George Relf vs. Thompson H. Ficklin
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To the Honorable the Circuit CourtCircuit Court within and
for the county of St. LouisSt Louis a the judge Thereof

The petition of GeorgeGeorge a man of colour
commonly called George RelfeGeorge Relfe humbly whereto
that your said petitioner was born a slave in
the state of VirginiaVirginia the property of an JamesJames Duff
DuffJames Duff and intermarriage of one
JamesJames H Relfe H. RelfeJames H Relfe with the daughter of said
Duff your petitioner was by his said master
given and delivered to his said son in law
JamesJames H Relfe H. RelfeJames H Relfe that said James H. RelfeJames H Relfe
after his marriage rended some time at
Wheely in VirginiaVirginia and removed thence
in the year 1815 and after remaining
about one month at St. Genevieve in MissouriMissouri, settled in the then territory now state of IllinoisIllinois and resided
there about two years. where he again
removed and settled in MissouriMissouri where
he has ever since resided your petitioner
further states that from the time of the marriage of said JamesJames H Relfe H. RelfeJames H Relfe your petitioner
continued in the possession of said JamesJames H Relfe
H. RelfeJames H Relfe and was held by him as a slave
and resided within in VirginiaVirginia at
and in IllinoisIllinois during the whole period aforesaid
your petitioner further represents that while
the said JamesJames H Relfe H. RelfeJames H Relfe held and kept your petitioner in IllinoisIllinois (your petitioner being then about seventeen years
of age) he said JamesJames H HJames H recognized your
petitioner to be free and prevailed in him
your petitioner to bind himself by a contract in writing to serve him said JamesJames H
HJames H until he your petitioner should arrive
at the age of twenty eight years ; and the

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said JamesJames H HJames H . therefore prepared a writing
or caused it to be done which he represented
to be of the effect aforesaid and your petitioner
confiding in the truth of said representation and
being unable to read subscribed said paper
and your petitioner has since learned that
said writing if valid would bring him
to serve said Relfeninety nine years
but your petitioner is advised that said
writing is utterly void in law and the said
James H. RelfeJames H Relfe has frequently admitted that
he could not hold your petitioner is virtue
thereof and according by about a year or more
ago he said JamesJames H HJames H . informed your petitioner
on that he was free and suffered him to
go at large and act as a free man
which your petitioner did for several
months where the said JamesJames H HJames H ., contrivinghow to cheat your petitioner out
of the rights which he had acquired by occasion of the premises prevailed on the said JamesJames Duff
DuffJames Duff his father in law to reclaim your
petitioner and make sale of him and
the said James DuffJames Duff after having given
and delivered your petitioner to his
and son in law and suffered him to
remain in his uninterrupted possession
for a period of thirty years. executed
as your petitioner is informed and believes a
power of attorneyto D. Linn of St. Genevieve authorizing him to sell your petitioner which
he accordingly did to oneAugustus Jones
who sold him to one Thompson H. FicklinThompson H Ficklin