William vs. Stephen Smith
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St. Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court

For the July Term therof in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven

County of St.LouisCounty of St Louis SS: WilliamWilliam a free negro boy held in slavery
being permitted to sue, as a pauper, by J. SpaldingJ Spalding his attorney
assigned to prosecute this suit, complains of StephenStephen Smith
SmithStephen Smith of a plea of trespass. For that said SmithSmith on
the first day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven at the County
aforesaid, with force and arms &, C, [  assaultded ]
did make upon him said WilliamWilliam and then and there
beatbruised and ill treated him said WilliamWilliam and then
and there imprisoned him and kept and detained him
a prisoner there without any reasonable or probable
cause whatsoever for a long time to wit hitherto, contrary
to law and against the will of said plaintiff and
then and there heldand detained said plaintiff in slavery
and still holds and detains him in slavery and then
and there did other wrongs to said plaintiff to his damage
of five hundred dollars and therefore he brings
his suit &, C,

J. SpaldingJ Spalding atty