Susan, a free woman of color v. Henry Hight
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SusanSusan a Black woman
HenryHenry Hight

An appeal
from the StSt Charles.
CharlesSt CharlesCircuit CourtCircuit Court

This was an action of assault &
Battery and false imprisonment instituted by
order of the Circuit CourtCircuit Court of St CharlesSt CharlesCounty
in the name the plaintiff (SusanSusan ) who
Claimed her freedom) against the defendant (who claimed her as a Slave) the
first and most difficult question which
arises in the Cause grows out of the defen
dants first plea and the replicationthereto,
the plea alleges the plaintiff to be the slave
of the defendant, and traverses her being
free as alleged in her declaration, the plain
-tiff replied that she is free in manner and
form as she has alleged in her declaration
and concludes to the Country, the defendant
to this replication and assigned
as cause of demurrer, that, the said replica
=tion takes a upon a and
the inducement to the defendants
traverse: upon this the CircuitCircuit Court
CourtCircuit Court gave payment for the defendant, and
the plaintiff[ applealed ] to this Court, the
act which regulates proceedings in cases
of this hand, seem to have been passed for
the sole purpose of enabling free persons
held in slavery to recover their freedom, and
to contemplate an issue, which will ascer
-tain, whether the party held in slavery
is free or not; pursing the of this
Statue; the question naturally presents
itself. Whether the pleading in this Case

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tend to such issue, with Common Certainty,
the declaration is in Common form. The
plea substantially justifies the tresspass by alleging that the plaintiff is his slave
but unnecessarily traverses a fact which
is not owned in the declaration. if the de
=fendants traverse
were well taken the
replication would very Correctly assigned the sub-
ject of the traverse, and should not deny
the inducement to it. And if the defendant
had not added a traverse to the plea a
very apt and proper issue might have been
found, by the plaintiffs replying that she
was free, and traversing the matter set
[ fourth ] in the plea which would have
been a formal and proper replication;
to bring alone to the special Cause assigned,
the demurrer was certainly improperly
sustained, in as much as such cause
for the replication simply
affirms the freedom of the plaintiff wh-
=ich is traversed; The true traversed by the re
plication, was the appropriate one, and
does not notice the to such
travers; The true traversed by the re
plication, was the appropriate one, and
at the informal: yet as the infromally
was accustomed by the defendants un
necessary traverse and as the material
fact was substantially put in issue by
the replication. It is the opinion of
this Court that the Circuit , in
Sustaining the demurrer to the repli
cation, whatever the State of the