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Reports of Cases in the High Court of Chancery of Maryland 1846-1854
Volume 200, Volume 1, Page 356   View pdf image (33K)
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in the state, unless upon terms incompatible with the unrestricted enjoyment
of the devise, the latter must fail.

Slaves manumitted since the act of 1831, ch. 281, cannot remain in this state in
a condition of freedom, though the Orphans Courts may, in their discretion, give
them annual permits to remain, as by said act is provided.

[The principal question presented by this case, the facts of
which will sufficiently appear in the opinion of the Chancellor,
was, whether certain negroes, manumitted by will since the act
of 1831, chap. 281, and consequently incapable of residing
within the state, were entitled to a devise of certain real estate,
made to them by the same will:]


Without meaning to decide that a master may not, since the
act of 1831, chap. 281, manumit his slaves by will, and, at the
same time make to them an effectual devise of real estate, I am
yet of opinion, that the devise in the will of Ignatius Semmes,
upon which the question_in this case arises, must fail.

The will was executed in April, 1843, and the testator died
soon afterwards. By it he gives freedom to several of his
slaves, to each of whom he bequeathed a pecuniary legacy of
three hundred dollars, of which several of them have received
the sum of two hundred and fifty-nine dollars and fifty-four
cents, that being the dividend of the personal assets applicable
to the purpose, and it is not understood that the claim of the
unsatisfied legatees to that extent is controverted.

But, in addition to the bequest of freedom, and the pecuniary
legacy, the will contains the following clause: "I will and
devise, that my executor shall cause to be erected on some
part of my farm, called Rose Hill, (the place to be selected by
the above manumitted negroes,) a good substantial dwelling
house, with one brick chimney, which house, together with two
acres of land adjoining thereto, I give and devise to the above
manumitted negroes and their heirs forever."

Now, it seems to me, that the testator intended by this de-
vise, to provide the negroes in question, with a habitation to
live in, and, as this intent comes in conflict with the policy of

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Reports of Cases in the High Court of Chancery of Maryland 1846-1854
Volume 200, Volume 1, Page 356   View pdf image (33K)
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