Transcribed by Mrs. Christine Spivey Jones
This Jackson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court record was transcribed from microfilm reel No. 90 at the Tennessee State Library Archives.
PRICE, NANCY OXENDINE -vs- Jackson PERRY and others. (1840-53).
Holland Denton's answer for Thomas L. and Elizabeth Price, minor heirs of Thomas Price. deceased, to the complaint of William H. DeWitt and others against Nancy Price. He says that the two minor children are not illegitimate children of the said Thomas and Nancy Price, but are their lawful issue. That he knows nothing of his own knowledge of the former marriage of Nancy to Jonathan Oxendine or anything of validity of the same but from what he has learned it was a mere farce and of no validity. Respondent supposes that the matters contained in the Compl. amended bill will be litigated and settled as between Compl. and said mother, Nancy Price, and when it is done it will be decisive of their rights so far as they are interested having fully answered, prays to be dismissed. /s/ Denton & Washburn for defendants.
The answer of Holland Denton., guardian Thomas L. and Elizabeth Price, minor heirs oi Thomas Price, deceased.
Bill of complaint of William H. DeWitt and wife Emiline H., formerly Emiline H. Price, Jackson Perry and wife Sarah R., formerly Sarah R. Price, Samuel Griffith and wife Nancy, formerly Nancy Price, William G. Huffines and wife Jane S., formerly Jane S. Price, all citizens ol Jackson Co., Tennessee against Nancy Price, widow of said deceased, John K. Price and Thomas L. Price, the last two are minors and have no guardian.
Respectfully complaining your orators show your Honor that Luke L. Price, sometime in 1837, departed this life in Jackson Co. leaving a will. Deceased died with some 4 tracts of land left to his widow during her life and at her death to one Luke Price, and a son Campbell Price, and the children of deceased, Thomas Price. The said widow of Luke is dead. DeWitt was named Adm. of Thomas Price in 1852. Question: Which treated the other harshly - Nancy or Price's children? Answer: The children were at fault. They called her Nancy Oxendine and she took more than nearly anyone would.
Edwin Price, about 60 years of age. I am a brother to Thomas Price, deceased. Nancy was always nice. She was good to the children when they were ill and good to her husband. Question: Did you hear bad rumors about Nancy? Did she conduct herself well? Answer: Always. The only person I heard speak against her was Compl Perry. Question: Didn't you say you'd rather Nancy have what your brother had than for his children to get it? Answer: NO, and I am not unfriendly with any of them. Question: Weren't you and your brother mad at each other when he died? Answer: No, we had been unfriendly but were friends when he died. Question: When Perry told you there were bad reports about Nancy in White Co., Tennessee, who was he basing this information on? Answer: I have heard Pleasant Henley and Joseph Roddy. They assigned no reason. Question: Did you know that Tandy K. Witcher, before he died tried to influence Price to take Nancy and live with him? Answer: No. Question: Did you know that after Price learned that Nancy had a living husband in White Co., he became very dissatisfied? Answer: I never heard that Defendant Nancy had a husband. I don't know and I never heard Price mention it. Question: Did you know of defendant living with Thomas Price previous to their marriage? Answer: I never knew of her living with Price until after their marriage.
Elizabeth Myers, age about 48. Question: How close did you live to Nancy? Did she conduct herself as she should? Answer: I lived about 2 miles from her. She was industrious and a respectable woman as far as I knew. Question: Did you ever hear Price mention a first pretended marriage? Did Price inquire into this before he married Nancy? Answer: I had heard it spoken of frequently in the neighborhood but cannot say whether or not Price was aware of it. It was reported that it was a sham marriage. Question: Did you not know that defendant Nancy and Price frequently got angry at each other and also the children. Price's daughter would frequently leave home on that account. Answer: I don't know if Nancy disagreed with Price or his family. She left but I don't know if she went of her own accord or if she was driven off. Question: You will state, if it wasn't commonly reported by Tandy Witcher that Nancy never married in White Co. There was no real marriage. If it is reported that Tandy influenced Price to take Nancy. Answer: I don't know anything about that. Question: Did you know that Price became greatly dissatisfied when report went everywhere that Nancy had a living husband? Answer: I don't think this changed his thinking at all. Question: Say if you ever knew that report was true or untrue that Nancy married Oxendine in White Co. Tennessee. Answer: I always believed it was not a valid marriage. Question: As to the disagreement of defendant and the children of Thomas Price. Say how the people in the county previewed who was at fault. Say Thomas Price was not frequently distressed about the defendant and his children disagreeing? Answer: It was generally said that the children were at fault. I don't know of my own knowledge what Price thought. Question: Say if you were asked if T. K. Witcher did not influence Price to marry Nancy? Say if Mrs. Witcher didn't oppose the marriage? Was Mr. Price a good business man, very level headed and not easily influenced? Answer: Mrs. Witcher was opposed. Price had sense to do his business and as much common sense as anybody. /s/ Elizabeth Myers.
