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Alba, Pedro de v. Victoria Le Sassier (Lessasier)

Transcribed and contributed by: Deborah Beagle Baldock



Record Group 970
Series 73 Territorial Court of Appeals case Files Alba, Pedro de v. Victoria Le Sassier (Lessasier) January 28, 1834

The Parties
Pedro de Alba
, senior – Born in Velez Malaga, Spain c. 1762. Came to Pensacola c. 1782. Son of Pedro de Alba and Monica Lopez
Victoria (Victoire) LeSassier – second wife of Pedro de Alba whom he married on Sept. 3, 1813.
Joseph (Jose) Noriega, Senior – Lt. Col. of the Spanish Army and the deceased first husband of Victoria.
Joseph (Jose) Noriega, Junior – Son of Victoria, who died on July 10, 1827
Emilie(a) Christin Noriega Hubbell – The niece of Victoria LeSassier and also the wife of Joseph, Junior. Her mother was Rosa LeSassier Christin (Christian). In her 1833 will, Victoria left most of her estate to Emilia.
Loring C. Hubbell – A Northern “newcomer” to Pensacola. He was a lawyer and married the widowed Emilia Noriega sometime around 1828-9. He was also an executor of Victoria’s 1833 will.
Rosa LeSassier Christin – The “veuve” Christin. Rosa is Victoria’s sister and the two shared a close relationship. Her son Ferdinand was an executor of Victoria’s will.
Pedro (Peter) de Alba, Junior – Pedro’s son by Isabelle Adelaide de Rastel de Rocheblave. Pedro turned over all of his estate in 1819 to Pedro, Jr. and his wife Constance.
Constance Tala de Alba – The Wife of Pedro, Junior, and also the niece of Victoria LeSassier. Victoria was not fond of Constance.
Charlotte LeSassier Tala – The mother of Constance Alba. She offers no testimony, but Charlotte and her children are not as favored with Victoria as the children of Rosa Christen.
Cayetana, The “Poisoner of Pensacola” – A free black man who is professed to dabble in Gris-Gris. The LeSassier witness’ say that he was seen often at Mr. Alba’s door. However, Joseph Noriega hired him to give his mother an antidote that, according to testimony, helped Victoria.
Mrs. Riley - A witness for Victoria who testified that she lived in the house. Her relationship to the LeSassier’s is not explained in the testimony.
Dr. John Brosnaham – The local Physician in Pensacola at the time, and attended Victoria during her illness.
Mrs. Machaela Ingraham – A witness for Pedro De Alba who testified that in 1819, at the age of 12, she resided in the home of Pedro, Junior. Her familial relationship is not explained in her testimony.
John De La Rua, Hy Michelet, & Ferdinand Moreno – Prominent citizens of Pensacola who testified on behalf of Pedro de Alba, Senior. Both said that they had known the parties and had never heard of Victoria being poisoned in 1818-19.

First Item: a Copy of the original divorce case filed in Escambia County, Pensacola, FL. Madame Victoria LeSassier vs. Pedro De Alba Senior Bill for Divorce.

Pleas before the Honorable Henry M. Brackenridge Judge of the Superior Court of West Florida in the County of Escambia at the Court House in the City of Pensacola on the second day of June in the year of our Lord one Thousand eight hundred and thirty one and fifty fifth year of American Independence. [6/2/1831]

Be it remembered that heretofore towit on seventeenth day of February one thousand eight hundred and thirty one (2/7/1831) D. C. Pinkham Solicitor come into the clerks office and filed the following Bill whilit and order of Court To Wit:

      To the Honorable Henry M. Brackenridge Judge of the Superior Court for the Western District of Florida in Chancery sitting - Your oratrix Victoria LeSassier would most respectfully represent that some time in September 1813, in the Province of West Florida she intermarried with a certain Pedro De Alba the elder with the hope and expectation that her comfort and happiness would be materially promoted by the same but that some time after this said marriage the said Alba exhibited to your oratrix a cruel turbulent and vindictive disposition, squandered her private property and of her son Joseph Noriega and her other relations- and as one of evidences of the vindictive and diabolic dispositions of the said Alba he showed to your oratrix three papers of powder and sulphur or some composition of what nature carefully arranged which he declared he had himself expressly prepared to put fire to the house of Madame Tala, the sister of your oratrix if the latter had opposed the said marriage which preparations in powder he the said Alba fired in the presence of your oratrix which very much shocked her and induced the most painful reflections - that the said Alba treated your oratrix in such a manner as to endanger her life and make her very miserable and unhappy.

      That the said Alba sought every means of to quarrel with her only and most affectionate son, her most beloved and affectionate sister Madame Christin and other affectionate relations, and by his brutal conduct towards them and by threats drove them from his house thus depriving your oratrix of the society most dear to her on earth - that some time about the year 1819, and after the said Alba had thus deprived your oratrix of the society of all her friends and had deprived her of a faithful domestic of her own and put in her place a slave of his own, your oratrix became very sick with vomiting, violent pains in the stomach attended with great debility, which continued for several days making her more feeble each day - that at this time the said Alba appeared to be much concerned about her sickness but never called or offered to call a physician, that the said Alba gave to your oratrix all the medicines and sustenance which she received or saw them prepared and attended to it personally - but that far from benefiting your oratrix she continued to grow worse until she became so alarmingly ill that her death was expected every hour, yet no physician was called by the said Alba that while your oratrix was this ill her sister profiting by a momentary absence of the said Alba found her way into the house and chamber of your oratrix from whence she was a few minutes after chased by the said Alba in a brutal manner with threats, declaring that he wanted no more to nurse or take care of your oratrix by himself - it was thru that the son of your oratrix, being informed of her perilous situation come immediately to Pensacola and conveyed your oratrix to his home in the country when she expected to die - that she returned to Pensacola soon after believing she must die, sent for the said Alba by a Catholic priest expressly to see her die and to pardon him for the death which she then and now firmly believes - he attempted to procure her by poison - that during the whole time the said Alba remained in her chamber he was not allowed to give her anything or to touch or approach any vessel which contained any medicines or sustenance, so firmly persuaded was your oratrix as well as all her friends who surrounded her, that her sickness was caused by poison administered to her by the said Alba or by his procurement.

      Your oratrix would also state that she was never subject to any attacks of vomiting before her said marriage with the said Alba, and that whenever she was thus attacked she was not cured without leaving the house and the presence of the said Pedro de Alba, the elder - that about the year 1823 said Alba went to Havana and that a short time before his departure he declared that your oratrix would be very sick and would probably die, that in effect soon after the said departure of the said Alba, your oratrix was attacked with violent vomiting and excruciating pains in the stomach, and expected to die - that some antidote for poison or counter poison was administered and that she was immediately relieved - that your oratrix believes that she was poisoned by creatures of the said Alba, and by the special procurement - and your oratrix declares that since that period she has never had any sickness of  a similar nature - and she further declares that from information received from various persons she alleges and believes that during this time she thus lived with the said Alba, he made several attempts personally or by means of others at his instigation to poison your oratrix in such a lingering manner as that the public might believe it to be the slow effect of an ordinary disease -

      And your oratrix alleges that from information received she believes that the said Alba has a forged testament in her name by which he hoped to take possession of the property of your oratrix after he had thus cruelly procured her death - that in consequence of this firm belief and the cruel and brutal conduct of the said Alba, towards your oratrix and towards her only son and her much loved sister and niece, without any cause but their affections and attachment to your oratrix his squandering the private property of your oratrix and failing to contribute in the slightest manner to her support and maintenance, a separation was determined upon by your oratrix and agreed to by the said Alba, and this same took place in the year 1819, since which time he has never contributed anything for the support of your oratrix.

      And now your oratrix would respectfully represent that the said Pedro de Alba has again returned to this territory of Florida and the jurisdiction of this Court, and is seeking to molest, injure and terrify your oratrix by every means in his power, attempting to take possession of her private property and which belonged to her son and was in her possession long before she intermarried with the said Alba and by threats to her Negroes and by demanding of such persons as hire or rent her property the amount due her so as to leave your oratrix without support and destitute of the common necessaries of life - and your oratrix alleges that from the said cruel and brutal conduct of the said Pedro de Alba that ensued while [damaged area of the document and unreadable] during the period your oratrix had the misfortune to live with him, a faint description of which is detailed in this Bill but the terrifying nature of which  no one else can conceive - Your oratrix  is afraid and unable to live with the said Pedro de Alba, the elder, wherefore she prays that he the said Alba may be made a defendant to this Bill and that a subpoena in Chancery may issue commanding the said Pedro De Alba to appear and answer to the allegations here contained and set forth - and that upon the final hearing of this cause a final divorce and separation may be decreed to your oratrix form the said Pedro de Alba - and also that all and singular the property your oratrix may have has at the time of her said intermarriage with the said Alba, (a schedule of which is here unto announced and will be filed in the Honorable Court) may be decreed to your oratrix and to her separation and entire control forever, and also that an injunction may be added to the said subpoena, enjoining and restraining the said Pedro de Alba under the penalty of five thousand dollars and the punishment of this Court from threatening or molesting in any manner any of the negroes or slaves of your oratrix in any to whom she has given their freedom, or receiving the rents on profits of any of her estate or causing the same to be done until the matter herein alleged and contained are finally heard and determined, and also that it may be decreed that he pay the costs in this suit impended and such other and further relief as may to equity appear just and proper. (Signed): Victoria LeSassier
(Signed): David Coffin Pinkham Solicitor in Chancery and Counsel for the Complainant.
Before me in the undersigned a Justice of the Peace within the County of Escambia Territory of Florida appeared Mrs. Victoria LeSassier who being duly sworn said and affirmed that the above instrument ??? purporting to be a complaint in Chancery is true in all its contents, Pensacola this 23rd day of Nov. 1830. Signed N. S. Parmentier.

Schedule of property mentioned in the annexed Bill of complaint of Victoria LeSassier and therein particularly referred to Viz.

House and Lot
Ditto Ditto N 280 in Pensacola House and lot No. 115 in Pensacola
House and Lot number 85 in Pensacola
Ditto Lots known as Tivoly Do.
Lot No. 10 contested at law Do.
Lot of 800 Arpens near the Escambia
Lot of 800 Do. near Yellow River
5 Do near Bayou Chico
Slaves
Marie and her son Phillip aged two years, Jerome, Frederick, and Antonia

These items were bracketed and this note was to the side: All in brackets is property left her by her in his last will, by which in care of interference by Pedro de Alba it reverts to Emilie Christin
The list of property continues…………
Esther, Charlotte and Leandro, Matilde, and her two children Laurentine and Manuel, Augustine (Sold to F. Christin) and her children Juana, Marie Louisa, Joseph, and Cicila (Cecile), the latter free all under the age of five years.
Isabel and her children Virginia and Alodie both free. Judith age 80 or 90 years old free.
The above mentioned who are free had their liberty granted by Madame LeSassier

Western District of Florida

     In reading and considering the foregoing it is ordered that a subpoena issued as prayed for that the defendant answer the Complaint Bill and that the defendant be enjoined from any interference with the property mentioned in said Bill, as in the possession of the Complainant until the further order of this Court. Signed: H. M. Brackenridge

Territory of Florida, Western District, Escambia County,
To: Pedro De Alba, Senior — & #8212;— — Greetings:

You are hereby commanded and strictly enjoined that laying all other business aside, and not withstanding any excuse, you personally be and appear before the Judge of our Superior Court for the District of Western Florida on the 17th day of March next (being the first Monday) wherever the Court may then be, to answer a Bill for Divorce exhibited against you in our said Court by Victoria LeSassier and you are hereby enjoined and strictly prohibited from any interference with the property mentioned in said Bill as in the profession of the Complainant until further order of this Court, under the penalty of $5,000 and the punishment of this Court and to do further and received what our said Court shall have considered in that behalf, and this your are not to omit under a penalty of $500.00.
— & #8212;Witness George Franklin Baltzall.   

