North Carolina, Supreme Court, Raleigh : Adams v Hayes, June 1842 [printed].
- Raleigh, North Carolina : North Carolina Supreme Court, 1842.
- Physical Description:
- 1 online resource
- Additional Creators:
- Adam Matthew Digital (Firm) and North Carolina. Division of Archives and History
- William Adams, a resident of South Carolina, married the daughter of John Hayes of North Carolina. After the marriage, which took place in North Carolina, Adams took with him on his return home two slaves from Hayes's plantation, Romulus and Julia. Hayes told Adams that he would send three more slaves, Selina and her children, to Adams's plantation, which he duly did. It was deposed that on a subsequent visit to Adams in 1837, Hayes stated that the slaves now in Adams's possession were Adams's property to do with as he pleased. Also in 1837, the Adamses' marriage broke down, and Mrs Adams and her infant child returned to Hayes's house. After this return, Hayes employed two men to go to South Carolina and bring the slaves that he had given to William Adams back to North Carolina. Adams demanded them back, and when Hayes would not hand them over, he went to court. Under the law of North Carolina, parol (verbal) gifts of slaves were not valid; such gifts were, however, valid under the law of South Carolina. The court directed the jury that the issue of whether Hayes had made a parol gift of the slaves initially, in North Carolina, was therefore irrelevant, as if made it was void; but that if they found that he had made a parol gift on his visit to South Carolina, and not just repeated the fact that he had made one (unrecognised by law) initially, then it was valid and Adams could recover. The jury found for Adams; Hayes, on being denied a new trial, appealed. The Supreme Court declared that the judge's direction of the jury in the lower court had been erroneous, for it was essential, in determining whether what had taken place in South Carolina constituted a gift, to consider not just what was said but whether a transfer of property had taken place at that time. It was observed that the law was settled on the point that parol gifts, to be effectual, had to be accompanied by a transfer of the property given from the grantor to the grantee. In the present case, the property was already in the possession of Adams and so could not in law be granted to him by Hayes by parol. Judgment reversed.
- Other Subject(s):
- Reproduction Note:
- Electronic reproduction. Marlborough, Wiltshire : Adam Matthew Digital, 2007. Digitized from a copy held by the North Carolina State Archives.
- Location of Originals:
- North Carolina State Archives
- Copyright Note:
- Material sourced from the North Carolina State Archives
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