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State vs. Gleason....
190 278 135
Thomas, Rain vs...
493 Timanus, Freeman vs..
393 Timanus, Frisbee and Johnson vs.....
300 Timanus, Frisbee and Johnson (Administrators) vs.... 537 Titus, Work & Son vs..
628 Truluck and Holland, Dibble vs..
Underwood vs. Underwood....
Walker vs. Gatlin....
9 166 315 543 628 478
NOTE.—The Head Notes in each case were prepared by the Judge who delivered the opinion, as required by law.
Supreme Court of Florida,
AT TERMS HELD IN 1867-'8.
DAVID S. WALKER, APPELLANT, VS. JAMES H. GATLIN,
The warranty contained in a bill of sale given for a negro, that he was to
be a "slave for life," is not broken by the subsequent act of the Gov ernment which abolished in the Southern States the institution of negro slavery.
Appeal from Leon Circuit Court.
This case was decided at Tallahassee.
A statement of the case is contained in the opinion of the Court.
R. B. Hilton and A. L. Woodward for Appellant.
J. D. Westcott for Appellee.
A covenant that a slave is a slave for life, is repealed by the act of a convention of the people of a State, abolishing slavery, and the destruction or deprivation of property by such action is no breach of the covenant—5th Cowen, 538, and cases there cited.
The covenant does not extend to the acts of the government-it is restricted to parties, not strangers. A covenant for quiet enjoyment does not extend to a
Walker vs. Gatlin-Opinion of Court.
forcible eviction by a stranger claiming no right through covenantor.
The covenant is good also, for at the time he was a slave for life.
A covenant for quiet possession is subject to the right of eminent domain.—7 Mass. ; 325.
The covenant has reference only to the status of the property at the date of the contract, and if there was no defect in the title then, no supervening event can affect the rights of the parties.
M. D. Papy on the same side.
The appellant, together with one Joseph H. Alston, was the joint maker of a promissory note, dated February, 1861, and payable on or before the first day of October, 1862. This note was given to secure a part of the price agreed to be paid by the said Alston to the appellee for a negro. The appellee executed to Alston a bill of sale for the property, containing a clause of warranty, that the negro was “a slave for life.” The note not having been paid at maturity, suit was instituted and a judgment obtained thereon at the March Term, 1864, of the Leon Circuit Court.
Subsequently, to-wit: on the 28th day of March, A. D. 1866, the appellant filed his bill for an injunction to restrain the enforcement of the judgment at law, alleging as ground of equity "that said Gatlin warranted said slave to be a slave for life; that said slave is still living; that since the making of said note, and rendition of said judgment, the Government of the United States has destroyed slavery in this State, and the people of this State, in convention assembled, have declared in their Constitution that all the inhabitants of this State, without distinction of color, are free, and that slavery shall not in future exist in this State.” He