Victoria LeSassier Compl. — & #8212;— —Superior Court Escambia County, Florida
Pedro de Alba, Senior Def.          — & nbsp; In Chancery
— & #8212;— —— & #8212;— —& nbsp;Decree for complainant at May tenth, 1831
— & #8212;Wednesday November 16, 1831
— & #8212;— —— & #8212;— It is ordered on motion that the original correspondence of the parties filed herein be served by the Clark of the Court to the Clerk of the Court of Appeals of Florida.
A True Copy attest    Geo. F. Batlzell, clk.

THE RESPONSE:

Clerk of our said Court at the Court House in the City of Pensacola this 17th day of February in the year of our Lord 1831. Signed: Geo. F. Baltzell, Clk.

On the back of which is the following return by the Marshall ToWit-
Executed by delivering a certified Copy of the within to Pedro de Alba, Sen. Pens. April 13th, 1831. Signed James M. Exum Mar by Joseph Sierra D. Mar.

Afterwards ToWit on the 6th May 1831 the Defendant by his Counsel E. L. Drake, Esquire filed the following answer ToWit –
Pedro de Alba vs. Victoria Le Sassier
— & #8212; The answer of Pedro de Alba Sen the Defendant to a Bill of Complaint of Victoria LeSassier.
— & #8212; This Defendant now and all times whereafter leaving and reserving all, and all manner of benefit and advantage of exception to the manifold errors, uncertainties imperfections and insufficiencies in the said complaints Said bill of complaint contained for answer thereunto or unto so much, and such parts thereof as he this defendant in Divorce is material for him this defendant to make answer unto he this Defendant answering Saith – That as to the first allegation in the said bill, true it is that sometime in the month of September 1813 in the Province of West Florida, this Defendant intermarried with Victoria LeSassier the aforesaid complainant, but this Defendant denies expressly and positively that he ever exhibited towards said complainant a cruel, turbulent, or vindictive disposition, squandered her private property, abused her son Joseph Noriega or her other relations, as set forth in the said Bill of Complaint, or in any manner whatsoever.  
— & #8212; This Defendant further answering Saith that it is not true, that he showed said complainant any papers of powder and sulphur, or any composition of that nature, or that he ever said anything about his having intended to put fire to the House of Madam Tala in case she had opposed his marriage with the said Complainant, but that every allegation in relation thereto is wholly false.
— & #8212; This Defendant, further answering saith that the allegations contained in said Bill of Complaint, that he ill treated said complainant in such a manner as to endanger her life, that he sought mean is of offense with her son, or sister, or other relations, is in every particular untrue –
— & #8212; Said this Defendant further answering saith, that everything alleged, stated as matter of belief or insinuated relative to this Defendant’s having administered or procured to be administered poison to the said complainant, as alleged in her said Bill of Complaint, or at any other times, or in any other manner is in every particular utterly false.
— & #8212; The Defendant further saith that this allegation contained in the said Bill charging this Defendant, with having predicted that the said Complainant would be sick, or die is wholly untrue, and this defendant denies that at the time alleged, nor at any other time was any agreement of Separation made between the Defendant and the said Complainant his wife , but that the said Complainant contrary to the wishes of this Defendant, and without the slightest provocation on his part, abandoned the House of this Defendant.  
— & #8212; And this Defendant further answering denies that he has failed to contribute to the support of the said Complainant his wife, but on the contrary has always provided and does now provide liberally for such support, and he further denies that he has by any means sought to injure, molest, or terrify his said wife in any manner whatsoever.    
— & #8212; And this Defendant furthering answering saith that all and every of the allegations in the said Bill of Complaint contained, not herein expressly confessed or denied, are utterly false scandalous and Defame.
— & #8212;— & #8212;— —Signed: Pedro De Alba
E. L. Drake

To Which Said Answer the Complainant by her Counsel Jos. M. White, Esquire filed the following Replication to Wit –

Replication
The Replication of Victoria Le Sassier to the answer of Pedro De Alba, Senr, Defendant
— & #8212; This Replyant saving and reserving to herself all, and all manner of advantage of exception to the manifold insufficiencies of the said answer for replication thereunto saith that she will aver and prove her said Bill to be true, certain, and sufficient in the law to be answered thereunto, and that the said answer of the Defendant is uncertain, untrue, and insufficient to be replied unto by this repliant, with out that, that any other matter or thing whatsoever in the said answer contained material or effective in the law to be replied unto confessed or avoided transversed or denied is true. All which matters and things this repliant is and will be ready to aver and prove as this Honorable Court shall direct, and humbly prays as in and by said Bill she hath already prayed of.
— & #8212;Signed: Jos. M. White
— & #8212;Solicitor in Chancery

And the said Complainant by her Counsel Jos. M. White, Esquire on the 6th day of May filed the following amended bill towit

— & #8212;The Complainant in the above suit prays leave to file her amended Bill and for amendment thereto further represents to your honor, that by the laws of the Spanish Monarchy subsisting and in force in the Province of West Florida prior to the year 1822, your oratrix was entitled to her separate property, independent of the control or disposition of the said Defendant, which right has in no wise been changed by the transfer of the Province to this United States – but said property was secured to her by the treaty of Cession and by an act of the Legislative Council in the year 1824 according to the right and title by which she held it while the Province was under the dominion of the Catholic Majesty – your oratrix is further advised that the abandonment of her by the said Defendant for many years, without contributing in the slightest degree to her maintenance and without the assistance on his part to the ownership of any part of the property and without claiming any control over the same before or since the transfer of the Province, is an acknowledgment on his part of her right to the same = Your oratrix is further advised that the said Alba is bound in law to provide Alimony, which according to any equitable calculation, if he were entitled to any control over the property which she does not admit, would not be more than that retained by her –
— & #8212; Your oratrix further shows to your honor that the said Pedro de Alba, Senr, has filed a Bill in the Honourable Court against Loring C. Hubbell and Emilie, his wife with a certain agreement filed as an exhibit, which whilst, she prays may be made a part of this her Bill of Complaint – your oratrix further charges that the said Alba, was of arbitrary, civil, and evengeful temper and treated your oratrix upon various occasions with extreme cruelty, not only in his attempt to administer poison as before disclosed in her said original Bill of Complaint, but in other as to equally oppressive and incompatible with that harmony and happiness which should subsist between man and wife – Your oratrix further charges by the agreement filed as a foresaid in the other suit in this Honourable Court, and before referred to that the said Pedro De Alba, Senr consented to the settlement of this said property upon her son Joseph Noriega with her and his entire consent and approbation and she is advised that the execution of that instrument is in law a release of any claim even to the managing of the said property on his part. Your oratrix further alleges that the said Alba was a man of lower morals and abandoned habits and his whole conduct was unfeeling brutal and oppressive as to render her life a torment until the separation all which she alleges as valid causes in law for a divorce for the protection of her separate property, for alimony which he has never furnished, and she humbly prays that if the facts set forth in her said Bill of Complaint should not be deemed suffering for a divorce that a perpetual injunction be granted to secure her in her rights of property under the laws of Spain, and the statutes of this Territory in such cases provided and such other and further relief as the peculiar circumstances of this case require as to equity belongs .
— & #8212;Signed: Jos M. White  Solicitor for Complt.

THE OPINION OF THE CHANCERY COURT
Afterwards towit at a Court held as aforesaid on the 31st day of May in the year aforesaid come the parties by their Counsel and the arguments being heard in part court adjourned.

And now at this day towit, on the 2nd day of June in the year aforesaid, -
— & #8212;This day come the parties by their attorneys and the opinion and decree of the Court is as follows towit:
— & #8212;This is an application for divorce a mensa et thoro, the parties are aged persons between twenty and eighty who intermarried in second nuptials at an advanced age about sixty lived a short time together, when an unfortunate disagreement took place.  Then petitioner as she alleges on account of cruel treatment from her husband withdrew to the house of her son and the parties have lived separate nearly twelve years, and during the greater part of that time, with the whole width of the Gulf of Mexico interposed between them she residing here and her husband in Havana. –
— & #8212; The first question which presents itself is, as to the power of the Court to grant divorces a mensa et thoro, for causes happening prior to the passage of the Acts of the Council. The Courts of this Territory had power to grant such divorces before this passage of that Act. The civil rights of the citizens secured by any of the laws of England not of local application, no matter in what Courts they were remedied there, could find a remedy here. The ecclesiastical Courts in England exercise intensive equity powers, and will it be said that the civil rights usually remedied in that Court, can find no remedy here, unless the Court are expressly authorised to take cognizance of them. 2. The Act of the Council however, does not declare what shall be good cause of divorce a mensa et thoro, it merely gives power to the Court to ask on what was a preexisting cause, it might as well be said, That when a Court is authorised to entertain action of debt or trespass, that the cause of action must arise subsequently to the passage of the act. I think it therefore competent to this Court to grant a divorce a mensa et thoro, as will for the causes in the act, as for any other legal cause.
— & #8212; The Court will now proceed to examine the evidence in support of the charge of cruel treatment. It is to be regretted that an accusation of so shocking a nature as that of an attempt to poison, was thought necessary or that proof was offered in support of it, consisting of facts and circumstances, offering only presumptive evidence of such an attempt more than twelve year ago, the Court without any impeachment of the credibility of any of the witnesses, rejects this part of the evidence. The accusation and suspicion goes to show how little affection there is on the part of the aged lady to her aged husband, and how slight the probability of reconciliation. But other facts are positively testified to of a different character, they are such as did produce an actual separation which has lasted ever since. The Court avoids going into detail unhappily, there is always in such disclosures, much that ought to be covered by the miracle of charity and much that had better be blotted out forever. It is evident that the Petitioner withdrew to the house of her son from a firm belief that she had been cruelly treated by her husband, and not from wantonness or frivolity; in the many years which have elapsed since that period without the assertion of any right of any right on his part if time can perfect anything ought, in this instance to sanction her act even if originally the cause has been insufficient. During the eleven or twelve year which subsequently elapsed, her husband contributed nothing to her support, he was during the greater part of that time in what might ought be considered a foreign country, and if she had stood in need of support it would have scarcely been in her power to have called upon him. Judicially their circumstances taken in conjunction with the testimony, in the opinion of this Court constitutes sufficient cause for divorce.
— & #8212; But the Court is of opinion that even without this divorce it would be in its power to secure the Petitioner in the object of her petition, which is not to live separate and apart from her husband, for she already does so, but to prevent him from interfering with her property which constitutes her means of support and which he has never attempted to touch since the separation till now. This is plainly the object of the petition. The respondent has previously filed a bill against the person in whose hands that property remains by her consent, and subject to her contract, and which bill prayed that that property might be delivered up to him, thus taking into his hand her means of support to her bestowed where and how he might think proper.   
— & #8212; And here the Court cannot but remark, the injustice and cruelty of such an attempt and without which it is evident the wife could never have appeared here as a petitioner. It is evident that it is not the person of the aged petitioner which is the object of pursuit, but her property. They are both above seventy years old, have no children of their marriage, both had children grown at the time of their marriage, with whom they have since lived. Is it possible under such circumstances any Court would refrain to interpose its protection? Was it the cruel design of her husband to leave her destitute by depriving her of her own property? Is it likely from their advanced age that much connubial happiness could arise from forcing her to take shelter under his roof if he has one, by rendering her intensely dependent on him? The Court can see but one object in the controversy and that is on the part of the respondent an attempt to deprive the petitioner of her property under the pretense of marital rights and on his part an appeal to this Court for its protection. All that is necessary to be done to afford her that protection is to secure her in the enjoyment of her own, to let it remain as it ever has been, under her own control. She has her relations, her niece and nephew dependent, and if she is to make an ultimate disposition of her property, is it not natural, she should prefer these to strangers – may perhaps to suing part of it consumed in the expenses of litigation and part of it squandered.
— & #8212;If it be said that according to the Laws of England an exclusive control over her own property, can only follow in a divorce, which position the Court denies, it is enough to answer, that rights of the wife to her property, arise in this case, under the Laws of Spain which do allow that privilege. By that law the wife can hold a separate property without the intervention of trustees over which the husband can exercise no control, respecting which she may contract with him or with anyone else. It is true her contracts are said to be deconsentiments de su esporo, but that consent can be coerced by the Judge if refused. It is therefore no more than a form. The husband is no party to such contract for he has no right in the subject of it. She is the sole mistress of the property, was during the marriage. The person who drew the Bill of the respondent and which is referred to as part of the evidence in this Court most egregiously mistook the nature of the exhibit to that Bill. That is nothing more than a contract between the present petitioner and her son, to whom she delivers certain property as a beneficial trustee to be subject to a trust on her behalf during her life but determinable on certain conditions. The husband has given his assent in the usual form, not to the contract but to the authority to contract. That trust does not terminate with the death of the trustee, it is continued in her representatives and if there be no representatives, this Court may appoint a person to administer it. Even according to the Laws of England it might be even be decreed a trust property to her separate use. And what is said in the contract about her husband presents not permitting him to manage the property is a mere salvo on her part, for placing it in the hands of her son in preference and not a reason given by him for declining the exercise of any right he might profess. The disposition of the property depended on her will and pleasure.
— & #8212; It was her property before the marriage and not a dowry expressly declared as such, on the marriage. The husband does not acquire as at common law a right to all the property of the wife mainly in virtue of the marriage, All he acquires is the right to manage the dower during the marriage and so long as it subsists, the property expressly delivered for this purpose is under his control., but in the dissolution of the marriage it must be returned to the heirs of the wife. If delivered by inventory and appraisement it is said a lienate this particular thing which otherwise he could not do; yet he must in like manner account for the amount to the heirs of the wife, or to the wife herself on the dissolution of the marriage. The dower is only placed in his hands to defray the expenses of the marriage and if there be no such expenses to defray he has no right to it. According to the Spanish Law the dowry may be taken out of the hands of the husband by order of a judge without decree separation of persons when it is in the opinion of the judge it is likely to be wasted. It may be separated from the mass of his property if any danger of it being taken by his creditors, and may be placed under the separate control of the wife in such manner as the judge may think most to her advantage, In the opinion of the Court the petitioner had this right under the Spanish Laws even in a case of the dower and if the Spanish Court would protect that right, this Court will do so. –
— & #8212; In this extraordinary case, the wife instead of claiming alimony is resisting an attempt to deprive her of her own property set apart for her support   - property which her husband may have contributed to ????, but not to increase. She expressly renounces all claim to alimony. It appears that he has no property having made over what he had to his son. It is he then who is claiming alimony out of his wife’s property. But he is not destitute. – It appears from his own evidence, that he receives a sum form the Spanish Government fully adequate to his support. If this petitioner had not fortunately been possessed of some property she might at this time been destitute. To do perfect Justice to the parties, they ought both to be permitted to remain as precisely as they are – and the most effectual mode of accomplishing this is sanction by a Judicial decree that which they themselves, have sanctioned by a tacit assent of nearly twelve years a sufficient length of time to warrant a Judicial presumption of an actual agreement to separate, and which by the laws of Spain, they could make. This Court will therefore proceed to pronounce a divorce a mensa et thoro and a perpetual injunction against the respondent from any interference with her property whether in her possession or in the possession of any other for her use.
— & #8212; The Court having examined and considered the Bill, answer and exhibits in the above compl. such, and this Bill answer and exhibits in the case of the Defendant Pedro De Alba Senr vs. Loring C. Hubbell and Emilie his wife referred to in the amended Bill of the Complainant and made a part thereof do order and decree that the Petition of the Complainant for a divorce a mensa et thoro be granted and that the parties be accordingly divorced – and it is further ordered and decreed that the said Victoria LeSassier have full power control and management of her property with authority to contract and disposes of the same in such manner and to such persons as she may think proper. - –And it is further ordered and decreed that the said Pedro de Alba Senr be forever enjoined from any interference with or control in the schedule of division between her and her son Joseph Noriega or of that which was delivered to her son by agreement signed by the parties dated May 18, 1815 by the consent and approbation of the said Pedro De Alba. – It is further ordered decreed that the said Defendant pay the costs of the above suit.        
— & #8212; Signed: H. M. Brackenridge

