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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: January 2020

Chapter 14 - Violet

Summary

William H. Williams left behind a wealthy widow, Violet, who soon remarried. Violet Williams Abell navigated the 1862 abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, applying for compensation for the five bondpeople emancipated under the new law. As administratror of her deceased first husband’s estate, Violet Williams also endured the lingering legal problems associated with the convict slaves purchased from Virginia for transportation outside the country. In 1847, Allison Nailor of Washington, D.C. allegedly purchased an ownership stake in the enslaved convicts whom William H. Williams had carried to New Orleans. He sued the widow Violet Williams Abell to recover his claimed share of the profits from their sale. His case reached the US Supreme Court in 1869, where it was decided against him. The chapter concludes with brief histories of William H. and Violet Williams’ four daughters and their families.