61 S.W. 630 (Mo. 1901), Lee v. Lee

Citation:61 S.W. 630, 161 Mo. 52
Opinion Judge:VALLIANT, J.
Party Name:PETER LEE et al. v. MARY ANN LEE et al., Appellants
Attorney:John E. Wait and Robert Miller, with Kitt & Kitt for appellants. J. M. Davis & Sons, with James L. Minnis and Joseph Barton for respondents.
Judge Panel:VALLIANT, J. Marshall, J., absent.
Case Date:March 12, 1901
Court:Supreme Court of Missouri
 
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Page 630

61 S.W. 630 (Mo. 1901)

161 Mo. 52

PETER LEE et al.

v.

MARY ANN LEE et al., Appellants

Supreme Court of Missouri, First Division

March 12, 1901

Appeal from Livingston Circuit Court. -- Hon. E. J. Broaddus, Judge.

Affirmed.

John E. Wait and Robert Miller, with Kitt & Kitt for appellants.

(1) The court erred in finding that plaintiffs were heirs at law of Handy Lee, deceased, and entitled to an interest in this land. 1 Bishop on M. D. & S., secs. 654 to 659; Johnson v. Johnson, 45 Mo. 595; Branch v. Walker, 102 N. Car. 32, 8 S.E. 896; State v. Harris, 63 N. Car. 1; Cantelou v. Hood, 56 Ala. 519; Harris v. Cooper, 31 U. C. Q. B. 182; Livingston v. Williams, 75 Tex. 653; Andrews v. Simmons, 68 Miss. 732; State v. Sapp. 10 S.C. 500; Pierce v. Fontenette, 25 La. Ann. 617; Wallace v. Kimball (Fla.), 26 L. R. A. 746; 1 Cooley's Blackstone (3 Ed.), sec. 2, p. 454; 2 Kent's Com. (13 Ed.), p. 212; Doe v. Vardill, 5 B. & C. 438; Brithwhistle v. Vardill, 7 C. L. & Fin. 817; Story Confl. Laws, sec. 93; Wharton, Confl. Laws, sec. 240; Bent v. St. Urian, 30 Mo. 268; Marshall v. Railroad, 120 Mo. 281; State v. Clinton, 67 Mo. 380; Dyer v. Brannock, 2 Mo.App. 449; R. S. 1899, secs. 2919 and 2920; Laws 1865, p. 23; secs. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, chap. 113, G. S. 1865. (2) The court erred in not finding that defendant Mary Ann Lee was entitled to the homestead in said land and further erred in ordering said land to be sold, the widow Mary Ann Lee not consenting thereto. R. S. 1879, secs. 2689 and 2693. (3) The court erred in allowing plaintiffs to maintain partition without first establishing their rights by ejectment. Rozier v. Griffith, 31 Mo. 171; Wommack v. Whitmore, 58 Mo. 448; Shaw v. Gregoire, 41 Mo. 407; Snell v. Harrison, 131 Mo. 495; Hutson v. Hutson, 139 Mo. 229; Estes v. Nell, 140 Mo. 650.

J. M. Davis & Sons, with James L. Minnis and Joseph Barton for respondents.

(1) Plaintiffs are heirs at law of Handy Lee. Under the law of descent and distribution of this State, regulating who shall inherit where children have been born of slave marriages, the finding for plaintiffs was correct. R. S. 1899, sec. 2920; Woodward v. Blue (N. C.), 9 S.E. 492; Wallace v. Godfrey, 42 F. 812; Dyer v. Brannock, 66 Mo. 390 (overruling 2 Mo.App. 449); Johnson v. Johnson, 30 Mo. 72; Buchanan v. Harvey, 35 Mo. 276; Andrews v. Page, 3 Heisk. 653; Brown v. Cheatham (Tenn.) 17 S.W. 1033. (2) Plaintiffs are not illegitimate children. 22 Am. and Eng. Ency. of Law, 794; Bishop on Marriage and Divorce (6 Ed.), sec. 163 b; Brown v. Cheatham (Tenn.) 17 S.W. 1033. (3) The law in America is that descent and distribution laws are regulated solely by the legislatures of the respective states, and may be changed, enlarged or curtailed from time to...

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