From which opinion and decree of the Court the Defendant objects and on motion leave is granted him to take an appeal to the Court of Appeals of Florida, by his giving bond with William A. Ball and Peter Alba, Jr. as securities in the sum of TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS conditioned accordingly to Law----------

The Following is the documentary evidence taken, referred, and filed in this case towit
— & #8212; The Deposition of Mrs. Riley taken by consent of parties to be used as evidence in the case Victoria LeSassier vs. Peter Alba. Examined by Plaintiff’s Solicitor.
I lived in the family of Mrs. Alba while he and his wife lived together, a year or eighteen months. Mr. Alba’s treatment to his wife was kind before me, they however had sometimes had some quarrels by words. I never saw him use any violence towards his wife. – Never knew that any servant was taken away from her, never heard of or saw of any powder to set fire to Madame Tala’s house. One day we used milk in Coffee which made us all sick except Madame Christin who did not use any of it, Madame Alba was the most affected having used the most (milk). The family supposed it poisoned.  
— & #8212; Cross-examined by Solicrs. For Def’d.
  I cannot recollect precisely at what time I commenced to live with Mrs. Alba. It was four or five months before they parted – afterward I resided with Madame Alba. I think it was after this place was given up to the Spaniards, Mrs. Alba was once, as I recollect, sick while she lived with Mr. Alba. I do not recollect whether she was sick when she separated From her husband or not. She walked from the house to the boat, I went to the Brick Yard with her. Don’t know how long she remained at the BrickYard I was very young at the time and cannot be positive about period of time. I returned form the BrickYard with her. – She was sick after at the back yard and was sick after she returned. I think it was in the spring but am not certain.   Think it was warm weather when Mrs. Alba returned from the BrickYard. The affair of the milk happened soon after she returned from the brickyard. – The servant used to bring the milk and Madame Christin used to see to the boiling and making of the coffee, Mrs. Alba received the milk when she was well, when she was sick Madame Christin received it when Madame Alba was sick. The milk sent for to Mrs. Alba’s house was kept and boiled separately. After Mrs. Alba got better I heard talk of her again living with her husband. –I heard that the reason why she would not live with her husband was, that she received a letter from some one without signature apprising her that her husband wished to poison her. I did not see the letter. Before the receipt of that letter they had agreed to live together. Madame Alba was at the table on the morning the milk made us sick and was in the habit of taking of the same milk prepared for Mr. Alba. – The family had other milk. – Mr. Alba was employed in the Hospital and used to go there every morning. Signed Isabelle Rielley
Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 10th day of May 1831. Signed A. Gordon Justice of the Peace.
The Deposition of Dr. John Brosnaham
Sworn Saith –
— & #8212;I was called on to attend on Madame Alba, as Physician in the month of November, 1819 on the 15th, 16th, and 17th days of that month. – I made three visits. – She was affected by Cholics, and appeared a little unhappy she had no symptoms of having been poisoned nor did I hear from any person or Joseph Noriega, that they suspected she had been poisoned. I did not see Noriega during my visits. – I administered peppermint and laudanum whenever I conversed with Noriega, it was in the English language. Signed: Juan Brosnaham
Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 11th day of May 1831. Signed A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.

The Deposition of John De la Rua
Sworn Sayeth –
I was acquainted with Peter Alba, Senr and his family as far as I have seen or discovered he always treated his wife with respect. I visited the house but seldom while the parties lived together. I never heard until within 5 or 6 months, that Mr. Alba had been suspected of poisoning his wife. - Madame Christin had a house and Lot, two slaves and money due from the House of Forbes and Co. Mrs. Christin lived in the house of Madame Alba several years after the separation with her children. – Col. Joseph Noriega, Mrs. Alba, and Madame Christin all lived together  - in a house in Government Street. I have heard of the Negro Cayetana, who was reputed capable of curing persons affected with Negro witchcraft never heard him called a poisoner. I have always understood that Mr. Alba, fearful of this Negro withcraft. Cayetana left Pensacola as I think in 1818. -
Cross Examined by Pltfs, Sol.
Mr. Alba has spent a greater part of his time since 1819 out of the United States. – He held a Commission in the Spanish Service. Signed: Jn. Dela Rua
Sworn and subscribed before me this 11th day of May 1831. A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.

Don Fernando Moreno – Sworn to wit-
I know a Negro called Cayetana but never heard him suspected of being a poisoner. – Don’t know whether he cured gri[s]gri [s]or not, or had that reputation of curing it or not. – He remained here a number of years condemned to labour on the public works and left here for Havana with the Spanish troops at the time. – Gen. Jackson occupied Pensacola in 1818. I also saw him in Havana in 1818. He was a quiet and peaceable Negro he was between 50 and 55 years of age and ??? gray never heard anything said on subject of Mr. Alba’s treatment of his wife. Signed: Fdo. Moreno
Sworn and Subscribed before me this 11th day of May 1831Signed. A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.  
— & #8212; Deposition of Hy Michelet
Sworn Saith
I was acquainted with Peter Alba, Senr, when he lived with his wife. – I never heard anything of his ill treatment towards her. – Never heard till within a few days, that Mr. Alba had been suspected of poisoning his wife. – Signed: Hy Michelet
Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 11th day of May 1831. Signed A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.

Deposition taken by consent of parties as to be used in the case of Victoria Le Sassier vs. Peter Alba Senr, and in behalf of said defendant. –
Peter Alba, Jr., sworn saith I am the son to the Defendant, and the plaintiff is my wife’s aunt. During the whole time the parties lived together, I lived in a house which had a yard common to both houses. I did not visit my father’s house very often until the year 1818. My wife and myself dined in my father’s house very often. The reason of my not visiting often and ceasing to dine was that Mrs. Alba was not on good terms with my wife and myself during the time the parties lived together. I had no knowledge that Mrs. Alba was sick at all. I do not think she could have been very ill without my knowledge. – The cause of Mrs. Alba’s leaving her husband’s house, was some words of dispute between them relative to some accounts Mr. Noriega, a part of this dispute I heard. The principal cause was because Madame Christin whipped one of Madame Alba’s wenches without his consent. The nature of the account was a claim of Mr. Alba against Mr. Noriega for money advanced in New Orleans. It never resulted in any suit and to my knowledge, there was never any suit between them. The parties during the last eighteen months they lived together lived in good style, and I never knew of any visitors being prohibited. – They received a good deal of company. My father never sent any milk to Mrs. Alba. I sent the milk, or rather I owned the cows, and the mulatto girl was in the habit of coming after it and taking it to Madame Alba. The mulatto girl Charlotte, used to milk the cow and when she came too late for milking she took it from the bucket. My father was employed in the Military Hospital, in issuing the Hospital stores, and was at the Hospital at 5 o’clock A.M. in the summer to 8 or 9 in the morning. In Winter to about 8 or 10 A. M. – The milk sent to Madame Alba was never boiled previous to its being sent. Mrs. Alba was attended by her own servant – none of my father’s servants were at home then. Never knew of my father having about his house, or employing a man who has the reputation of selling poison. – I knew a free Negro by the name of Cayetana, but I never heard him called the Poisoner, but has heard him in joke called the buzzard.
— & #8212;This Negro left Pensacola in the month of June 1818 for Havana. – Mrs. Alba left my father’s house the last time in the month of June 1819 and remained at the BrickYard about four months. The property of Madame Christin’s previous to my father’s marriage, consisted of a House and lot in town, an old Mulatto woman and a little boy. – She has no income after my father’s marriage. She and her children took their meals at my father’s house. Mrs. Hubbell had before the marriage had lived with Madame Alba, and continued to live with her afterwards. After the separation Madame Christin lived at Madame Alba’s house. In the month of December, 1819, I was in the garden with my father when Mrs. Alba was talking to my father from a window. Madame Christin seeing it sent for Noriega and observed to him he ought not to allow Mrs. Alba to talk with her husband because he might persuade her to return and live with him. – And that same day, Madame Alba was taken to the BrickYard. I do not believe Madame Christin could then understand any English at all. Being shown four letters numbered 1, 2, 3, & 4, I knew the hand to be that of Madame Alba.
— & #8212;Cross Examined by Pltfs. Solic.
The parties have not lived together since the year 1819. Mr. Alba has no control over her property since this period, and don’t know whether he has contributed anything since that time to her support or not. He has been out of the United States the greater part of that time since 1819 holding a Commission in the Spanish Service and is now retired on full pay. – and holds the Office of Vice Consul of the King of Spain at Pensacola. – He has not to my knowledge attempted to exercise any control over Madame Alba’s property since 1819. – The full pay for my father is $65.00 per month, and the Office of Vice Consul gives only fees of Office. – Madame Alba was always a good and submissive wife till 1819. And my father’s conduct towards her was always kind and affectionate.
Signed: P. Alba. Sworn and Subscribed before me this 11th day of May 1831. Signed: A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.