Sarah Griffith, age about 36 years. She has known Nancy 16 to 17 years and lived from 1 to 4 miles from her. Question: How did she treat Price and his children? Answer: She always treated them well. She has the temper of a normal woman. Question: When Nancy got mad and left home, how did she get back? Answer: Polly DeWitt said she brought her back. She also said that the man she married in White Co. objected to Nancy leaving and claimed her as his wife. Price was influenced to take her by T. K. Witcher. Question: Did Nancy go to live with Price before they married? Answer I never heard of it. Question: Did Mrs. Witcher exert influence over Nancy? Answer: I have heard Mrs. Witcher say that Nancy was too young for Price and she would be left a widow. /s/ Sarah Griffith.
David Myers, age about 67 years. Question say how far you have lived from defendant. Answer: Close and she always conducted herself prudently. Question: Say if you know whether Price knew of her earlier marriage? Answer: He told me the night before he married her, that he knew all about it but that she was forced into that marriage or was drunk as he understood. Question: Say if he had been advised as to the legality of that first marriage of Nancy's to Oxendine? Answer: He said something about being advised but I don't remember what he said. He requested me to go to his house and tell his children that he was going to marry and then come back and meet him between my house and the meeting house and bring him a bottle of whiskey. Question: How did his children react to this news? Answer: They were quite displeased. Question: Say if you heard complainants say anything about this marriage? Answer: When I went and told them about his plans to marry, they spoke of the marriage of defendant to Oxendine and said their father had married a "negroe's wife". Question: Do you know from what Price told you, whether or not he believed her marriage to Oxendine was illegal? Answer: He believed that she had a husband in White Co., Tennessee but he didn't care. He stated that she was drunk or forced to marry. Question: Do you think Witcher influenced Price to marry Nancy? Answer; No, I do not. Question: Say if you know the land, the Luke Price tract, that Price willed to the heirs of Thomas Price and his nephew, Luke Price, son of Campbell Price, in the year of 1851 and 1852 and what was it worth? Answer: It was worth one thousand or twelve hundred dollars. /s/ David Myers.
Pleasant Hensley, age about 54 years. I have known Nancy 6 of 7 years and her deportment has always been good. I helped at the sale and some furniture was set aside for Nancy. Nothing was said, so I guess the children of Price did not object. /s/ Pleasant Hensley.
Joseph Roddy, age about 44 years. Question State defendants character for industry and management of household affairs. Has she been kind or unkind to Price's children How many children does she have and their ages? Answer: She has always been industrious. She has two children, the oldest is 8 or 9 years and the youngest is a little over one year old. I have never heard anything against her except for the Perry complaint. He said she was not a prudent person. He said if she was decent, he would not object to her having part of the estate. I told him I thought her prudent and he replied and said "you would not call a whore a decent woman, would you?" He said the proof was in White County, Tennessee. Question: How did Nancy treat Price's children? Answer: Nancy and one of Price's children disagreed and Jane Price; daughter, knocked defendant Nancy down with a stick. He said if I had heard the report from White County I would not think her clever. He did not know this himself. It was reported to him. /s/ Joseph Roddy.
