- Nov 26, 2016
- central NC
Apparently he did. The old Chancery Court record books of Madison County document (Record Book R, pages 496 – 511) the Chancery Case Number 374 involving Dent family members and the family of James Longstreet of Richmond County, Georgia. This James Longstreet died in 1833, leaving a very detailed Last Will and Testament drawn up in 1830. His son James, who later became General Longstreet was one of the Complainants in the case against his mother, Mary Ann Dent Longstreet, and co-defendant Edmund Toney of Triana.
General James Longstreet's mother.
General James Longstreet's mother.
The case was first filed in the 32nd District of the Northern Alabama Chancery Division in Huntsville on December 29, 1852. It was resolved with a judgment in favor of the defendants on June 2, 1854, with the complainants having to pay all court costs in the case. The case concerned the possible violation of the terms of the will in respect to the inheritances of the children of James and Mary Ann Dent Longstreet. The executors of the will were the widow (co-defendant) Mary Ann Dent Longstreet and her oldest son William plus her brother-in-law Augustus Longstreet. The Longstreet children (complainants) were William D. (one of the executors of the will), James (CSA general-to-be), Henrietta (wife of Archibald Mills Clemens, son of James Clemens, who was Founder of Madison), Rebecca (wife of Reuben Ruff), Julia (wife of William E. Murphy), Eliza B. (wife of Walter B. Lucas), Maria N. (wife of Elisha Dismukes) and Sarah Jane (unmarried). The registered complainants also included Mary Ann Dent (only child of Anna Longstreet Dent, who had died), “an infant, under the age of twenty-one.” Mary Ann Dent was represented in the case by her “next friend, Hutchinson Dent.”
The dispute centered around the distribution of the numerous slaves of the Longstreet estate, two of whom had been sold to Edmund Toney, thereby involving him in the case as a defendant. Distribution of the elements of the estate among the senior James Longstreet heirs was to have been done by 1847, but the distribution had not been done as of 1854. The case was adjudicated in northern Alabama not only because of Edmund Toney, but also because after the passing of the senior James Longstreet in Georgia, the family had moved to Somerville in Morgan County, Alabama. Somerville is just across the Tennessee River from the Toney family holdings in Madison County, which was the location of the Chancery Court for the area including Morgan County as well as several other counties in northern Alabama at the time. By the time of prosecution of the case, James Longstreet's widow and most of his children and slaves had again relocated to Noxubee County, Mississippi. However, the Toney involvement and the fact that the questionable and delayed division of estate property had occurred while the family resided in Somerville kept jurisdiction there.
I have seen vague references to this case in various books and articles written about General Longstreet. I have also read that General Longstreet no longer spoke to his mother after this lawsuit. I have had little luck finding information about this. @War Horse, @GELongstreet[USER=9326], @FarawayFriend, @lelliott19, @novushomus, and @Zella, do you have any knowledge of this? My interested got piqued again tonight when I discovered this information while reading about the Dent family.[/USER]