing a few folds on verso. A very good original document recording the legal history of slavery in the last years leading up to the Civil War. Sheet of blue paper. Broadside (7 ” x 12 ”). Item #17077
Mary Ann (b. ca. 1827) was enslaved by the Hawthorn family before, as the present document alleges, she was illegally held by the merchant and farmer George W. Fisher (b. ca. 1801). Sarah A. Hawthorn (1825 – 1891), a married woman, could not bring legal actions in Tennessee, so her husband John (1811-1869 or 1880?), filed this writ of replevin on her behalf. The Hawthorns posted a penal bond of $1,600, which they would pay if their re-capture of Mary Ann was found to be unlawful. John Hawthorn, a Memphis constable, and a John Houston (b. ca. 1792), a hospital superintended, are noted as legally responsible for the payment.