Joe, a black man vs. Colman Duncan, James Duncan
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St. Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court for July term 1830

County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis Joe a blackman permitted
to sue for freedom, by his attorney assigned by
the court complains of Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan and JamesJames Duncan
DuncanJames Duncan of a plea of trespass. For that the said Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan
and James DuncanJames Duncan on the first day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight
to wit at St. LouisSt Louis county aforesaid with force and arms
made an assault upon the said Joe and then and there beat, bruised and ill-treated him said Joe and then and thereimprisoned
him the said Joe and kept & detained him in prison
there without any reasonable or probable cause whatsoever
for a long space of time to wit from thence hitherto contary
to the laws of this state and against the will of
said Joe and said plaintiff aver that before and at the
time of the committing said grievances he was and still is
a free person and that said defendants held and detained him and still hold and detain him in slavery
and said plantiff saith that said defendants committed the
wrongs aforesaid and other wrongs then other did to the
said plantiff againsts the peace of the state and to the
damage of said plantiff of five hundred dollars &
therefore he brings his suit

J SpaldingJ Spalding Atty

for Joe