Keep in mind that this is Simon Hughes suing his brother in-law John Biggers Hughes who married Simon’s Sister Nancy. I still have a few words that I need to work on, but it is close to being complete, I would say it is 99% complete. I am looking for John Hughes and his wife Sally Hughes. I am not entirely sure of Sally's last name, could it be Tarlton or Staples?
I am going through all my court documents which were copied from the Smith County, TN and Prince Edward County, VA courthouses.
vs O Bill
John B Hughes et al
Field 5 Augt 1851
A Moore c m
6 Feb Tenn 1853
Not to be enrolled
State of Tennessee }
Smith County }
This day personally appeared before me A Moore C & M of the Chancery Court at Carthage Simon Hughes who made oath that the matters and things set forth and stated in the foregoing bill are true to the best of his knowledge and belief this 26th day of July 1851
Sworn to sub Simon Hughes
To before me this
26 July 1851
A Moore c m
To the Hon B. L. Ridley Chancellor + pending at Carthage Tennessee
The bill of complaint of Simon Hughes the citizen of Smith county Tennessee Against John B. Hughes administrator of the late John Hughes and his wife Nancy Hughes and Jesse Hughes citizens of Smith county, but heirs of the late Tarlton Hughes whose residence is unknown to complainant, John Hughes, a citizen of Halifax County Virginia, Polly Zachary a resident of the state of Kentucky, the heirs of the late Robert Hughes also resident of Kentucky, Jesse Hughes a citizen of Prince Edward County Virginia, the heirs of the late Beverly Hughes citizen of Mississippi, the heirs of the late Edward P. Hughes citizen of the state of Tennessee in the counties of Jackson, Madison and Smith and Kitty Mathis a citizen of the state of Mississippi.
Your orator shows your Honor that his father John Hughes departed this life in the year 1827 in Smith County possessed of a considerable estate both real and personal, and that previous to his death on the 18th day of April 1825 he made and executed his last will and testament (a copy of which duly certified together with all action by the Smith County Court touching said estate is here filed as a fact of this bill but which it is unnecessary to copy)and appointed his son William Hughes and his wife Sally Hughes his executors. The above named defendants were his children and grandchildren among whom it was directed that the proceeds of his entire estate would be equally divided with some minor and unimportant exceptions. When he had made advancements, at the November Term 1827 of the Smith County Court the said will was proved and admitted to probate and upon the renunciation of the trust by the said executors the defendant John B Hughes as the November term of the said court in the year 1831 was appointed administrator with the will annexed of the said estate, and entered into bond in the sum of five thousand dollars for the true and faithful performance of his duties as such administrator with Little B Hughes and Simon P Hughes as his securities.
At the February term of the said County Court of Smith County the defendant John B. Hughes returned an inventory of the property of his “?testator” which was ordered to be recorded and at a subsequent term of said Court in August 1832 he reported the account of sales under the will which in like manner was received and ordered to be recorded. At the may term 1834 Loderick Vaden, Judd Strother and Benjamin Arendell were appointed commissioners to make settlement with the said John B. as administrator and at the august term in the same year the said commissioners made their report which was received and ordered to be recorded, your orator charges that the whole management of the estate upon the part of the administrator was fraudulent and that the report of the said commissioners though apparently fair and just does equal justice to the rightful heirs of the late John Hughes.
By reference to the account of sales made to the county court by the defendant John B. Hughes. It will be seen that at the sale he was a very extensive purchaser, in fact there was not an article of any equal value that was not bought up by him and your orator charges that Beverly Hughes the son of the administrator cried the sales and whenever his father made a bid be it even to insignificant it was knocked off to him, your orator is informed and believes that when any of those present made a bid in offorition to the administrator, that they were formally informed by the said administrator that he knew it was unlawful in him to buy at his own sale but that he would ask no favor of the law, your honor will observe that the said defendant John B. became the purchaser at said sale of the tract of land belonging to the testator at the price of eight hundred and fifty dollars. Your orator charges that said land at that time was worth nearly double that amount and he is told that various gentlemen attended the auction for the purpose of giving a quarter priced for the same but that John B and his son Beverly publicly insulted and ridiculed everyone who attempted to bid for it. Your orator charges that said land by honest dealing would have brought fifteen hundred or two thousand dollars and that item in the settlement is wrong and fraudulent. Your honor is further referred to the item of the negro Joe, which is one hundred and one dollars, charged to the defendant John B. your orator was told by said defendant that said negro sold for two hundred dollars but it will be seen that this was a fraud like many others practiced upon those whom he had swindled, the said negro should have sold for at least three hundred dollars and if those present had had the privilege of peacefully buying said property your orator does not doubt that he would have brought that sum.
Your orator charges that that item is wrong and fraudulent, in the said settlement it will be seen that the Negro woman Rose was bid off by Tarlton Hughes at ninety nine dollars. Your orator charges that Tarlton Hughes did not buy said Negro, but that she was bought by the defendant John B. and placed to the account of the said Tarlton to keep down suspicion. Your orator charges that said girl was worth at the time of the sale at least two hundred dollars and upon that item the estate of his father has been cheated of one hundred dollars.
Your orator further charges that the tract of land belonging to this father was about the time of the sale represented by the defendant John B. to contains on hundred and sixty acres where in fact there was two hundred and eighty three acres, Your orator would refer your honor to the account of sales here filed by which it will be seen as before stated that the defendant John B. was the principal purchaser and that he obtained everything he desired pretty much at his own price. Complainant charges that the entire management of the estate was marked by the most fraudulent and dishonest endeavors to swindle the heirs of said estate.
Your orator would state that he has been a resident of the state of Virginia until the year of 1846 and knew but little if anything of the manner in which his father’s estate was wound up. It is true that some years since one of his sons was in Smith County and received at the hands of the said John B. two or three hundred dollars as complainants portion at his fathers estate and gave his receipt your orator knew nothing of the fraud that were practiced by the defendant John B and is wiling to refund the money to said defendant.
In view of the forgoing premises complainant prays that “???” and copy “?”to the end that the above named parties be made defendants to this bill, complaint would ask that the defendant John B. Hughes be made to make full and perfect answers to all the charges and obligations in this bill. Let him answer and say whether he paid a fair price for any article which he purchased at the said sale particularly the land and Negros, your orator prays that the settlement made by the commissioners appointed by the county court of Smith county be held for nothing and that an account generally of the entire transactions may be had in your honorable court, complainant prays that the said John B. Hughes be informed and retained from dishonoring of the said Negroes and their increased until the final action is had in this matter, complainant would further ask that as much as he is informed that the said John B. Hughes is speaking of removing to Texas or same other southern state to avoid the respondents of this and other suits that the following Negroes be attached and held liable to the satisfaction of any decree which may be pronounced by your Honor to with Patrick, Gabriel, Drury, and Manuel worth about two thousand dollars, and that he be informed from disposing of any part of the tract of land where on he now resides until the final hearing and administration of this cause.
Complainant prays for all such general relief to which in equity and good conscience he may be entitled and in duty the clerk and master of the Chancery at Carthage will “???” and “???” as prayed for the “??” bill upon complainant everything bond with “??” in the of three thousand dollars for the justification and also for the cost of suit 28th July 1851
Judge of “?” Circuit
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