Braxton v. Gaines

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Braxton v. Gaines, Hening and Munford Vol. IV 151 (1809),[1] discussed whether the slave of a child, deemed a purchaser for a valuable consideration, but living with its father, entitled the father’s creditors to mortgage the slave to satisfy the father’s debt.


Gaines, as an executor of Robert Page, along with another plaintiff representative, sued the widow and children of Carter Braxton over certain slaves and property believed to be mortgaged to the decedent. Miss Braxton, who was in possession of Thamar and her two children, contended that Thamar was her possession. Miss Braxton stated that her grandfather Richard Corbin had given her father, Carter Braxton, a sum of money to invest in her. Upon losing the money, Carter Braxton, in return, gave Miss Braxton the slave. The issue before the court was who was in possession of the slave and whether Thamar was gift given by her father or rather Miss Braxton was a bona fide purchaser.

The Court's Decision

The late Chancellor Wythe decided that Ms. Braxton had no title to the slaves, and that the slaves should be sold by a Commission. The Court reversed and found her to be a purchaser through consideration from her grandfather.

See also


  1. Daniel Call, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Appeal of Virginia: with Select Cases, relating Chiefly to Points of Practice, Decided by the Superior Court of Chancery for the Richmond District, (Richmond: I. Riley, 1811), 151.