Deposition of Loring C. Hubbell
Sworn Saith
That Madame Christin does not know the English language in connected sentences. She probably understands detached words. Signed: L.C. Hubbell
Sworn and Subscribed before me this 11th day of May, 1831. Signed: A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.

The next items are letters signed by Victoire LeSassier in French. Approx. 2 pages in length and is translated below:
— & #8212;Translation from the French Paper No. 1
Alba, I am arrived from the Brickyard somewhat sick. I wish those shouldn’t make me know the hour when I may send for my bed and my armoire as well as the remainder of my goods & furniture the barge has come the Negroes of my son may be employed for conveying that which I ask. Signed: Victoria LeSassier
Written in Spanish in another hand: “I received it on 11th Oct. 1819, at 9 A.M.”
— & #8212; Paper No. 2
Alba, I have received the letter in which thou tellest to me thou request to speak to with truth thou repeatest several times that thou art my husband and that we should live together of all that, I am not ignorant but what I was ignorant is that I did not think I was thy slave thought I was thy wife in all thy letters thou utterest to me not thou lovest me. Constantly but these are words only – for in my past I have perceived but traits of hatred. Thou oughtest to have approved me when having seen thy passion for Constance. I took the step which I have taken unable that I was to support any longer the vexations which, I experienced for her, I have got afar. I went to live with my children who thou went unwilling to see because she hated them. I have often told you that I wanted the yard to be separated that it would not be in common with her but as it was not her will. Thou hast always looked upon what I told thee with contempt. – Thinking that I could have no will of my own. Since I was thy wife thou repeatedly tellest me to come and inhabite my house, but thou doest not tell me which I cannot believe that it is that of Constance.   There is no power on earth to force me to it what that I should still undergo the contempt of thy children. No, Alba, do not believe it. I will know that they authorised by thee .How, should have Constance dared to turn my house into her eating room if thou hast not found good that she should insult me to that degree. I tell it to thee, I am not to inhabit a house where Constance be within my sight. It is her who is the author of our divorce and of all the disagreements I have undergone since marriage. I perceive that it is the remorses of thy conscience that induced for why doesn’t thou speak to me of scandal if there is any. It is given and since thou livest with thy children, I think I can do as much. When I went to the plantation of my son I wrote thee that if thou givest me another house, I would return instantly. To show me the contempt with which thou treatest me thou hast not answered me. This day thou sayest to me that I must take care of my reputation. It is not at the age of sixty that I would fear slander. – furthermore I will do like Constance. I will ??? one above the public, thou sayeth that thou never gavest me the slightest motive, a slave of thine would have complained of it but as for me thou   believed I was too much obliged to suffer them. But Alba that time of slavery is over/ I consider myself thy equal in every respect. Thou inquirest of my motives I tell them to thee quite plain as thou wisheth.
— & #8212;GoodBy   Victoire LeSassier

Written in Spanish with another hand   “Victoire to give thee a proof of the tenderness I have for thee and to answer thee as thou wishest do me the favor to put in Spanish this very letter. I return it to thee because I cannot understand it well nor pructrate?   me sufficiently with thy expressions. I see a great deal in them, that I cannot comprehend and send it to me back today or tomorrow at thy pleasure.”
— & #8212;Good By   Alba

— & #8212;Paper No. 3
Alba, I see that thou treatest me like a child. Thou always believed that I was such a fool that I was led only by the advises of Madame Christin that I was not capable of judging of what takes place under my eyes. No, I will not go to Charlotte’s House (Charlotte Tala) because at my age I should know how to govern myself. Thou thinkest that by telling me some words of love everything will be effaced from my memory. Thou always thought so when ill treating me. For Constance I cannot believe in what thou sayest to me but that – Constance has put thee out of thy own house. I always expected so, that after have thee to give all thy property and when nothing remains to thee that she would put thee out. Thou tellest to me that thou will go where I please. I have no other as yours than at my son if thou art willing to come there. Thou wilt always be well received not withstanding all that thou did to him to please Constance. Thou requested me to translate my letter. I cannot do it. But thy son can send it to you. Thou should not have better friends than him and Constance, thou sayest further that the Devil has got into our displeasures. I see as well that he has placed himself there and in the form of CONSTANCE and I believe him in her in person. I finish for thou would consider any letter too long and it would still be necessary to translate it to thee. Signed: Good By Victoire LeSassier

— & #8212; Paper No. 4
How canst thou Alba tell me that it is an illusion and a false idea that I entertain against Constance. Why thyself thou hast put me out of thy house for her all our quarrels come by her and the last time that I went from the house thou toldest to me not to return in it again. Unless it was so, wouldest thou permitted that Constance established herself at my house. Thou hast but little memory when it fits this. Thou proposed me today to return in thy ????. Before I should reenter it thou must show me that the house is thy own or what property thou still possessest to maintain me with the decency I deserve for if thou hast given the whole to thy children it is just I should do as much. I also make my condition, my family will come to my house just like thou sees thy own. I pretend to the same right as thee in my house. Thou hast kept me in slavery since the marriage of Constance, I have recovered my freedom when thou didst put me out of thy house and I want to retain it. If these conditions are agreeable to this, let me know it.
— & #8212;Good By – Signed Victoire LeSassier
Personally appeared N. S. Parmentier before me this 6th day of May 1831 and made oath that the Translation of the foregoing four letters by him made is a faithful literal and true translation, according to his skill and ability. Signed: N. S. Parmentier
Sworn and Subscribed before me this 16th day of May 1831 signed A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.  

Depositions taken by consent of the parties and to be read in evidence in the case of Madam Victoria LeSassier vs. Pedro de Alba Senr.---------
Madame Rosa Christin sworn declares as follows:
That Pedro de Alba, Senr. Intermarried with Victoria LeSassier in September 1813
Questions – Solc. For Complainant

1. How long did they live together? Until about the year 1818, as the witness believes.
Ques. 2nd. What relation are you to the Complainant? I am a sister of the Complainant.
Ques. 3rd. Did you reside with the complainant and defendant while they lived together? I lived in house of the parties about 2 months during which time Madame LeSassier was at New Orleans and Mr. Alba at Havanna. I was frequently at their house during the time they lived together.
Ques. What were the causes of their separation? Disease by frequent vomitings. The son of the Plaintiff used to take Madame LeSassier often to the Brickyard for the recovery of her health – whenever she would return to her own house, the vomitings would again happen.
Ques. 4. Were the vomitings spoken of periodical, did she ever recover from them while she remained at home, and did she not recover form them after leaving his house? The Complainant experienced those vomitings only while she was in the house of her husband. That she recovered when she had left it for some time. But experienced the return of the same when she returned to her husband’s house.
Ques. 5. Had you any reason to believe that those vomitings were occasioned poisons? There was enough to think so – I cannot affirm it, but I believe it. On a certain day, Mr. Alba had sent some Milk, and ale. The family except this despondent used the milk and all who used it was taken sick and this despondent took care of them. This circumstance corroborated suspicions before entertained Mr. Alba having cows was in the habit of sending milk for his wife’s breakfast, and.the day spoken of the milk sent, was mixed with the milk in the family – The day before this one mentioned above, Mrs. Alba had been very sick after drinking her coffee and Milk, But on this day first mentioned, the servants had mixed the two parcels of Milk spoken of – and the whole family ho used the Milk were sick. The Milk which Mr. Alba furnished usually came in before the other milk, and Madame Alba was in the habit of using it as soon as it arrived, but on the day mentioned being more sick than usual, she did not use it, and the servants mixed this Milk as before stated. –
Ques. 6. Did not the facts above enumerated occur about the time that Mr. Alba forbid his house to the relations of his wife? And what were the circumstances of forbidding her house to them.? For some time before, Mr. Alba had been so gross towards the deponent that she had ceased visiting the house, except when her sister sent for her, and then she went without the knowledge of Mr. Alba. One day of the Holy Week while Mr. Alba was at Church, having been sent for she went.  Madame Alba desired her to send for her son, so she believes she was about to die. This deponent had not been more that ten minutes in the house when Mr. Alba come in and suing her and her daughter who also was with he, made a terrible noise. He said that he was sufficient to take care of his wife, and did not wish to see any of her relations. – The deponent and her daughter went away, and as they returned they heard Mr. Alba scolding his wife. – They sent information to Mr. Noriega who came to town and took his mother to the Country where she remained afterwards. -  
Ques. 7, Did Mr. Noriega employ a physician to administer remedies for poison to his mother? In the house of Mr. Alba, Madame Alba had no physician. But as soon as they was at the house of Mr. Noriega she had a physician. Mr. Noriega stated to the physician his suspicions. That his mother had taken poison and the physician administered a great many things which relieved her.
Ques.8. Was Mad. Alba before her marriage or since her separation subject to those vomitings? Before her marriage with Mr. Alba the deponent never knew her to be sick with a similar attack. Since her separation, except in one instance when it was supposed something similar had been given. –
Ques. 9. Did Mr. Alba about this time of those attacks take from his wife a favourite and faithful servant and substitute one of his own? It is true that Mad. Alba had in the house a favourite servant named Charlotte, and that she never she never had this servant in attendance on her but was attended by a servant belonging to Mr. Alba. When Mad. Alba was in this habit of calling on Charlotte, Mr. Alba used to reply that Charlotte was busy and would send her another servant. This servant who waited upon her was named Amy and she would have preferred her own servant. -
Ques. 10. Did Mr. Alba about this time hire a person, who was believed here to be a sender of poison? That man was very often about the house of Mr. Alba. The man was a free Negro, and had the reputation of sending poison. The family ever so much afraid of this Negro, that they did not wish to see him. –
Ques. 11. Did not this Negro attended to administer to the Complainant an antidote for poison when she had her last attack? He did.
Ques. 12. Why the Negro employed to administer the antidote? Mr. Alba sent for the Negro and asked him if he could cure her. – He answered yes and on being promised a Doubloon administered an antidote for poison. The symptoms of her last attack were like those of her former attack.
Ques.13. Have you seen the Negro with Mr. Alba and often at the door of his house? I have sometimes seen the Negro with Mr. Alba and often at the door of his house. –
Ques. 14. Did the defendant conduct himself towards the complainant in a kind and affectionate manner, or on the contrary. He conducted himself in quite the contrary manner.
Ques.15. Did the defendant use violent or threatening language toward the complainant or deny to him the government of the domestics. When Mrs. Alba give an order to a servant, Mr. Alba gave contrary orders. –
Ques. 16. Did Mrs. Alba in her severest illness in town send for Mr. Alba to forgive him, and what took place, on that occasion. Mrs. Alba in her extreme illness in 1818 did send for her husband for the purpose mentioned. That on the occasion Mr. Alba requested some broth from another room. The family objected to the broth’s being administered by Mr. Alba and this witness afterward administered it. On another occasion having sent for a bottle of orange flavour water, and having been informed that it had been uncorked by Mr. Alba, Mrs. Alba refused to take any of it. -
— & #8212;Madam Rosa Christin, Cross Examined by Defts. Solicitors.
“During the 18 months that Mr. and Mrs. Alba lived together, I visited their house several times, when I had heard that my sister was sick. – perhaps five times. I have seen my sister vomit very often when I have been there. I am not sure that any white person saw her vomit as Mr. Alba did not permit visitors at that time belonging to the family. At first, Madame Alba did not know to what to attribute the malady. – After some time she believed the cause to be poison, and I think it was before my sister left her husband’s house, that she communicated to me her suspicions of poison. A short time before my sister left her husband’s house, Mr. Alba and Mr. Noriega had a pretty sharp quarrel about some Debt which was contracted on her Mrs. Alba’s account and which Mr. Noriega thought Mr. Alba ought to have paid. I was not present at the quarrel and know nothing of it except from hearsay. When Madame Alba was carried to the Brickyard sick, she remained but a very few days. She grew no better and hence was brought to town for Medical aid. Dr. Brosnaham was called, and visited her several times, and administered several doses of oils. –He visited her several days. – Mr. Noriega told the Doctor in my presence that he thought his mother had been poisoned. After being told this, he withdrew the prescription, first given, and ordered other Medicine. I only visited the house when Mr. Alba was out, and observing that Charlotte, her favourite servant was not in attendance. An on inquiring the reason was told by my sister that whenever she wished her attendance, it was said Charlotte was busy. I was never present when Mr. Alba said Charlotte was busy. I have seen the Negro, called the poisoner, several times in the yard of Mr. Alba. At this time P. Alba, Jr. occupied the little house in front, and was not sick at the same time Mrs. Alba was sick. – it was before.   Mr. Alba’s conduct towards his wife was unkind/in/grossier/words and in giving contradictory orders to the domestics, when Madame Alba had given an order to a domestic which the domestic did not obey. Mr. Alba would say she does well not to obey. These things have happened in my presence. – The milk was received from a servant who delivered it from Mr. Alba. But I never saw Mr. Alba deliver any himself. The quantity sent was a small measure, a pint – and Madame Alba used it in coffee. If any remained it usually became sour and was thrown out. Madame Alba usually took coffee in her own room. – At the time the family were made sick I cannot remember whether Madame Alba was at the table or not. – The milk used by the family was usually boiled. When this milk sent by Mr. Alba was not boiled at his own house, it was usually boiled separately from that of the family. Madame Alba, Madame Riley, Madame Hubbell, and Adele, a daughter of a servant. They were sick almost all day. The little girl vomited I believe, the others did not. – The sickness came on them in a short time after taking the milk. – I do not remember whether any Physician was sent for on this occasion, or whether any came. I had a suspicion that the milk was poisoned and in consequence refused to receive any more. – Madame Alba, is about seventy-one years of age.
— & #8212; Reexamined by Soloc. Of Plff.
I do not mean that the milk was mixed in the same vessel, but by the word (Melange) I meant to be understood that the two vessels containing the milk standing together on the same were used with knowing or rather without. Noticing the difference, on the morning referred to when the family was sick. Madame Alba had taken of the milk and was taken suddenly sick, and this milk was set on the breakfast table. (Signed) Veuve Christin
[English translation Widow Christian]
Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 7th day of May 1831. Signed A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.
N. S. Parmentier being sworn as interpreter declares this interpretation by him made in the foregoing depositions is correct ad true according to his best knowledge and belief. (Signed) N. S. Parmentier - Also sworn 7th day of May, 1831 before A. Gordon. J.P.

