Aspasia, a free woman of color vs. Francois Chouteau, Pierre Menard
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To the Honorable the Circuit Court of
the County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis, Nov. Term 1829

The petition of AspasiaAspasia , a free woman
of colour represents, that she was born (as she
has always understood and believes to be true & is
ready to prove), of a negro woman in the Town
of KaskaskiaKaskaskia in the state of IllinoisIllinois, about the
year 18?6 - which said negro woman was
held in slavery in said state by one Baptiste
Gindreau, who held her till her death
that your petitioner was held and claimed as
a slave by said Baptiste Gindreau as
his slave from her birth [ untill ] a few years
since, when she was sold by him to PeterPeter Menard
MenardPeter Menard then & now an inhabitant of the
state of IllinoisIllinois - that soon after said Men
ard purchased your petitioner, he gave your
petitioner, as a slave into the possession of his daughter Bernice
who married FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau & that said
ChouteauChouteau has ever since exercised ownership & authority over & held your
petitioner as a slave in the city & county
of St. LouisSt Louis, where he now lives & has lived & held your petitioner as aforesaid for several
years past; And your petitioner represents
that she is advised and verily believes, that
according to the laws of the land she is a
free person and always has been - that she
has been for several years and still is
held & claimed by said ChouteauChouteau as his slave
deprived of her on natural rights & privileges
contrary to law, Equity & good conscience
by said ChouteauChouteau - your petitioner therefore
prays âthat she may be permitted to
sue as a poor personâ for her freedom
in the Circuit CourtCircuit Court of St. Louis County -
according to the form of the statute in
such case made and provided, and that she be permitted to make the said FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau & , Peter MenardPeter Menard and all other persons -

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whatsoever claiming your petitioner as a slave, parties to her said suit & your petitioner
will ever pray &c.

AspasiaAspasia her