David Griffith, age 66 years old. Question: Have you been acquainted with defendant Nancy Price? Answer: I have been acquainted with her since about 1837. I have been in her home, have heard of her and the Price children disagreeing but have never seen anything of it. Question: Were you in White County, Tennessee when she married Oxendine? Answer: Yes, I was there the night afterwards. I heard nothing. Question: Have you heard of her getting mad and going to her father's house, Isiah Vansandts and remained for days at a time? Didn't Price's daughters leave for days because she was there? Answer: Some said it was the fault of the Price children. Question: Were the Price children satisfied? Answer: I was there the next day. They seemed O.K. Price told me he went to White County and was convinced the marriage was illegal and he married her the next day. Question: Tell how the children of Price felt about his marriage? Answer: They said they would not have objected if he had married someone his age, but he married too young a woman and she had been married to a negro. Price said he went to Sparta, there was no legal record of a marriage but I cannot say that he really did. Question: Say if you were acquainted with Luke L. Price tract of land named in Compl's bill, willed by the said Thomas Price to the children of Thomas and his brother, Campbell Price's son Luke and if so state what it was worth? Answer: About a thousand dollars. /s/ J. G. Cunningham
Leonard Jones, age 52 years. Question: Were you present during the last sickness of Price? Answer: Yes, I was there a short time before his death. I asked him how he was and he said he was very bad and almost gone, that it was an awful thing to think about dying. He told his wife, Nancy, to go and bring his son, John Kenner, and that he wanted him to have a home, and he wanted them both satisfied. John would not come. He seems much distressed and kept away from the room where his father was. Price was anxious to get W. H. DeWitt to write his will. DeWitt refused, saying he did not wish to write a lawsuit, that he did not consider Price in his right mind. I don't think he was in his right mind all of the time I was there. Very quickly he would change and was not sensible. I considered him very sensible when he asked tor John. By 9 or 10 o'clock that night he was almost gone. /s/ Leonard Jones.
John Ferguson, age 28 years. I was there the day before he died at night. I heard him saying he wanted to make a will to leave Nancy a tract of land and also, son John and he wanted both of them to be satisfied about it. Question: Were you there when Leonard Jones was? Answer: No, he came after I left. Question: Did DeWitt write a will for him? Answer: No, he started writing it and Price seemed to drop off to sleep. When he awoke he didn't seem to be in his right mind. For awhile he appeared OK when he awakened. Then he would appear dazed. DeWitt and I decided he was not capable of making a will. /s/ John Ferguson.
Will of LUKE L. PRICE: I, Luke L. Price, of the County of Jackson and State of Tennessee, planter, do make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me made at any time heretofore made and first I direct that my body be decently interred at the Meeting House at Benjamin White's on Jennings Creek in said county in a manner suitable to my condition in life and to such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to intrust me with, I dispose of the same as follows: First, I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my death as possible out of any money that I may die possessed of or may first come into the hands of my Executrix from any portion of my estate, real or personal, Secondly, I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Abigail, all and every part of my estate, real and personal, during her natural life, but should she marry again and my executor should decide that there was an improper use made of the property of my estate or in any way wasting or about to be destroyed then my executors are hereby invested with power to take into their hands the whole of my estate and take care of it in such a way as to save it for her, my wife's, maintenance during her natural life. Thirdly, after my wife, Abigail is deceased, I give and bequeath unto my five brothers and sisters to wit: Nathan Price, Campbell Price, Edwin Price, Thomas Price, Kinney C. Carter, and Sally Gettings, severally and each of them ten dollars apiece out of what there remains. Fourthly; I give and bequeath all that remains after my wife's decease and the bequeaths above made unto my brother Campbell Price's son, Luke and all my brothers.
Thomas Price's children, to be equally divided between them giving each an equal share provided my brother Campbells' son, Luke Price should live until the decease of my wife Abigail, then and in that case his share shall be equally divided between all my brothers. Thomas Price's children, as before mentioned, I do hereby make and ordain and appoint my beloved wife, Abigail, Executrix and my esteemed neighbor and friend, David Myers, and my beloved brother, Thomas Price, Executors of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof, I Luke L. Price, the said tester have to this my will written one hall sheet of paper, set my hand and seal this 3rd day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty seven, signed sealed, and published in the presence of us who have subscribed in the presence of the tester and in the presence of each other. /s/ Luke. L. Price. Witnesses: Samuel DeWitt, Tandy K. Witcher, and David (X) Myers.
To Joseph D. Hyder, Esquire, an Acting Justice of the Peace for White Co., Tennessee. Know ye that we espousing special trust and confidence in your fidelity have appointed you and by these presents do give unto you full power and authority diligently to examine such witnesses in behalf of the Coml.'s and Defendants as required and such witness you will call before you on a day and at a place to be designated by you and after you have sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God to speak the truth you will proceed to examine them touching or matters in controversy between the parties in a suit now pending in the Chancery Court at Gainesboro wherein William H. DeWitt, Jackson Perry and others are the complainants and Nancy Price and others are the defendants, which examinations you shall reduce to writing in your presence and you will send it to our Court on or before the 1st Wednesday of July next. February 1854.
