Lucy Grisham Law Suit
OVER UNLAWFUL SALE OF THOMAS GRISHAM'S PROPERTY
"To the honorable ...Samuel D. Fr (illegible), chancellor of the Middle Division of the State of Tennessee sitting at Pulaski, in & for the County of Giles, in said State.
"Bill of complaint of Jubal Grisham, Miles H. Grisham, Drewry B. Grisham, William M. Grisham, Samuel Y. Grisham & Bailey B. Grisham, all resident citizens of the County of Tishomingo & State of Mississippi, the last two of whom are minors being under the age of twenty one years old, and sue by their next friend and brother Miles H. Grisham (having no [illegible] guardian) against Alexander Epelaman, David Waldrup, Edward D. Hickman, T. William R. Cannon, Steven Follis, Archibald Strickland (all of whom are resident citizens of Giles) & John A. Biffle, a citizen of the county of ___& state of Texas, & John Kasky of the county of _____& state of Texas, & Lucy Grisham of the county of Tishomingo and State of Mississippi.
"Humbly complaining herewith unto your Honor O___(this word is illegible and doesn't make sense. Looks like "Orators") aforesaid that , that Thomas Grisham, the father of your o____, departed this life in said county of Giles and State of Tennessee, in the year 1840 (sic. Died March 10, 1838), leaving ...children & heirs surviving your o____aforesaid his only children & heirs at law, except James Grisham who died in 1846 leaving no wife nor children, & the said Lucy Grisham, the widow of the said Thomas Grisham & and mother of your said o___, And that said Thomas Grisham for many years before his death owned a small tract of land consisting of about three acres in the northern part of Giles County on the waters of Lynn Creek & on the Turnpike Road leading from Pulaski to Columbia, which tract he owned either as deeded or as an occupant claim & was seized and possessed of the same at the time of his death.
"Your o___ aforesaid would respectfully represent and show unto your Honor, that their father Thomas Grisham in the year 1828 made an entry of sixty-five acres of public and unappropriated land in said county of Giles & State of Tennessee, on the waters of Lynn Creek & had the same surveyed on the 14th Day of April 1828, with Metes (?) and bounds as follows, to wit. Beginning at a dogwood the N. West corner of John Hambrick's occupant of 200 acres running South with the W. Boundary line 17 poles to a stake and pointers. Thence West forty poles to a white oak, thence North 126 poles to a beech, thence East 92 poles to a beech, then South 109 poles to a beech, on Hambrick's N.B. line of said 200 acres, thence West said line 52 poles to the Beginning, said sixty five acres.
"Your o___would further show unto your Honor, that the said Thomas Grisham, made anther entry in said county of Giles in the year of 1834 of the public & unappropriated land in said Giles, containing one hundred thirty acres with metes and bounds as follows, to wit. Beginning at a chestnut the N.W. conrer of a 145 acres surveyed for G. Newton, on the South B. line of a 50 acres granted to C.J. Bailey 16 poles West of the South East corner, then West with its South Boundary 54 poles to a stake & pointers, the North Eat corner of __acres in the name of Booker Foster, then South 42 poles to a hickory its South East corner West with its South boundary line, passing the South West corner at 56 poles in all 81 poles to a stake then South 206 poles to a stake, then East passing the North West corner of a survey in the name of A. Emerson at 3 poles following his north boundary in all 57 poles to a white oak, the South West corner of said Grisham's former survey North 126 poles to a beech, its North West corner, then East with its North boundary 90 poles to a small beech, its North East corner, North 27 poles to a hickory his corner, West 6 poles to two hickories his corner North 76 poles to the Beginning, containing 130 acres.
"Both of which entries lie adjoining or near adjoining said small tract of about three acres, all of which are South and West of the Congressional Reservation line. And that said entries were ...(illegible)... made and surveyed soon afterwards & plat & certificate made out & placed upon the regular plan in the Entry Takers office in Giles County & ready for the issuance of the Grant from the State before the death of the siad Thomas Grisham & a considerable of which in his lifetime was inclosed & in cultivation by him.
"And the said Thomas Grisham at the time of his death, for some considerable time before was of unsound mind in that he was disabled from looking after his business if not altogether so. Your o___ aforesaid would further show unto your Honor, that after the death of their father as before stated, they or some of them with their mother continued to reside at the same place where their father died & where he had resided for a great many years previous to his death, on the said 3 acre tract, controlling & claiming the said two entries of 195, & continued to do so until the year of 1844 when their mother sold, or pretended to sell the whole land Estate, including the three acre tract & the said two entries of 195 acres, to the said John A. Biffle for about the sum of $350. Which sale your o___consider was in disregard & in violation of their rights, which was done without their authority & from which they insist she forfeited her right of dower as to them, and after which the said Lucy Grisham moved to the county of Tishomingo & state of Mississippi where they now reside. The said Lucy never had any dower land laid off out of the real estate of their father & ...o____ never had any guardian appointed for ...of them after the death of their father Thomas Grisham.
