Joe, a black man vs. Colman Duncan, James Duncan
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To the Honorable WilliamWilliam C. CarrCarr Judge of
the Third Judicial Circuit

The petition of Joe a black man, held as a slave
represents that for about eleven years last past he has
been held as a slave by one Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan &
James DuncanJames Duncan : that said Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan held him & claimed him as a slave till about three years
ago, when with said Colemanâs consent he was
taken from KentuckyKentucky to GalenaGalena in IllinoisIllinois where
he was held as a slave & has been held as a slave till
this present time: that for about a year last past
he was so held as a slave at GalenaGalena aforesaid by
James DuncanJames Duncan who then claimed your petitioner as
his slave that your petitioner brought suit against
said James DuncanJames Duncan for his freedom, which suit
proved unavailing as your petitioner is informed chiefly
for the reason, that said ColemanColeman , was proved
to be the real owner, or the person against whom
the suit should have been brought ;your petitioner
States, furthermore, that for
some six or seven years in succession your petitioner
was hired out in the State of IllinoisIllinois at the salt
works, where he said to work during the fall of each
of those years some times or three months at a time
that this last mentioned work was within eleven years
last past. Wherefore your petitioner insists that he
is free & that he is entitled to sue as a pauper for the
attainment of the judgement of the court to that effect,
and prays that he may he permitted so to sue and that
counsel may be assigned him .

Joe his