Know all men by these present that Jonathan Oxendine and Hilson Oxendine, all of the County of White and State of Tennessee are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency Newton Cannon, Esq., Governor in and over the State of Tennessee the sum of $1250.00, void on condition that their is no lawful objection by Jonathan Oxendine and Nancy Martin should be joined together as man and wife in the Holy state of matrimony. Thus shall the above obligation be null and void otherwise be and remain in full force and virtue. Witness our hands and seals this 4th day of March 1837. /s/ Jonathan Oxendine and Hilson
Return of Justice
I hereby certify that I performed the rites of matrimony between the written couple before witnesses. The 4th March 1837. /s/ William Bartlett, Justice of the Peace.
William Buckner, age about 41 years. Question: Nancy Price, formerly Nancy Martin, lived at your house previous to the time that she married Oxendine. State how long she lived at your house. Answer: About one year. Question: Did Oxendine visit her when she lived at your house. Answer: No, one time a group came by my house and they stopped in my yard. He was in the group. Question: Did you know of Jonathan Oxendine courting Nancy? Answer: Never. I saw her the next morning and I asked her if a wedding was performed at Newel Jackson's. She said she guessed so. I told her she'd better go live with him then. She said she'd die first. She said she did not go to Jackson's with intention of getting married. Newell had a bottle with liquor in it. Nancy was a person who was much affected by alcohol when she drank too much. I have seen her that way many times. Question: Who did Nancy live with when she was not with you? Answer: She lived with her reputed father some and also with her grandmother Martin and also a part of the time with her mother. Question: Was Nancy distressed when you talked to her about marrying Oxendine because she thought you were mad or because she was already sick of the deal? Answer: I was not mad. I told her if she had married him she ought as well live with him because neither of them was able to get a divorce and she could never marry anyone else. Question: How long was it after she married before the defendant left the neighborhood and went to her reputed father's on Jennings Creek? Question: Do you know why Nancy left the neighborhood? Did Oxendine try to get her to live with him? Did she ever live with him after she left that next morning? Answer: I saw Oxendine try to force her to go with him. He pulled and dragged her in a rough manner to persuade he to go with him. She lay on the ground until he left. I told him he had better leave her alone. She never lived with him after the night of the marriage. I would have known about it. Question: How far did you live from Newell Jackson? How far did Oxendine live from you? Where were you and your wife when Nancy was married? Answer: My wife and I left Nancy at our home when we left about 3 hours before the wedding and we got back after dark. She was to have taken care of our house and she was gone. Oxendine lived about 3 and 1/2 miles from us and Newel Jackson lived about a mile. Question: Who saw Oxendine trying to drag his wife home besides you? Answer: Mistress Martin. Ouestion: Did the relatives of Nancy try to persuade her not to live with Oxendine? Answer: No, but their conduct showed they opposed it and that might have influenced her. /s/ William Buckner.
William Hunter, age about 71 years. Question: How old was Nancy when she was married? Answer: From her appearance, she was not fully grown. Question: Was she intelligent? Answer: She was quite ordinary, I don't know whether she had a father or not. Question: Do you know Jonathan Oxendine? Did he have negro blood in him? Answer: From his looks, I'd say he had no negro blood. Question: Do you know his Mother? Answer: Yes. Question: Do those in the neighborhood think that Jonathan and Hilson Oxendine are full or half brothers? Answer: I don't know. From what I've heard they had one Mother but different Fathers. Jonathan was the oldest. Polly next, and Mandy was the youngest. Jonathan and Polly are lighter skinned than Hilson and Mandy. Question: Have you heard that Jonathan Oxendine had a white father? Answer: Yes. I've heard he was a white. Question: Have you noticed that Oxendines hair is kinky? Answer: He is swarthy and has black hair but I've never seen kinks. /s/ William Hunter.