" Your o____would further show unto your Honor after the said pretended purhcase by the said John A. Biffle continued to reside on said land for the time of 4 or 5 years, and on the 23rd day of August 1849 two Grants were issued from the State of Tennessee, one on each of said entries, and issued to the said Thomas Grisham and his heirs forever. And a certified copy of said grants are here to the court shown marked A. & B. & made a part of this Bill. But notwithstanding the issuance of said Grants to the said Thomas Grisham his heirs forever, mor the rights of your 0___as his heirs, the said John A. Biffle pretended to sell about 61 acres of said land to the said Steven Follis on the 5th day of ___1849, and on the 14th day of Dec 1850 said Follis sold the said 61 acres to the said Alexander Epelman for the sum of $___who now resides on the same at the old residence of Thomas Grisham deceased, which 61 acres included the said 3 acre tract & 58 acres of land which are included in said Grants, & on which the said Epelman has resided since the first of the year of 1857 and that the said 61 tract embraces some of the land that is embraced in each of the Grants.
"And the said John A. Biffle on the 5th day of Sept 1850 sold as your...an advised some 81 or 2 acres of the lands embraced in said Grants to T. William R. Cannon for the sum of $___. And on the 22nd day of Sept 1857, the said Cannon sold the said 81 or 2 acres of land to E.D. Hickman for the sum of $___ who shortly afterward moved on the same & has resided there ever since. And the said John A. Biffle as your o___informed in the year of 1849 sold some 37 or 40 acres of the land embraced in said Grants to the said John Kasky for the sum of $___ who as they are advised sold the same to the said Archibald Strickland for the sum of $___ & said Strickland sold the same to the said David Waldrop for the sum of $___ on which siad Waldrop now resides, & has resided ever since his purchase from said Strickland.
"Your o___are advised that the said Biffle in dividing the said lands was not possessed ...calls in said Grants but run the lines to suit purchasers, which o___as they are now informed some portions of the land embraced in each of said Grants, in to each of said tracts now held by Epelman, Hickman, & Waldrup & are holding & claiming same, in violation of the rights of your o___ as aforesaid your o___are advised that the said John A. Biffle soon after selling said land as aforesaid removed from the State of Tennessee to the State of Texas where he still resides, as they are informed. ..your o___charge that said Biffle bought said lands at a price which was very far below this value at the time, which your o____ account for on the ground that the said Biffle knew that the said Lucy Grisham had no right to sell the same, & also knew that he would not, nor could, have any rights under said purchase as against yor o____, your o____suppose said lands to be worth some $15.00 or $20. Per acre.
"The premises considered your o___pray that the said Alexander Epelman, David Waldrop, Edeard D. Hickman, T. William R. Cannon, Steven Follis, Archibald Strickland, John A. Biffle, John Hasky, & Lucy Grisham be made defendants to this bill, & that supeona with a copy of this bill issued to the end that siad resident defendants be & appear at our next Chauncery Court to be held in the town Pulaski in the 4th Monday in May 1854. And that publication be ...as to said non-residents, to the end that they be required to appear at the same term of this court. And that all of said defendants be required to answer each & every alligation in this bill upon their corporal oaths, as fully & specifically as if specially interrogated as to the same.
"And on the trial of this cause that your Honor by a Decree of this court, set aside all of the deeds & claims of every sort, of all of said defendants to said tracts of land, as clouds upon the rights & title of your o___. And that your o___be restored to full possession of said land embraced in said Grants & the said three acre tract. And that each of said defendants be ame to account for the rents & profits of said land, for the time they have held the same, and that this cause be referred to the clerk & master to take proof & report the amount of the rents & profits which held by each of said defendants from the time the defendant Biffle got in possession of said land, and on the final... of this cause, that the clerk & Master be required to take proof & report, what will be the respective interest of each of your o___, in said land & in the rents and profits thereof, and each of them respectively be put in proportion of the same as they are entitled, if necessary that all cleared land be surveyed in order to ascertain the rents & profits, with such other & further to relief as to your Honor shall seem right & proper as is their duty bound..(illegible)...
James A. G(illegible) Sol.
Submitted by: Will Smith