— & #8212;The Deposition of Mrs. Amelia Hubbell for being duly sworn.
— & #8212; Questions by Complainant Solic.

Ques. 1. What relation are you to the parties? I am niece to the Complainant.
Ques. 2. Were you much at the house of the parties while they lived together? I lived at the house of the complainant when she married Mr. Alba, and remained there several years after.
Ques. 3. Was Mr. Alba’s conduct kind and affectionate to his wife or the reverse? During the two or three first years he appeared to be affectionate before others, but in private he was not polite. That he took the part of the servants against her.- has been heard disputes between them, but did not distinguish the words and has heard the conversations afterwards detailed by her aunt. – Knows that they did not live happily together. The family of Mrs. Alba thought that attempts were made to destroy her by poison. The family had this belief from strange maladies of Mrs. Alba had during the last year or eighteen moths of her living with her husband. – The symptoms were different from any she had before or after she lived with Mr. Alba, except once which was since she lived with Mr. Alba. These maladies were vomitings and cramps in the stomach. That on these time Mrs. Alba was sick since she lived with her husband, the family believed it was by the effect of poison from the symptoms being the same and also from having heard that Mr. Alba had declared to a person on the eve of his departure for Havana, that Mrs. Alba would be sick, and might die. But that he would not be here to be sent for as he had been sent for on a previous occasion. She has never had any other attack of a similar character since her separation, but the one foretold by Mr. Alba. – Before the separation, when Mrs. Alba was very sick, Mr. Noriega took her to the Brickyard for some days, then brought her to town and sent for a physician, who ordered medicine. – But on being informed by Mr. Noriega that he suspected his mother was poisoned, the physician attended his prescription which afforded her relief for a few days. – She relapsed, and it was then she sent for Mr. Alba expecting that on seeing how much she suffered he would administer some remedy. And in case she should die, she wished to express forgiveness as she believed it was him who caused her death. – That when Mrs. Alba was suffering under the predicted and when Mr. Alba had gone to Havana, Mr. Noriega sent for a Negro who was a reputed Poisoner of Pensacola who said he knew her to be poisoned by the symptoms. And administered three doses of an antidote after which she was relieved and when Madame Alba was sick the last time before the separation she went for the mother of this deponent. – It was during Holy Week – they went and this deponent went with her. They had been with Madame Alba but a few minutes, when Mr. Alba returned. He expressed great dissatisfaction at seeing his wife’s sister. Asked his wife’s sister was doing there – saying he was sufficient to take care of her. – This deponent displeased my Mr. Alba’s harshness and frightened by his looks, immediately left the house. – Her mother left it also in a few minutes. – A messenger was immediately dispatched for Mr. Noriega who came and took his mother to the Brickyard. – After the separation Mr. Alba, used to send milk to Mrs. Alba. (The cows belonged to her) One morning the milk was thrown away and not used. – Either the following day, or a few days after, the milk which Mr. Alba sent was used in coffee, and all who used it were taken sick. – At.this time her own servant waited on her in whom she had great confidence and the family repond?, and still do repond every confidence in the same servant. – The daughter of this same servant had taken some of this milk and was also sick. – Ever since the separation in 1819, Madame Alba has supported herself wholly by her own means. – And during the time they lived together, Mrs.Alba supported the family wholly by her own means, rents of houses Do. –
This deponent has heard Mrs. Alba ask her husband what he had done with his money and he answered that he had none, that he had not received pay from the Government Department – thinks this occurred once in her presence. Too much time has elapsed, and so much has been said, it is possible she may have heard it from her aunt.
When Mr. Noriega invited company he always paid the extra expenses, knowing that his mother’s expenses were very considerable.
— & #8212;Cross Examined by Defts. Solic.
Dr. Brosnaham was the Physician who attended Mrs. Alba. – Knows that Alba sent milk by the report of the servants. – The cows were under the care of Mr. Alba, Sen’r. No Physician was employed when Mrs. Alba was sick the last time. The Negro alone was employed. –
— & #8212;Cross Examination continues of Mrs. Hubbell
Ques. How long did you live in the family of Mrs. Alba? And did you know of any quarrels after you came to live with the family? I lived in the family, to be best of my recollection, three or four years. – Never witnessed any quarrels after that period visiting the house but seldom- for the last 18 months of their living together I may have visited the house 8 or 12 times more or less. I do not positively recollect seeing Mrs. Alba vomit but once in her own house since I left the house. The occasion was when she was very sick spoken before when I left the house with my mother, I did not inhabit the house of Mrs. Alba since the early part of 1818. – The prediction spoken of in relation to the last malady of Mrs. Alba, was heard of from a white person. – Mrs. Alba stated that she heard it from Mrs. Riley. - After Mrs. Alba was carried to the Brickyard as stated, she was brought to town for Medical aid she getting no better. Mrs. Alba once consented again to live with Mr. Alba, if he would take a different house. This happened some time after she sent for Mr. Alba, to pardon him, but Mr. Alba did not take another house, and they never lived together since. The name of the Negro, the reputed poisoner, was Cayetano, as I believe he was seldom called by that name. He was usually called by the family “the poisoner”. – Mrs. Alba when she left her husband’s house, she went to the Brickyard in a boat. Mr. Alba, acted as post master, and also had some office in the Hospital. Mr. Alba lived in great style previous to his marriage, as I have heard. I was too young to know the fact.
Mad. Alba has now living four sisters viz Mrs. Christin, who has three children, Mrs. Tala, who has four children, Mrs. Voisin, who has three children, Mad. Delery, who has four children. I believe there eight children of three deceased brothers.
The milk spoken of as smelling bad was examined and smelt of in my presence and thrown out of the window. I do not recollect smelling it myself. Of the milk afterwards spoken of I was a part and was sick myself. – Madame Alba, Madame Riley, and Adele, the daughter of the servant who brought the milk were also sick on that occasion.
I was sick the whole morning on that occasion. Madame Alba and the little girl were longer sick. The symptoms were a swelling of the stomach. I do not recollect whether Madame Alba vomited or not. Madame Riley and myself did not vomit, the quantity taken was small, being in coffee. – The quantity of milk usually sent by Mr. Alba was a pint, or a little less. Madame Alba used it for coffee at Breakfast and set at the table with us. – The milk sent by Mr. Alba was usually kept separate from the other milk in the family.

— & #8212;Re examined by Pltfs. Solic.
Although Madame Alba had at one time consented to live with Mr. Alba, in a different house, yet she afterwards told me that she was so fully convinced that Mr. Alba attempted to poison her, that she would not live him in any house whatever. – I do not know whether the consent spoken of was obtained by this solicitation of Mr. Alba or not. The subject of the poisoning was frequently spoken of in the family, does not know that it was spoken of by any out of the family.
Madame Alba wished on one occasion for a Bottle of orange flower water and supposing she had some in her own armoire, she sent to the house of her husband where her armoire was for a bottle. – None however was obtained there and a bottle was procured from a shop in town. When it was brought – by the servant, the inquiry was made why the seal had been broken and the cork drawn. The servant answered in my presence, that Mr. Alba opened it at his house, to see if the water was good. – The family learning this would not suffer any of the water to be used. – And some other was borrowed from a friend.
The reason why the water which had been opened was not used was that the family suspected it had been poisoned by Mr. Alba. (Signed) Emilia Hubbell
Sworn and Subscribed before me this 7th day of May 1831. Signed A. Gordon Jus. Peace.

N. S. Parmantier swears by the translation and his signature is duly noted by the Justice of the Peace and dated May 7, 1831.
— & #8212;The Examination of Mrs. Machaela Ingraham, a witness produced sworn and examined before me, A. Gordon, a Justice of the Peace for the County of Escambia, taken by consent of the parties to be used in the cause of Victoire LeSassier vs, Pedro de Alba, Senr.
Being examined in chief she stated: That in the year 1818 and 1819, she lived with Peter Alba, Jr. The house of Peter Alba, Jr. and that of his father had a yard common to both. – She was in the habit of visiting the house of Pedro De Alba, almost daily, her sister lived with Pedro de Alba, and we were together almost daily. – Does not remember that Madame de Alba was sick during the time spoken of. – Witness was then very young. – She thinks if Madame Alba had been very sick, she would have remembered it. During the time that Madame Alba lived with Madame Christin she was in the habit of sending to house of Pedro de Alba for milk by a mulatto woman named Charlotte. – Charlotte milked the cow herself and carried home the milk. – Never knew Pedro de Alba to ill treat his wife.
— & #8212; Cross Examined by Mr. Hubbell on behalf of Plff.
Witness was about 12 years of age in 1819. – when I sent to see my sister. I paid but very little attention to what passed at the house. – Witness never saw Pedro de Alba present when the cows were milked. – His business called him very early to the Hospital.
(Signed) M. Ingraham. Sworn and Subscribed the 26th day of May 1831. Signed: A. Gordon Justice of Peace.