Nancy Martin, age about 73 years. I am her Grandmother. She was going on 13 years of age. She lived with me, also her Mother, also Buckner and his wife. She had no education, could neither read or write. Question: Did Oxendine court her? Answer: Never. Question: Did she seemed dissatisfied after the marriage? Answer: As distressed as anyone I've ever seen. When I got there, she was crying on the ground. Question: What did she tell you about the marriage? Answer: She was at Buckners and he and his wife left her and Rosy Verble and an infant. When they left, Newell Jackson and his wife came and begged her to stay with his wife while he went to the store. When she got there, they were heating liquor. When he came back, he brought William Bartlett and Oxendine with him. When the liquor gave out, she did not know what happened. She said when she came to, she learned she was married. As soon as she could get away, she did. She didn't live with Oxendine an hour. She said her marrying him had never entered her head. Question: Describe Omaha, Mother of Jonathan Oxendine. Answer; She was very dark skinned, her hair was kinky. She looked mix-blooded. Jonathan had dark skin and did not look clear-blooded. His hair was dark and curly. /s/ Nancy Martin.
Isaac Buck, age 54 years. Describe Omaha Oxendine. Answer: I am not well acquainted with her. Question: What about Jonathan, does he have negro blood? Answer: I do not think so. Question: What about Jonathan's half brother, Hilson? Answer: I have heard him tell Jonathan that if he were part negro he would be of some account. Hilson acknowledged black blood. Question: Say whether or not there is 1/8th negro blood in Hilson? Isn't it said in the neighborhood that Jonathan and Hilson have the same Mother, who is an Indian, but different Fathers? Answer: That is my understanding. /s/ Isaac Buck.
David Nicholas, age about 45 years. Question: Did you know Jonathan Oxendine's Father? Answer: I was acquainted with old man Oxendine but I don't know if he was Jonathan's father. He was very dark and looked to be part negro. I've known Jonathan since he was 15. Question: Do you know Hilson Oxendine, the son of David Oxendine? Do you consider him to be mixed blooded? Answer: Yes, I knew Hilson. His skin was yellow and his hair kinky He had the appearance of being mixed blooded. Question: Do you know anything of the marriage of Jonathan Oxendine? Answer: I know nothing, but I heard that they married in a drunken frolic. I do not think Jonathan is part negro at all. He has the appearance of being mixed blood with Indian or Porteguese but no negro. /s/ David Nichols.
Newell Jackson, age 42 years. I and Jonathan are cousins. I never saw him talking to Nancy but once. He saw her at Buckner's and he said that he was going to marry Nancy Martin. I have heard Aunt Oma say Jonathan's father was a white man.
Question: Do you think negro blood is in either of the boys? Answer: No, none. Question: Who did Judith Grant marry?: Answer: John Madewell.
Anna Jackson, about 41 or 42 years old. She said Nancy wanted to marry Jonathan, they slept together and there was no crying. etc, from Nancy. /s/ Anne Jackson.
William Rogers, 67 years old. I have lived in this neighborhood ever since February 1816. I've known all of them. One of my brothers partly raised Hilson, Oma was of dark complexion and long straight black hair. She had Indian blood, I can't think she had any negro blood. From the looks of our slaves. I'd say Jonathan is not part black. Question: In the neighborhood what is the thinking about Jonathan and Hilson being full or half brothers? Answer: Most think they are half-brothers. Question: Did Oma have any negro kinks in her hair? Answer: None. Question: Did you know Nancy? Answer Yes, she was about 13 or 14. Question: Have you seen Jonathan vote? Answer: Yes, and no one objected. /s/ William (X) Rogers.
The separate answer of Nancy Price, widow of Thomas Price, deceased to the bill filed in Chancery Court by William H. DeWitt and Jackson Perry by said DeWitt and wife Emillia, Jackson Perry and wife, Sally and others against said Nancy Price, John K. Price, and Thomas L. Price and others. She supposes that Luke L. Price departed this life in 1837 leaving his last will and testament and the copy presented she supposes is a true copy and that Luke died possessed of four tracts of land. Respondent denies that co-defendant John K. Price and Co-defendant are the only legatees entitled to said land and insists that her son Thomas L. Price as well as all children of her deceased husband are entitled to an equal share. She supposes about 1850 her deceased husband and she together did file a bill in Chancery Court for the purpose of selling land upon a 12 months credit, but the Clerk and Master did sell said land and her husband, Thomas Price, became the purchaser. Her husband paid off to all who were entitled to a distributive share except Luke Price, son of Campbell Price, and his sons John K. and Thomas L. to Nancy Griffith, wife of Louis T. She admits her husband died interstate in October 1852 and she is his lawful widow and that she is now and was at the time of his death, pregnant by said Thomas Price and she will be delivered of said child about the 1st of March next. She further states that she is not advised as to the time of Luke Price and his widow. His son, Thomas L. was born about the 11th of December 1844 and denies by the express terms of the will that her son, Thomas L. would not be entitled to any portion of said land or the proceeds of the sale of the same. Respondent is not advised whether Luke Price is dead or not or when he died. She also was not advised that her husband had been appointed trustee for his daughter, Nancy Griffith by the Court because her husband, Sam T. Griffith, was an improvident man and not safe for him to have control of her portion. Her husband advanced each and all of his children and kept a record so that some day he could hold each one accountable. One child, Thomas L., never took any money and the unborn child also will inherit a distributive share from his father.
