John Murry vs. Louis Menard and Clayton Tiffin
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John MerryJohn Merry
vs
Clayton TiffinClayton Tiffin
and Louis MenardMenard

The defendants by E BatesEdward Bates their counsel move
the court to instruct the jury

That if the plaintiff be a negro born of a negro mother
at or near CahokiaCahokia in the now state of IllinoisIllinois,
that the mother was held in slavery by one of the
an ancient French inhabitants of that country
before the year1787 that the plaintiff was born and held in slavery
and transmitted from hand to hand as a slave
repeatedly, from the time of his birth till within
a few years past, there is no law, which of itself
and independently of some act of his owner, can
operate his emancipation.

refused

2 that the plaintiff, being a negro, they ought to
presume that he is a slave, until the contrary
be shown

given

3 That if the jury find that the plaintiff
was born a slave in IllinoisIllinois of a negro
mother, held in slavery there before the
year 1787,unless they find that the said
plaintiff has been emancipated by his
owner they ought to find for the defend
ants

given

4 That there is no evidence before them
of any act of any one of the

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owners of the said plaintiff which can
in law amount to an emancipation
of this said plaintiff.

given

5 That the mere fact that the plaintiff is a
free man, gives him no right to recover in
this case unless it also appear by evi-
dence that at the defendants restrained him
of his liberty at the time of filing his petition-
ers the 30th September 1826.

given