Lemman Dutton, a girl of color, by and through her next friend, Grace Dutton v. John Paca
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Certificate affirms that ArcherArcher is presiding Judge of the district composed of BaltimoreBaltimore
and Hartford Counties without saying he is presiding Judge of any Court whatever. the Act
says the certificate of the Clerk or keeper of the Record shall be accompanied with a certificate
of the Clerk if the certificate as to the Clerk be given by a presiding Justice of a Court with a cer-
tificate of the Clerk that he shall certify that the presiding Justice is duly commissioned and
qualified by these papers and by the emancipation act of MarylandMaryland it appears the registry
the copy offered is an exemplification of right should be kept and made by a Clerk of a
Court and that was the Clerk of the County CourtCircuit Court of Hartford what the presiding Judge of the
district composed of BaltimoreBaltimore and Hartford counties had to do with the County CourtCircuit Court of
Hartford we cannot easily see if by virtue of Judge ArcherArcher being presiding Judge of the
district he is presiding Judge or rather Justice of the County CourtCircuit Court of Hartford the style of his certificate should have so declared.

Another objection taken to the final certificate of the Clerk is that it says the Judge
was duly commissioned and sworn and the Act of congress says the certificate shall say
duly commissioned and qualified it is best to pursue the very words of the Act we are not
entirely certain that congress meant by the word qualified no more than that which is com
prehended by the word sworn.

The admission of the copy as evidence was erroneous and for that the Judgment
is reversed. but the Counsel on both sides have expressed a desire to have the opinion of
this Court on the effect of the Deed of Emancipation of DallamDallam to the Ancestor of the petitioner
for freedom. We will as the case is property before us proceed to do so.

That part of the Act to be considered declares that when any person shall be possessed
of a slave or slaves who are or shall be of a healthy constitution sound in mind and body
capable by labor to procure to himself sufficient food and raiment with other requisite
necessaries of life and not exceeding fifty years of age such owner being willing and desirous
to set free or manumit such slave or slaves may by writing under his hand and seal
evidenced by two good and sufficient witnesses at least grant such slave or slaves his or her
freedom and that any deed or writing whereby freedom shall be given or granted to any
such slave which shall be intended to take place in future shall be good to all intents
constitutions and purposes whatever from the time that such freedom or manumission is
intended to commence by the said deed or writing so that such deed and writing be not in
prejudice of creditors and that such slave at the time of such freedom or manumission
shall take place or commence be not above the age aforesaid and be able to work and
gain a sufficient livelihood and maintenance according to the true intent and meaning
of this Act which Instrument of writing shall be acknowledged before oen Justice of the

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peace of the County where the person or persons granting such freedom resides which Jus-
tice shall indorse on the back of such Instrument the time of the acknowledgment of the
party making the same which he or they or the party concerned shall cause to be entered
among the Records of the County CourtCircuit Court where the persons or persons granting such free-
dom shall reside within six months after the date of such Instrument "the Act then provides
for making a copy and declares the same to be evidence of the fact of freedom. It appears
that the deed in question under which the party claims freedom by reason of her descent
from her grandmother who was freed by the deed was only attested by one witness Paca's
counsel contend that the deed must be attested by two witnesses the Counsel for the petitioner
contend that the Statute provides a mode of manumission for two classes of persons the first
part provides for manumitting those whose freedom is to commence immediately and in
that case requires a deed sealed and attested by two witnesses and that when this is done
and the deed delivered to the slave he is free and that as to those whose freedom is to
commence in future the law seems neither to require a deed nor witnesses but requires a wri-
ting or deed which is to be acknowledged in solemn form before a Justice of the peace
and to be recorded &c. We are of opinion the petitioner's Counsel are right in their view of the
act if all that part of the Statute which procedes the words "and that" were Stricken out yet the
balance of the Statute would be perfectly intelligible and no word would or need be lost or
expunged to make the meaning clear and complete: the Statute would then read that when
any person owns a slave and is desirous to set him free the freedom to commence in future
the same can be done by a deed or Instrument in writing but the Instrument must be acknow-
ledged before a Justice of the peace of the County and must be recorded provided the slave at
the time his freedom is to commence is not over 50 years of age and is capable by labour to
support himself &c. Now all this can clearly be well made out without any reference
whatever to that part of the Act which requires a deed under seal to be attested by two
witnesses. So on the other hand all before the the words and that may be completely cut
of from the balance and both the sense and object of that part will be complete and then
the case will be made out as to the mode of Emancipation in presenti. So for then as regard
the petitioner's right depending on the MarylandMaryland statute our opinions is for the petitioner.
But for the errors aforesaid the Judgment is reversed and the cause remanded for a
new trial.

M. McGirk

George Tompkins

R. WashR Wash .