Monday, July 27, 2009

William Mullis vs. Elizabeth Doughty 1842

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Amanuensis Monday, hosted by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch.

I have been trying to transcribe some records in addition to the letters. This slander suit was found online in the Munice/Delaware County Digital Resource Library. There is nothing in the file that tells what the out come of the lawsuit was. The key point for me is the mention of Ohio. Had Elizabeth lived in Ohio or was she repeating something she was told by her future husband, James Graham? She was represented by a Mr. Buckles and Rachel Graham was married to Thomas N. Buckles.

State of Indiana In the Delaware Circuit Court
Delaware County September Term 1842

Wiliam Mullis Plaintiff complains of Elizabeth Doughty defendant in custody +C of a plea of Trespass on the case for that whereas the said William Mullis is and always has been a good honest + faithful citizen of the State of Indiana and has sustained a fair charactor among all his neighbours for integrity and has never been guilty or suspected of the atrocious crime of Larceny yet the said Elizabeth Doughty well knowing the premises but contriving and intending maliciously and wickedly to Injure + destroy his charactor and to bring him into disgrace amongst all his neighbours and to Expose him to the penalties of the law for larceny did on the first day of April in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred + forty two at the county of Delaware letter and publish in the presence and hearing of devers persons the following false malicious + ______ words to + of and concerning the said plaintiff that is to say you (meaning the said plaintiff) stole a horse in the state of Ohio and had to run away for it you (the plaintiff meaning) had To run away from Ohio for stealing a horse and I (the defendant meaning) can prove it. thereby meaning that the said plaintiff had been and was guilty of Larceny by means of the committing of which said several grievences by the said defendant the said plaintiff says he is Injured + hath sustained Damages to the amount of one thousand Dollars + therefore he brings his suit od

Marshall atty for Pllff

Elizabeth Doughty
William Mullis

Case in the Delaware Circuit Court

And the said Defendant Elizabeth Doughty who is an infant under the age of twenty one years, to wit, of the age of sevenateen years, by Smith + Buckles her attornies comes and defends the wrong and injury when +c. and says that she is not guilty of the said supposed grievances above laid to her charge, or any or either of them in manner and form as the said William Mullis hath above thereof complained against her and of the said Elizabeth Doughty puts herself upon the country.

Smith + Buckles Attys for Dft

and the plaintiff by c____ comes ______ the like
John Marshall Atty for patf


Patti Browning said...


I saw a link to your blog from another I read and was reading through this with interest when a part of your case popped out at me. I don't know how much research you did into the legal terminology used in this case but I've been forced to with a case of my own. I thought I'd pass a tidbit of knowledge along for you and if you know it already, then my apologies in advance! :)

The charge of "Trespass On The Case" has a meaning slightly different from what trespass (basically physical violation of property and/or person) itself means. For a lengthier explanation, please see my blog entry about it at:

since it's easier to refer you to the post than it is to type it all out again!

I hope I've helped!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...


Thank you very much! I hadn't looked it up but I did wonder why the charge wasn't libel or slander.