Catherine Buckner, age about 40 years. Yes, I know Nancy, she lived at my house a year or two before her marriage. I never knew her to court Oxendine. Question: Tell about the first time you saw her after her marriage. Answer: She came to my house at about sunrise. Question: What was her appearance? Answer: She appeared distressed. She came in crying and cried until her Mother and Grandmother came. I asked her why she married. She said they got her drunk and she did not know of the marriage until she was sober. Question: Are you the wife of William Buckner? Answer: I am. Question: Did she wear her best for the wedding? Answer: No, her everyday clothes.
John Jackson, 85 years ot age. Question: What relation are you to Oma Oxendine? Answer: My father and mother said she was my sister. Question: Which is oldest, you or Oma? Answer: I am the oldest. by about 10 years. Question: Who was the reputed father of Qxendine? Answer: Bill Williams Question: How old was Jonathan before his Mother took up with Oxendine? Answer: He was about 4 years. Question: State whether Bill Williams, reputed father of Jonathan was mixed blood. Answer: He was a white man and recognized as such. Question: Where did Oma and Oxendine live? Answer: They lived in the flat woods on the waters of Blackburns Fork. Question: How are you related to Jonathan Oxendine? Answer: He is my sister's son. Question: Say what kin you are to Newell Jackson. Answer: He is my brother's son. Question: Say if you are related to David Jackson who used to live in Jackson Co, and what kin Jonathan is to said David. Answer: He is my brother's son and David Jackson and Jonathan's mother are brother and sister. /s/ John (X) Jackson.
John C. Jackson, age about 38 years. Question: Did you see Oxendine trying to force Nancy to live with him? Answer: Yes and she was distressed. /s/ John C. Jackson.
J. G. Cunningham, age 44 years. Question: Do you know Abigail Pipikin? Who had she married before she married Pipikin? Answer: I knew her from 1828 or 30 up to her death. She was wife of Luke L. Price. I can't say exactly when Luke Price died. It was about 1837 or 1838. He was the brother of Thomas Price. Abigail, his widow, married Pipikin in one or two years after Luke's death. She died about 1844 to the best of my recollections. /s/ J. G. Cunningham.
Separate answer of W. H. DeWitt. He cannot say with certainty that Nancy Price is the lawful widow of Thomas. He admits she was pregnant at the death of Thomas Price. He does not admit that Thomas L. Price is the lawful heir of said Price. He is the child of Nancy. He is informed that Thomas L. Price was born after the death of Luke L. Price and he believes that said Thomas L. is not entitled to any portion of the lands of Luke L. Price according to the terms of the will. /s/ A. W. DeWitt, Guardian 1st April, 1834.
Bill Luke, son of Campbell, died without issue, that Michajah, William, Eveline, Sarah, Thomas, Elizabeth, and Irwin were his brother's and sister's, his only heirs. Family said she only pretended to marry Price. She had already married Jonathan Oxendine in White County, Tennessee on the 4th of March 1837 and they had never been divorced, so he was her legal husband when she married Thomas Price.
