James Yancey (1773-1817) (& wife Nelly Baynes Yancey)
1839 - Knox Co., TN - The children of Nelly Yancy seek to set up their claim to several slaves currently in the possession of Willie Young. The petitioners assert that the slaves in controversy are the children and grandchildren of Cloe, a slave their mother received by a "proper and legal division" of the estate of her late father, Richard Bayne, who died in 1797. Cloe was sold with her daughter, Harriett, at sheriff's sale to satisfy the debts of Nelly's husband, James Yancy. The petitioners claim that at the time of the sale, their mother "remonstrated against" it and that Young, who obtained possession of the slaves after a series of "hurriedly made" ownership transfers, was "fully aware of" Nelly's title. They characterize Young as a "partaker in the fraud" and conjecture that he has "kept his residence concealed" in Anderson County, "an obscure part of the world," in order "to prevent a discovery of the negroes in his possession." They also allege that he has sold Cloe and her daughter, Mary, to a Mr. Woods. They ask the court to compel Young to surrender Cloe's descendants and to account for their hire, which he has "appropriated," and for the value of the slaves he sold. [more information]
The children and grandchildren of the late Nelly Yancey ask the court to divest "all title" to a slave named John out of "William Polks distributees or assignees" and to order Sarah Polk and the Columbia Central Turnpike Company to account with them for the slave's hire. The Yanceys explain that eleven slaves, who were part of their mother's inheritance, were "removed" and sold "in places unknown" by their indebted father, James Yancey, when the petitioners were "of tender years." After their mother's death in 1834, they took "all reasonable and proper exertions to ascertain" the slaves' whereabouts, and, though none remained in Virginia, they found Osburn and John in Tennessee "in possession of George Polk and John of the Columbia Central Turnpike company." Their father had sold the slaves to William Polk of North Carolina over thirty years ago, and Polk had moved them to Tennessee before his death, to "carry on under his agents & overseers an extensive planting establishment." The slaves remained in Polk's widow's possession until she hired out John to the Turnpike Company. Sarah Polk is a stockholder in the company.