— & #8212;The following is a bill answer and exhibits in the case of Pedro de Alba, Senr. Against Loring C. Hubbell and wife referred to in the amended Bill of Complainant and drawn in this case to wit, Be it remembered that heretofore to wit on the second day of November 1830, Pedro de Alba by his council E. L. Drake Esquire came into the Clerk’s Office and filed the following Bill of Complaint to wit.

To the Honourable Henry m. Brackenridge Judge of the Superior Court for the Western District of Florida –
— & #8212;Humbly complaining herewith unto to your Honor, your orator Pedro de Alba the elder, of the County of Escambia in the Territory of Florida, that on or about the 3rd day of September 1813, and during the time that the said Territory was a province of the Kingdom of Spain, your orator intermarried with Victoria LeSassier, widow of Joseph Noriega the elder declared of the County and Territory aforesaid, and that the said Victoria LeSassier at the time of her said intermarriage with your orator possessed a large amount of property real and personal consisting of her marriage portion and the property acquired by the said Victoria LeSassier and the said Joseph Noriega Senior her said husband during their intermarriage. The description and value of which property will more fully and at large appear by reference to the original inventory and schedule thereof hereunto annexed marked A. And which your orator prays may be covered as part of his bill of complaint. And your orator further shows that after his intermarriage with the said Victoria LeSassier, the property aforesaid mentioned in the said inventory and schedule, and which, except the marriage portion aforesaid by the laws of Spain was to be equally divided between the widow of the said Joseph Noriega Senior and his lawfull heirs was by the consent of your orator, and his wife the said Victoria LeSassier and Joseph Noriega, Junior the sole heir of the said Joseph Noriega, Sr. divided into two equal parts, and the terms and manner of such division by consent were reduced to writing in the proper hand of the said Joseph Noriega, Junior and signed by him and by your orator and the said Victoria LeSassier, which said writing is also herewith shown unto your Honor and which your orator prays may also be considered as part of this his bill of Complaint. And your orator further shows that by the said division there was allotted to the said Joseph Noriega, Jr. and to your orator and his said wife severally the property comprising the whole estate acquired by the said Joseph Noriega, Sr. during his intermarriage with the said Victoria LeSassier. Specifying in the said instrument of writing the particular portions of the said estate allotted to each, and their separate values an amounting in this whole to $36,200 and upwards (and ?? part thereof amounting to the sum of $18,100 and upwards) And your orator further shows that in pursuance of the agreement and division aforesaid, your orator entered into possession of the portion of the said estate allotted to him and possessed and enjoyed the same, and the said Joseph Noriega, Jr. as sole heir of his said father, entered into possession of the portion of the said estate allotted to him and possessed and enjoyed the same. And your orator further shows that afterwards on the 9th day of May 1815 – Your orator being then employed in the Service of the King of Spain in the capacity of Comptroller of the Hospital and having various duties to perform which so occupied his time as to present his attending wit the necessary care and assisterity to the interest which had accrued to him by said marriage and having great love and affection for and confidence in the said Joseph Noriega, Junior the son of the said wife, your orator with the consent of the said Victoria LeSassier made an agreement with the said Joseph Noriega, Junior which said agreement signed with the proper hand of the said Joseph Noriega, Junior and your orator, and his said wife is herewith shown unto your honor, and which your orator prays may also be considered as a part of his Bill of Complaint, by which said agreement your orator agreed to deliver and in pursuance thereof did deliver unto the said Joseph Noriega, Junior all and singular the property mentioned and described in the aforesaid inventory, schedule and agreement which by the said agreement of division was assigned to your orator, as the share of the said Victoria LeSassier, upon the condition therein expressed that the said Joseph Noriega Junior, should manage the said property with a view to increase the same, that he should keep correct and accurate accounts of his management thereof in Mercantile style. And that he should render the same to your orator together with the amount kept as aforesaid whenever according to the terms of the said agreement, he should be required so to do, and that out of the profits accruing from the said property during the absence of your orator, he should pay such sum as the said Victoria LeSassier should demand, by his drafts upon the said Joseph Noriega, Junior for her sustenance and other private expenses. And that the residue of the said profits should be retained by the said Joseph Noriega, Junior as compensation for his care and diligence in the management of the said property. And your orator further shows that in pursuance of the said agreement, the said Joseph Noriega, Jr. entered into possession of the said last mentioned property, and managed and enjoyed the same and the profits thereof until the 10th day of July 1827 – when the said Joseph Noriega Junior departed this life and your orator further shows that after the making of the said last mentioned agreement with the said Joseph Noriega, Junior and the delivery of the said property to him, your orator in the performance of the duties of his said employment proceeded to foreign ports, to wit, to the Island of Cuba, and there remained for a long time, and was and continued to be, absent from the Territory of Florida, except on occasional short visits until the 7th day of May in the present year (1830) when your orator returned to the City of Pensacola, in the territory of Florida aforesaid his usual place of abode. . And your orator further shows that after the death of the said Joseph Noriega, Junior to wit on the 19th day of April in the year 1829, Emelia Hubbell then the widow of the said Joseph Noriega Junior and now the wife of Loring C. Hubbell of the County and Territory aforesaid, obtained from the County Court of the County of Escambia, letters of administration, with the last will and testament of the said Joseph Noriega Junior, deceased thereunto annexed, upon the estate of the said Joseph Noriega, Junior deceased, as by the record thereof remaining in the Office of the Clerk of this said Court will more fully and at large appear. -

— & #8212;And your orator further shows, that the property mentioned and described in the said last mentioned agreement, remained in the possession of the said Joseph Noriega, Jr. until the time of his death, and thereafter was taken into the possession of the said Emilia Hubbell, administratrix as aforesaid until the year 1829 when the said Emilia intermarried with Loring C. Hubbell of the County and Territory aforesaid, who thereafter Possessed and enjoyed the same, and still continues to possess and enjoy the same. And your orator shows that previous to the death of the said Joseph Noriega, Jr. large sums of money had accrued to the said Joseph Noriega, Jr. from the rents and profits of the said property and the material increase in the number of slaves. And that other large sums have accrued to the said Emilia Hubbell as administratrix as aforesaid to her said husband Loring C. Hubbell, and still do continue to accrue to him from the rents and the profits aforesaid. And your orator is informed and believes that the said Joseph Noriega, Jr. during his lifetime did not keep a regular book in which he entered the sales and purchases in mercantile style, as he was by his said agreement bound to do, nor have the said Emilia Hubbell and the said Loring C. Hubbell during the time they have possessed the said property and administered the same. Kept only regular account of the management and disposition of the property aforesaid, or of the profits arising therefrom, nor have they or either of them ever paid to wit said Victoria LeSassier any sum of money drawn for as aforesaid for her sustenance and other private expenses, And your orator well hoped that in his return to the Territory as aforesaid that the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife would have tendered to your orator the redelivery of the said last mentioned properly entrusted to his management as aforesaid, together with the profits, which have accrued thereon, and an account in mercantile style as aforesaid of the management and deposition thereof. But now do it is as May please your Honor that the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife, combining and confederating together, and to and with devious other persons, at present unknown to your orator, where named when discovered your orator prays may be here inserted with proper time apt words to charge them as parties thereto, and contriving how to injure and oppress your orator in the premises – Pretended that no such inventory or agreement, or division of the property herein before mentioned, was ever made or executed by the said Joseph Noriega, Junior, but that the said Joseph Noriega, Junior, received the said last mentioned property as a gift from his mother the said Victoria LeSassier, who by the Laws of Spain had a right as they pretend to show management and disposition thereof and therefore the said Emilia Hubbell, as administratrix as aforesaid, lawfully and equitably administer upon the same . Whereon your orator charges the contrary thereof to be the truth. All which actings, doings and pretenses are contrary to equity and good conscience, and tend to then manifest wrong and injury to your orator in the premises. In tender consideration thereof and for as much as your orator is remediless in the premises at and by the direct and strict rules of the Common Law and cannot have adequate relief save in a Court of Equity, where matter of this and the like nature are properly cognizable and relievable.

To the and therefore that the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife, and the rest of their confederates when discovered may upon their several and respective corporal oaths, full, true, direct and perfect answers make to all and singular the matters hereinbefore stated and charged., as fully and particularly as if the same were hereinafter repeated and they threats (?) distinctly interrogated, and that not only as to the best of their respective knowledge and remembrance, but also as to the best of their several and respective information hearsay and belief. And more especially that they may answer and subforth whether the said last mentioned property delivered to the said Joseph Noriega, Junior by your orator as aforesaid or any or what portion thereof still remains in the possession of the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife.? And that the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife, and their confederates when discovered, may set forth a full, true, and just account of the property, estate and affects delivered by your orator to the said Joseph Noriega, Junior declared which has been sold or disposed of, or possessed or received by the said Joseph Noriega Junior in his lifetime or by the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia Hubbell since his death or either of them or by any other persons, by their or either of their order, or for their or either of their use, and of the produce thereof, and what past thereof, now remains in their hand? And that, that portion of the said property entrusted by your orator to the said Joseph Noriega Junior deceased, as aforesaid which still remains in the possession of the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife, may be restored to your Orator and that what may be found due from the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife, or such account may by paid to or secured for the benefit of your orator, and that in the mean time and injunction may be awarded, by this Honourable Court to restrain the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife from selling or otherwise disposing of any part of the property entrusted by your orator, to the said Joseph Noriega Junior as aforesaid and that your Honor will grant unto your orator such other and further relief as to your Honor may deem just and equitable. –
— & #8212;May it please your Honor to grant unto your Orator a writ of Subpoena to be directed to the said Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia Hubbell, thereby commanding them, and each of them, at a certain day and under certain pain to be therein injunctive personally to be and appear before your Honourable Court then and there to answer the premises, and to stand to and abide such order and decree therein as to you Honor shall seem agreeable to equity and good conscience and your orator will pray & C. Signed Pedro de Alba by E. L. Drake, His Solicitor.
— & #8212;The Judged Ordered
Escambia County, Western District of Florida

On reading and considering the pryor and exhibits, it is ordered that a subpoena issued and that the defendants answer the complainants Bill & C and further that the said defendants be enjoined until the further order of the Court, from selling or otherwise disposing of the slaves and other property claimed by the complainant according to the prayer contained in his Bill. November 1, 1830. Signed H. M. Brackinridge

[The next Exhibit of documents is the Inventory of the Noriega Property and Slaves, made by Victoire LeSassier and her son Joseph Noriega. These documents are in Spanish, and illustrate the division of Jose Noriega’s property after his death between Victoire LeSassier and her son Jose Noriega, Jr. Each item is listed with a description, also in Spanish.
Houses and Land total value: 13,500 pesos
Male Slaves:
Valentin 43 year old a carpentoro or carpenter - 900 pesos
Manuel 19 years old - 700 Pesos
Musa 46 years old, accerrador (man who gives access) possibly a household staff or it might be locksmith (modern Spanish cerrajero) - 500 pesos
Francisco 20 years old – 700 pesos
Pedro Bosin 36 years old a panadero or baker – 800 pesos
Samuel 30 years old carpenter – 900 pesos
Pedro 25 years old a carretero, a carter or drayman – 800 pesos
Thomas 24 years old a Herrero or blacksmith – 1000 pesos

Women:
Judite (Judith), 57 years old, a Cocinera or Cook – 350 pesos
Dorotea (Dorothea), 28 years old, a Cocinera, Lavandera and Planchadora or Cook, and woman who launders and irons – 800 pesos
Maria (Marie), 27 years old, cook and laundress – 800 pesos
Antonia, 18 years old, Cook - 700 pesos
Elena, 14 years old, Cook and Laundress – 700 pesos
Carlota (Charlotte) 17 years old, Cook and Laundress – 700 pesos
Roseta, 41 years old – 500 pesos
Genoveva, 45 years old, a Cook - 350 pesos
Teresa, 14 years old – 500 pesos
Isabel, 8 years old – 300 pesos
Agustina, 8 years old – 300 pesos
Delores, 4 years old – 250 pesos
Matilde, 4 years old – 250 pesos
The Total of Property divided was 40,631 pesos. This included various notes and other assets. Victoria and her son divided property valued at roughly 18, 100 pesos each.