Separate answer of Nancy Price, widow of Thomas Price. Says her name is not Nancy Oxendine as charged in Compl's. bill. She never assigned herself this name or been known by it. If any one called her this, it was for the purpose of casting reproach upon her. She says at one time it is true that there was some sort of pretended marriage solemnized between her and one Jonathan Oxendine, but she denies any recollection of the occurrence is such a thing occurred. At the time, she was quite young, had not arrived at womanhood and was a child in age. She was raised very poor in an obscure portion of the county, had no education, no father to council her. Her mother was poor, uninformed and inexperienced. She was induced to go to the home of a neighbor, one Newell Jackson, to attend to his wife who was sick at the time and after going there was induced to drink intoxicating liquor so as to render her unconscious of what was done. She has been informed that Oxendine was there and some sort of marriage was performed. She has no recollection of the matter. She never agreed to a marriage. When she came to herself, she was in bed with him. She wept bitterly when told that she had married. She has never recognized him as her husband, and she refused to live with him. She states that Oxendine never mentioned marriage to her before the pretended marriage. He had the appearance of belonging to the African race to her. It would have been degrading to her if he had addressed her on the subject.
Respondent here admits that the matter and things set forth that are charged and alleged in their original bill in the mature of a bill of review as well as she knows are correctly recited. Respondent states that she would be much astonished in discovering that she and the said Thomas Price, deceased, were never lawfully married. She and the said Price were married on or about the 26th day of August 1840 as will appear by a copy of the record of the same here filed (Exhibit A). She did not suppose it would ever be controvert until she had been informed that Compl'ts. were disposed to raise the question. Respondent states that she and Price were lawfully married as shown above and continued to live together as husband and wife from that time until his death which was a space of 13 years, that she was discharged with fidelity for her obligations to him as a wife and deported herself towards him and his family in a becoming manner. Although subjected to many of the of unpleasantness of stepmothers' fate, she has ever borne hers with meekness and submission. She has two children, the lawful issue of her and Thomas Price's marriage. She was allotted a year's support as the widows get and she is entitled to a dower, but she has never gotten all of her year's support. She has two very small children to care for, consequently, has not had it in her power to improve her means much. She is entitled to all rights and privileges of a married woman. She denies the validity of a pretended marriage to Jonathan Oxendine. She never gave her consent or entered into a contract. She never lived with him. That Jonathan Oxendine was a negro, was mixed blooded, a mulatto, and said marriage was null and void. That Price was fully advised as to all of the particulars of the pretended marriage, and was advised by lawyers that it was void. She prays to be dismissed with reasonable costs. /s/ Denton & Washburn, Solicitors for Defendant.
She appeared 14 January 1854 and stated all of the above was true. State of Tennessee, White County.
On this 15th day of January in the office of the County Court clerk, I have proceeded to take the deposition of George G. Dibrell and William H. DeWitt and wife concerning a case in Jackson County, Tennessee, where Nancy Price is the defendant. Question: Are you acquainted with the handwriting of Nicholas Oldham who was Clerk of the Court and signed when Jonathan Oxendine and Nancy Martin got a license to marry? Answer: I know his writing and this license has his genuine signature. He now lives in Waxahatchie, Texas, Ellis County. /s/ G. G. Dibrell, also signed by Hugh S. Carrick.
I hereby certify that I performed the rites of matrimony between the within couple, that is Jonathan Oxendine and Nancy Martin, before witnesses on the 4th of March 1837. /s/ William Bartlett, Justice of the Peace.
State of Tennessee, Putnam County. On this 1st day of November 1854 at the house of John Madewell, I, Joseph D. Hyder, an acting J.P., have proceeded to take depositions.
Judith Madewell, age about 32 years. Question: Do you know Jonathan Oxendine and Nancy Martin? Answer: Yes, I've known both of them. I never knew them to court before they married. They were married at Newell Jackson's. William Bartlett performed the ceremony. Question: Was the couple drunk or sober? Answer: Sober. Question: Say whether Nancy went to bed that night with Jonathan? Did they eat breakfast together? Answer: She went to bed by herself Yes, she and Jonathan were in the same bed. No, they did not eat breakfast together. Nancy and myself started to Mr. Buckner's early the next morning to get Nancy's clothes. She was willing to go live with Jonathan until she talked with her mother and her grandmother. The advised her not to. Question: What did Nancy say the night before her marriage? Answer: She said she didn't want Buckner or any of his family to know that she and Jonathan were getting married. Question: Did Nancy say anything to Jonathan the next morning about getting someone to live with them? Answer: Yes, she said to him to get his sister, Polly, to live with them. Question: Did anyone force Nancy to marry? Answer; No. Question: How are you related te Nancy? Answer: She is my 2nd cousin. Newell Jackson's wife is my sister. Question: Why did so many of you sit up all night after the wedding Answer: There were few beds available. /si Judith (X) Madewell.