Woman seeks to collect on Civil War debt

March 18, 2008 at 6:04 PM

TAMPA, Fla., March 18 (UPI) -- A woman is suing the city of Tampa, Fla., over a $299.58 loan her great-grandfather gave the city during the U.S. Civil War, and she is seeking $22.7 million.

Joan Kennedy Biddle, 77, said a promissory note given to her ancestor, Thomas Pugh Kennedy, on June 21, 1861, documents that Kennedy loaned the money to the city, but she and her family claim the debt was never repaid, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Tuesday.

"This thing has been in the family since the date on the note, and it has never been repaid," she said. "My daddy told me, and I certainly believe him."

The suit, which seeks the amount of the loan plus 8 percent annual interest, was filed in the Hillsborough Circuit Court.

Tampa City Attorney David Smith said he believes the claim is not valid, the newspaper reported.

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