The “Particion amigable” or the Amiable Partition divided the slaves as follows:
Victoria received Valentin, Manuel, Musa, Judite, Dorotea, Carlota, Teresa, Isabel, and Matilde.
Joseph Noriega, Jr. received Francisco, Pedro Bosin, Maria, Genoveva, Roseta, Antonia, Elena, Agustina, and Delores.

The agreement between Victoire, Jose, Jr. and Pedro de Alba is also in Spanish. Part of the agreement is translated in the answer below:

Afterwards to wit on the fourth day of June in the year 1831 the defendants filed the following answer to wit: In Chancery Loring C. Hubbell and Emelia his wife adsm Pedro De Alba, Senior.
— & #8212;The answer of Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife, lately Emilia Noriega, administratrix the will of Jose Noriega deceased. –
— & #8212;Thru Respondents saving and reserving to themselves all benefit of exceptions to the many avers, uncertainties, and imperfections in said Bill contained for answer thereto as so much thereof as they are advised is material to answer say, that the Laws of the Spanish Monarchy enforced in the Province of West Florida prior to the Treaty and surrender of the Province to the United Stated, they are advised that Victoria LeSassier the mother of the Late Joseph Noreiga was entitled to the property in question, the right and title to which was not changed by the marriage with the Complainant Pedro de Alba, and that the said property in the Bill mentioned was a part of that which she owned in her own right being the portion delivered to her in and by virtue of an agreement with her son Joseph Noriega on the 31st day of August 1813 prior to the intermarriage between Victoria LeSassier and the said Pedro de Alba. These Respondents further show to your Honor that the instrument filed as a part of the Complainants Bill is in fact a division of the property between the said Victoria LeSassier and Joseph Noriega before her marriage with said Alba, and after the said marriage the said Victoria LeSassier being then the owner of the said property, executed the instrument filed by the Complainant which is not properly set forth in said Bill but is in substance as follows:
[ The English translation ]   I Dona Victoria LeSassier widow of the Lieutenant Colonel Jose Noriega declare that in consequence of having contracted matrimony in secured nuptials with Don Pedro De Alba, I and my son Don Jose, jointly and concurrently made an inventory of the property existing in our possession by the death of my said husband, and having made the decision thereof as above specified, I agree of my own free will that my said son shall be charged with the administration and direction of the part which belongs to me (of seeing that the duties and occupations consequent on the offices held by my husband Don Pedro De Alba in the Royal Service H. M. deprive him of the means of devoting thereto that vigilant attention which is requisite for its preservation and increase and which he has manifested to me his desire to promote) in order that he may make such use of it as he may deem most expedient for which purpose I confer upon him ample faculty and power, from my confidence in him and the love which I bear towards him, and in order that it may be carried into effect with all legal formality, I grant the present with the following condition:
— & #8212;That the said administration shall be for an indefinite time, until he may be able to dispose of the Real Estate and slaves and invest the amount in other property the administration of which may offer to him more advantageous results. – With a view in a an unfortunate event that may injuries may accrue or doubts arise relative to the property which my said son may have belonging to other persons, nor that any detriment should be occasioned by it to mine, he is to keep a book, paged in which the purchase, sales and everything alas that may occur shall be entered with proper cleanness according to Mercantile Way. -  
— & #8212;He is to pay the drafts which I may draw on the gains of the funds, whenever I may require them for the expenses which I may incur. He is to allow the following slaves to remain with me for my personal service, Esther and her son Leandro, of a year and a half old, Augustina, Matilda, Charlotte and her daughter:  Dorothea________ and Isabella, and the rents recovered to the date. – All the profit and the service which my said son may derive from my property after deducting the expenses which I may incur, as above specified I cede to him for his benefit in compensation of the trouble which the care of the account with which I charge him my succession, not being in want of it for the present for my sustenance. –
— & #8212;In case that necessity should oblige me to reserve this property, I allow him the term of three years in order that its return may not be injurious to him.
— & #8212;To which condition I Don Jose Noriega agree and bind myself to honor and not to deviate therefrom, in order to conform to the wish of my Mother, as I desire, holding myself bound for their entire fulfillment until it shall be her pleasure otherwise to direct, to which end we execute this material obligation –de Comortatis with all the efficiency and firmness, necessary at law for it’s validity. My husband Don Pedro having in like manner and consenting thereto do make the contract (unreadable two words) present in Pensacola on this 9th day of Mat, 1815. (Signed) Victoria LeSassier, Jose Noriega and Pedro de Alba.

[The Hubbell’s Answer Continues]
— & #8212;These respondents allege that shortly after the execution of the said agreement by which the said Victoria LeSassier with the consent of Pedro de Alba delivered the property into the hands of Joseph Noriega on the condition above described, she was separated, as they are advised from the said Pedro de Alba and has lived separate from him since the year 1819. –
— & #8212;These Respondents are advised and charge that from the period to the present time, the said Alba has not born any of her expenses, but the said Joseph Noriega during his lifetime defrayed the expenses of said Victoria and made such advances as she required for her support. These respondents have since his death, always been ready to account to the said Victoria. These respondents further allege that there is now depending in this Honorable Court a suit in the name of Victoria LeSassier, praying for a divorce and a perpetual injunction against the Complainant having control over her property which said proceedings and evidence in said case now depending all the facts, as they are advised are there set forth which they rely on for their defense. – These respondents deny all fraud and rely upon the Laws of Spain regulating Dowry, and they are advised that they cannot be required to render any amounts to Pedro de Alba and pray to be hence dismissed with their equitable costs in said suit most unjustly impended. (Signed) L. C. Hubbell and Emilie Hubbell
Sworn to before me this 1st day of June 1831. A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace.
And the said defendants by their Solicitor on the 8th of March in the year last aforesaid filed the following demurrer to wit:
— & #8212;Loring C. Hubbell and Emilie his wife who are made defendants to a certain Bill in Chancery exhibited against them by a certain Pedro de Alba the elder by protestation not confessing or acknowledging all or any of the matter and things in the Complainant’s Bill of Complaint allege and set forth to be true in manner and form as the same are set forth, say that they are advised that the substance of the said Bill is to have placed at their disposal and control of the said Pedro de Alba the elder certain property which was in the possession of Joseph Noriega at the time of his death, and came to the possession of the defendants as the representative’s of the Estate of the said Noriega, and which it appears by one of the exhibits filed and made part of the Complainant’s Bill, was placed in the possession of the said Noriega by Madame Victoria LeSassier widow of the late Joseph Noriega, Senior and Mother of the late Joseph Noriega Junior and which property was bestowed upon her by the said Col. Joseph Noriega Senior, and formed a part of her separate and estate and Dower at the time the same was placed in the possession of her son the late Joseph Noriega. – To which Bill of said Complainant these Defendants are advised to demur, and for cause of demurrer say that by the said complainant’s own showing on this Bill aforesaid, the said complainants ought to have made Madame Victoria LeSassier a party and one of the complainants to the said Bill, and therefore and for other good cause or causes of demurrer in the said Bill contained, these defendants do demand the Judgment of the Court whether these Defendants shall be compelled to make any answer thereunto otherwise than as aforesaid, and these Defendants humbly pray to be hence dismissed with their costs in this behalf wrongfully sustained.
David Coffin Pinkham Solicitor in Chancery Consul for the Defendants.

And the said Defendants by their solicitor Jos. M. White, Esquire their Counsel on the 12th day of May in the year past aforesaid filed the following demurrer to wit:
Peter Alba Sen. vs. Loring C. Hubbell and Wife - Demurrer.

— & #8212;These defendants by protest not confessing all or any of the matters and things in the said Complainant’s Bill Contained, to be true in such manner and form as the same are therein set forth and alleges do demur to the said Bill and for cause of Demurrer shows that the said Complainant has not by his said Bill made such a case as entitled him to any relief against them as to the matters contained in said Bill or any such matters and any discovery that can be made by these Defendants or any of them touching the matter complained of in said Bill or any of them cannot be of any avail to said complainant for any of the purposes for which a discovery has been sought against these Defendants by said Bill, nor until the said Complainant to any relief in this Court touching any of the matters therein complained of. - Wherefore and for diverse other good causes of Demurrer, appearing in said Bill there Defendants do demur thereto and they pray the judgment of this Honorable Court whether they shall be compelled to make any further and other answer tot he said Bill, and hey humbly pray to be dismissed from hence with their reasonable costs in this behalf sustained. – (Signed) Jos. M. White, Solicitor in Chancery

Afterwards and to wit the said Victoria LeSassier by her Counsel Jos. M. White, Esquire filed the following Bill interpleader to wit:
— & #8212; To the Honorable Judge of the Superior Court of West Florida in Chancery sitting humbly complaining herewith unto your Honor, your Oratrix, Victoria LeSassier widow of Joseph Noriega, Senior deceased, that sometime in September 1813, your Oratrix intermarried with Pedro de Alba Senior. And in a shortwhile thereafter an instrument in writing was executed between your Oratrix and her son Joseph Noriega giving to him the administration and direction of her property, upon the conditions therein expressed desiring rather to depend upon her son than any other person.  Which said instrument was drawn up with the consent of her husband, Pedro de Alba, and by which the property was delivered to the said Joseph Noriega her son, who from time to time paid her all the expenses she required of him and that the said property or so much of it as is not now in possession of your Oratrix, has passed into the legal representatives of the said Joseph Noriega, Junior. That they have accounted with your Oratrix to her entire satisfaction for the same and so far as they yet remain in possession of any part of said property it is with her perfect consent and approbation. She having the same confidence in them which she had in her son, Joseph Noriega. – Your Oratrix is advised that the said Pedro de Alba who has never contributed to her support and between whom and your Oratrix there has been an entire separation since the year 1819, has lately instituted a suit in your Honorable Court, calling upon Loring C. Hubbell and Emilie, his wife for an amount of her property without making your Oratrix either a Complainant or Defendant to said suit. Your Oratrix is advised that a decree may thus incidentally be rendered prejudicial to her and she prays that she may be made a party to said suit. And her rights protected by your Honor, your Oratrix is ready on her part forever to renounce any claim for property or support which she may have upon the said Pedro de Alba and will execute a release in such form as your Honor will direct upon him or upon his property. – Your Oratrix furthers shows that she has a suit depending in this Honorable Court for a Divorce and for a perpetual injunction against said Alba from having or exercising control over her property, that the said proceedings may be made a part of this her Bill. - Your Oratrix in support of her rights under the Laws of the Spanish Monarchy has caused translations to be made from the most approved authors and Doctors which are herewith filed and marked and are prayed to be made a part of this her Bill. And she also prays that your Honor will direct that they may be compared and certified and verified by the translator of your Honorable Court. - She is advised and charges that three slaves was delivered not taken into the possession of Pedro de Alba any part of her property referred to in his Bill of Complaint as contemplated and referred to in these laws and that there was not in fact, at any time, a possession of said property delivered by your Oratrix to the said Alba during the marriage nor prior thereto - Your Oratrix is advised and charges that the property owned by her under any circumstances could only be controlled by her husband so far as to derive form the gains requests thereof a sum for the support of the marriage and for defraying the charges and expenses incident thereto and the avers that the said Pedro de Alba has not in 11 years contributed anything for her support or for the charges of the marriage. – Your Oratrix further represents that he has been for many years an Officer in the Spanish Service and she is advised that in that in the suit now depending in this Honorable Court the said Pedro de Alba has proved that he is at this time in the receipt of $64.00 a month from the Spanish Government, besides holding the Office of Consul.   
Your Oratrix prays for such other and further relief as to equity belongs and the peculiar circumstances of this consequence. (Signed) Victoria LeSassier
Sworn to before me this 1st June 1831. A. Gordon, Justice of the Peace. White, Solicitor.  

