Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Defendants
William Louie et al.

Leah Beasley married George Washington on the James Beasley's place before the Civil War. Their marriage was never legalized but they were married according to the customs of slavery. Leah and George did not have children together. They both died intestate, without a will, leaving 50 acres in Copiah County, Mississippi, at dispute among their heirs. George died in 1900; Leah in 1902.

The defendants in the case were the nieces and nephews of Leah Beasley Washington.

Leah was born about 1815 in Tennessee. She was the daughter of a white man named Louie from Texas and a slave woman Dina. She chose the surname Beasley as this was her owner's surname.

James Beasley, Leah's slave owner, owned 15 slaves per the 1860 Copiah County Slave Schedule.

Leah's husband George lived on the Hooker's place which was about two and half miles from Leah's home. According to the tradition in this community, husbands were allowed to visit their wives Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights, known as "wife nights." On those nights, the "patta rolls" could not bother them.

Beliah Louie and Aaron Beasley/Mitchell were Leah's brothers. Beliah Louie and Leah shared the same set of parents, Aaron and Leah shared the same mother but not the same father. The brothers' children were Leah's heirs, the defendants.

The Louie defendants were: Bert Louie of Lincoln County, MS; William Louie of Windfield, Kansas; Ida Louie Hartly of Sunflower County, MS; and James Louie, Preston Louie, Nancy Louie Mack, Lizzie Louie Cason, Wade Louie, Burrel Louie, John Louie, and Allen Louie all of Copiah County, MS.

The Mitchell defendant was Jennie Mitchell Robinson of Copiah County, MS.

The defendants charged that George Washington left only one heir at the time of his death, his wife Leah. The defendants also questioned the paternity of George Washington's son Jim Washington. They believed Jim was not a son of George Washington, thus Jim's children were not heirs of George Washington.

Copiah County Chancery Court Records
Case Number: 3260
Microfilm Number: 8245
Record found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

How do the defendants connect to my family tree?
My granduncle, Haber Overton of Copiah County, married a Rosa Louie. At this time, I don't have enough information to connect Rosa to this Louie family.

Next Post - The Settlement


  1. Nothing like leaving no will to bring out the cantakerousness in the heirs.

  2. What an interesting story, but I don't know how you are keeping it all straight! I'm waiting for the mystery to keep unravelling.

  3. I agree with Kristin about the will. I'm looking forward to your next post. It will be interesting to see what the settlement was, and how paternity was decided for this case since it was long before the days of DNA testing.