Sarah Ann Allen v. Joseph Wallingsford. Petition of Joseph Wallingsford in the Matter of Wallingsford v. Wallingsford


Rachael Wallingsford
Joseph Wallingsford

The Petition of Joseph Wallingsford Humbly represents to the Honl. the Judges of the County Court of Prince George's County, that great injustice has been done him by the intolocutory order passed in this cause at the October Term of your honorable Court in 1825 in consequence of your orator not having it in his power at that time to shew unto your honors the amount of his property and the extent to which he was able to pay for the separate maintenance and support of his wife. your orator will state to your honors that it will be utterly impossible for him to pay at the rate of $120 per annum for the support of his wife without selling property every year for that purpose in as much as the whole sell product of his own labour and of all the property which he was in possession will not amount annually to near that sum, for he has only a small plantation of poor land & two old negroes the one and old man upward of 60 years old the other a woman upward of 50, with a few horses and cattle and other small stock to assist him in his   2. labour to procure a subsistence; after feeding and clothing himself and family that he has living with him, which he is bound by law and religion to support, he is satisfied that all the other proceeds of his labour, land and other property could upon an an average, in the present time exceed your orator would further state that it is not true as alleged in the petition of the said Complainant that he treated his said wife ill or drove her out of his house or kept any other woman either white or black or yellow or of any other color unlawfully or improperly in his house or family to the annoyance of his said wife but that he is said wife became discontented and refused to live with him any longer and went off and left his house bed and board without his knowledge and entirely of her own will that after she had thus gone off he went to see her and told her that he wished her to come back and live with him and that if she would come back again and live with him nobody should interfere with her. Which she positively refused to do, saying that she would not to save his life. That at the time when his said wife went away she carried with her without his consent or knowledge a negro girl about 12 years old   3. the property of your orator. That afterward finding his said wife was determined to live apart from him, at her own request and by her express agreement he agreed to give her a certain sum of money in property & cash for her future separate support, amounting, as your orator believes to $900 or thereabouts which was the amount which she alleged that she had brought with her by her marriage, consisting of the aforesaid negro girl, $75 cash, a bed, a horse five head of cattle, 200 weight of bacon & sundry other small articles of house hold & kitchen furniture, one single bill for $125 and one other of $200 amounting altogether to the aforesaid sum of $900, which she agreed to take as placing her in the same situation in which she was before the said marriage and thereupon to acquit and discharge your orator from all further claim upon him for support, and your orator avers that he did actually deliver all the aforesaid money notes and property to her in pursuance of said agreement and that she carried all away. Your orator further sates that after the expiration of about 2 years as nearly as he can now recollect his said wife became again dissatisfied with her situation and returned to his house and for about 3 weeks would stay about two or three days at a time and go away and return and pass   4. her time partly with your orator and partly away after which she became offended because your orator did not pay the aforesaid single bills, which your orator delayed paying because he was informed and believed that she intended as soon as she should git the money for those bills to bring a suit against him, she brought suit against your orator in your honorable Court for a separate maintenance, the circumstances of which suit your Honors are already acquainted with as they appear upon record of your Honorable Court which you can refer to. That upon your orator being brought into your Honorable Court by an attachment he was alarmed and in that situation agreed to give his wife the sum of $2000 including the property formerly given to her. That he might be forever rid of the necessity of supporting his said wife and being harassed by her. This however your orator found would be to him what would amount to his utter ruin: whereupon advised with counsel [illegible] the law who told him, that what had been done in relation to the said suit could not be binding upon him in as much as his said wife was not bound thereby and might still thereafter come upon him for a support if she should waste that property and again become indijent.   5. Whereupon he determined to appeal from the decree of your honors in said suit for maintenance and accordingly did so with the effect of the said decree having been reversed by the court of Appeals. Your orator will further state that upon the said information having been given him he did fourthwith come to the conclusion that his said wife should not live apart form him if he could help it, as he could not in the choice to submit to her Complaints and discontent and whatever other annoyance he might be subjected to by the ascertity of her [illegible] rather than submit to utter ruin as he had a numerous offspring and was old himself and getting to be infirm and approaching the age of helplessness & infirmity that thereupon he went to his said wife & requested her to go home and live with him, promising to be as kind to her as possible and to protect and maintain her at home, and urging the necessity of her going home as it was utterly out of his power to afford her a separate maintenance as it was with the utmost difficulty that he could support his family at home and assuring her that she should not be interfered with by any body. That nevertheless his said wife positively refused to go home with him, or to live with him on any terms.   6. That thereupon he publicly advertised it in a news paper in the City of Washington the National Intelligencer, that his wife had left him and that he forbid all persons from harboring her, in the hope that she would thus be driven to the necessity of returning home to him live with him, which she however still persisted in refusing to do. Your orator further states that when he afterwards heard of the reversal of the said decree of your honors and was informed by his Counsel that he was thereby restored to all his marital rights he again called upon his said wife and requested her to come and live with him promising her again protection & kindness which she still refused to do and on the contrary at the next Term of your Honl Court thereafter filed another petition in your Honl Court praying for alimony your orator should pay to his said wife $120 per annum quarterly during the dependencies of the said list[?]. Your orator will further state that he has been almost reduced to ruin by the necessity of paying that annuity and that he can see no certain prospect of an end to that suit, that his said wife has still retained the said property which he gave to her by order ofvirtue of the said agreement and that the said negro girl has now become a woman and has two children all of whom with the   7. mother are worth $450. That for the purpose of enabling himself to pay the said $120, he went about 4 or 5 weeks ago to the City of Washington where his said wife keeps the said negroes and took them in his possession, as he was advised he had a right to do, and as he was directed by Judge Cranch, before whom he was obliged to go before he could get full possession of them and was about to bring them away when his said wife finding by the Judgment of Judge Cranch, that he had a right to bring them away and use them as his own property, became greatly distressed and offended and agreed that if your orator would suffer the said negroes mother & children to remain with her she would on that account agree never to claim of him any thing more in consequence of the said interlocatory order, and that she would discontinue her suit for alimony and that each party should retain what they had and he quits forever after. Which was assented to by your orator who left the said woman and children with her as agreed upon but said is may it please your honors that since that time she was still persisted in claiming the said allowance of $120 per annum and ordered the sheriff to [illegible] your orator therefor she still refusing to   8 comply with the said agreement all of which oppressive unjust and contrary to Equity and good conscience, wherefore your orator prays your honors to suspend the execution of the said interlacatory order to compel his said wife to appear on this Honorable Court and answer this cross bill and petition and to do for your orator what further Equity he may be entitled to by the Case which he should make out and as is duty bound he will ever pray &c

H. Ashton for Petr

Maryland Prince Georges County towit,

On this 14th day of April 1827 personally appears Joseph Wallingsford party petitioner in the foregoing petition before the subscriber a justice of the peace in and for the County aforesaid & made oath on the Holy Evangelly of Almighty God that the parts stated in the said petition or of his own Knowledge and true and that such as are stated as from the information of others he believes to be true.

Sworn before
Clement T. Hilleary


Maryland Prince Georges County Sct.

I hereby certify that the aforegoing Petition is truly taken and copied from the original filed in my office.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed the seal of Prince Georges County Court this 8th day of January Anno Domino 1835

Aquila Beall Clk of P. G. County Court




Cost $2,20