The next 8 pages of this collection are the Authorities in the case of Victoria LeSassier vs. Pedro de Alba. The Authorities are the Laws and cases cited in this appeals case. These pages are handwritten and contain references to marriage law, financial responsibility of each spouse, the Law as applied to Dowers etc.
And the said Defendants on the Thursday of June in the year aforesaid filed their amended answer in these words to wit:
Loring C. Hubbell and Emilie, his wife adjm. Pedro de Alba, Senior. In Chancery

— & #8212;The amended answer of Loring C. Hubbell and Emilie his wife to the Bill of Pedro de Alba senior against the said Loring C. Hubbell and wife. – These respondents further show that since the filing of their answer herein a Decree has been pronounces in another case in this Honorable Court between Victoria LeSassier and the said Pedro De Alba, Senior. And perpetual injunction has been decreed against him, which Decree is as follows, to wit:

- “The Courts having examined and considered the Bill, answer and exhibit in the above suit (meaning the suit of Victoria LeSassier, against Pedro de Alba, Senior) and the Bill, answer and exhibit in the case of the defendant Pedro de Alba senior vs. Loring C. Hubbell and Emilie his wife, referred to in the amended Bill of the Complainant and made a part thereof do order and decree that the Petition of the Complainant for a Divorce a Mensa et Thoro be granted and that the parties be accordingly divorced, and it is further ordered and decreed that the said Victoria LeSassier, have full power, control, and management of her property with the authority to contract and dispose of the same in such manner and to such persons as she may think proper. – And it is further ordered and decreed that the said Pedro de Alba Senior be forever enjoined from any interference with or control over the property of the said Victoria LeSassier contained in the Schedule of Division between her and her son Joseph Noriega, or of that which was delivered to her son by agreement signed by the parties, dated May 9, 1815 by the consent and approbation of the said Pedro de Alba. It is further ordered and decreed that the said Defendant pay the costs of the above suit. Signed H. M. Brackenridge, Judge.”
— & #8212;And your respondents further pray that the said decree may be made a part of their amended answer, and further, as they have before prayed, that they may be hence dismissed with their costs most injustly sustained. (Signed): L. C. Hubbell and Emilie Hubbell. Sworn before me this 3rd of June 1831. (Signed): A, Gordon, Justice of the Peace E. C.

— & #8212;~~~~~~Know all men by these presents that we Pedro de Alba Senior, William A. Bell, and Peter Alba, are held and firmly bound unto Victoria LeSassier in the just and full sum of two hundred dollars, lawful money of the United States, the payment of which will and truly to be made we bind ourselves our and each of our heirs, Executors, or Administrators jointly, severally, by these presents. Witness our hand and at Pensacola, this 8th day of June 1831.
— & #8212;The condition of the above obligations is such that whereas at the May term of the Superior Court of Escambia County held at Pensacola on the 2nd day of June in the year aforesaid, a decree for Divorce and perpetual injunction against said Pedro de Alba to the said Victoria LeSassier was made from which said decree the said Alba appeals to the Court of Appeals of Florida. Now shall the said Pedro de Alba senior will and truly pay all damages, costs, and charges that may aver inconsequence of taking said Appeal or prosecute the same to effect, there this obligation to be void else to remain in full force and virtue. (Signed) Pedro de Alba, Wm. A. Bell, P. Alba.
Witness Signed: Geo. F. Baltzall

The next 9 pages of the case are the original notes between Victoria LeSassier and Pedro de Alba, Senior that are translated above in the case. Victoria writes in the formal, archaic French and Pedro responds in Spanish. The outside of one of the Victoria’s notes says “A Monsieur Alba” and “filed May 28, 1831.”

The next item in the Appeals case is the cover for the Original property agreement.
Stated on this cover is “Filed 22nd November 1820 by Grd: W. Baltreto dk? One page of the agreement in Spanish follows and is signed by Victoria LeSassier, Jose Noriega, and Pedro E Alba.
The Next sheet has the notation “Filed in Court of Appeals 19th Decr, 1831

Pedro de Alba, applt –vs. Victoria LeSassier, applee., Bill of Exceptions, filed 5th of Jan. 1832.
Court of Appeals Pedro de Alba vs. Victoria LeSassier

The appellant in the above-entitled cause, Pedro de Alba for cause of exception to the decree of the Court below in said cause shows as follows –
1. That the Superior Court of this Territory have no jurisdiction of matters of divorce except such as are expressly given by statue – And the decree in this cause is not founded upon any of the causes of divorce set forth in the statutes of this Territory.
2. By the laws of Spain as well as those of the U. States the husband is liable for debts contracted by his wife. The perpetual injunction granted in this case deprives him of the revenues of his wife’s estate while his own remains liable for debts contracted previous to the divorce.
3. The property having been delivered by inventory appraisement became the absolute property of the husband & the decree for alimony if property at all should have been for a specific sum.
     And that the said decree in many other particulars is contrary to equity and the laws of this Territory. – Drake for Appellant.

LeSassier vs. Alba – Motion for certiorari on sug. Dimi – Filed 16th of January 1832.
Western District of Florida, Escambia Superior Court
Victoria LeSassier vs. Pedro Alba

E. L. Drake of Counsel for the appellant in this cause suggests to the Court that the record in this cause Is manifestly imperfect in this to wit:
     That the answer to the amended Bill in this cause is not sent up with the records. That one of the answers attached to the said records does not appear to have been sworn to although, it is believed that the jurat appears upon the original on file. –
He therefore prays that a certiorari issue to the Clk. Of the Court of Western Dist. To send up a perfect records in said cause. – Drake for appellants.
The Territory of Florida to the Clerk of the Superior Court for Escambia County Western District Greeting. Whereas in the record and proceedings in the certain suit in Chancery between Victoria LeSassier Complainant and Pedro de Alba, Senior Defendant lately sent to the Judges of our Court of Appeals by reason of the Appeal of the said Pedro de Alba Senior from the judgment rendered therein a diminution is suggested in this, That the answer to the amended bill in this cause is not sent up with the record, and that one of the answers attached to the said record does not appear to have been sworn to although it is believed that the jurat   appears upon the original on files. Therefore we command you that under your hand and seal of office, the record and proceedings aforesaid more fully to the Judges of our said Court of Appeals at the City of Tallahassee do send and certify on the first day of the next term returning also this writ. Witness the Honorable Joseph L. Smith Presiding Judge of our said Court of Appeals this 23rd day of January AD 1832 in the 56th years of American Independence. Jas. S. Linn, Clk

Be it remembered that heretofore towit on the 16th day of November in the year 1832, the following order was entered of record in the case of Pedro de Alba complainant against Loring C. Hubbell and Emilia his wife In Chancery. “Ordered that the Clerk perfect the record in this case by placing on file the answer of Pedro de Alba to the file of interpleadent Victoria LeSassier now for the first of June, 1831, and that he insert upon the several bill, and answer the certificate of the oath of the parties where the same may have been omitted now for the several dates of filing of the same. – And that the Clerk certify the said to the Court of Appeals”
— & #8212;To the Honorable the Judge of the Superior Court for the Western Division of Florida – The answer of Pedro de Alba to the bill of interpleader of Victoria LeSassier. She said Pedro de Alba serving and reasoning to himself all manner of benefit of exceptions to the manifold errors and inconsistencies as the said bill contained for answer thereunto, answering saith: that each and every allegation in the said Bill contained not hitherto stated and declared confessed or acknowledged traversed or denied in the previous proceedings in this cause as false scandalous and defamatory. Wherefore he prays that said Bill be dismissed, and that there may be decreed to this respondent his costs by him in this behalf most wrongfully sustained. June 7, 1831 (Signed) Pedro de Alba
Sworn before me this 16th day of November 1832 Samuel Fry Justice of Peace
Edward L. Drake, Solicitor
Pedro de Alba vs. Victoria LeSassier   - orders and answers – Copies Examined
Alba vs. LeSassier – Certiorari on Suggested Diminiters
Pedro de Alba vs Victoria LeSassier Court of Appeals January Term 1833

Western District of Florida Superior Court Escambia County

— & #8212;I George Franklin Baltzell Clerk of the said Court do hereby certify that the foregoing is true copies of an order and answer, as the same as of record and that Pedro de Alba hath made oath to the original Bill on the 26th day of November 1832 for November 2nd, 1830 in the case of Pedro de Alba vs. Loring C. Hubbell & Emilia his wife. – And hath also made oath to this answer to the Bill of Complaint of Victoria LeSassier on the 26th day of November 1832, for the 6th day of May 1831.Intestimony whom of I have hereto set my hand and office the seal of said Court at the City of Pensacola this the 28th day of December in the year of our lord 1832, and 57 years of American Independence.
Geo. F. Baltzell, Clk.
Alba vs LeSassier – Exceptions filed 12th January 1833
Court of Appeals

The appellant presents the following exceptions to the decree of the Court below

1st The Court erred in granting of the divorce for causes which ensue under the Government of Spain.
2nd There are no fault or circumstances connected to the case to warrant a divorce under the Laws of England, Spain or of this Territory.
3rd The Court erred in the opinion expressed that under the Laws of Spain the wife could control without the consent of the husband.
4th The Court erred in deciding that the trust conferred on Noreiga by the parties did not expire at his death. And that it, is continued in his representatives.
5th Court erred in deciding that the disposition of the property in question depended on the will and pleasure of the wife.
6th The Court erred in sustaining the Bill of Complaint and giving costs against defendant. R. K. Call for Aplt.

Alba vs LeSassier – Filed 20th January 1835
The Appeallee Victoria LeSassier having departed this life since the Court pendency of the above suit- Loring C. Hubbell and Ferdinand Christian having been appointed the executors of the last will and testament of the said Victoria LeSassier – and having been only qualified as such executors – it is hereby declared that the said Loring C. Hubbell and Ferdinand Christian executors as aforesaid appear in the place of said Victoria LeSassier deceased as appellees in the above cause – They the said executors   having been so called upon to appear therein by the order of this Hon. Court – Dated 28th day of January 1834 – at the January term of this Court held at Tallahassee in 1834. Joseph L. Smith, Solicitor for Applt.

James S. Linn Clerk of Leon Superior Court to William Wilson, Sr.
May 31, 1834 for publishing in The Floridian three weeks the notice hereunto affixed.

At a Court of Appeals for the Territory of Florida
Held at the City of Tallahassee on Tuesday the 28th day of January 1834.
Pedro de Alba, Appellant against Victoria LeSassier Appellee.
Upon an Appeal from the Western District of Escambia County
This day came the appellant by counsel, and moved the Court the an order to compel the appearance of the legal representatives of the realty or personality of the Estate of Victoria LeSassier, deceased late appellee in this cause, and it appearing to the satisfaction of this Court, that the said Victoria LeSassier had departed this life since the pendency of this cause in this Court: It is ordered that unless such a representative shall become parties to this suit, within the first three days of the next term , the said appellant shall be entitled to have the decree pronounces herein , if erroneous [a hearing being had] – Provided that a copy of this order shall be printed in some newspaper published at Tallahassee , for three successive week, beginning at least 60 days before the next term of the Court. Teste, JAS. S. LINN, Clk. May 10

Pedro De Alba Senior died in the fall of 1835.


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