Ralph, a man of colour v. James Coleman and Duncan Coleman
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RalphRalph a man of color
Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan

Suit for freedom
in the Saint LouisCircuit Court
Circuit CourtCircuit Court in
the State of MissouriMissouri

Depositions of witness produced sworn and examined, at the Court house in the town of MadisonvilleMadisonville,
in the County of HopkinsCounty of Hopkins, and State of Kintucky,
before me E.W.R.Wolfolk a Justice of the peace
within and for said State and County, in a
certain cause, now depending in the Circuit CourtCircuit Court
of Saint LouisSt Louis County and State of MissouriMissouri, between
RalphRalph a man of color Plaintiff, and ColemanColeman Duncan
DuncanColeman Duncan Defendants, on the 28th and 29th days of November A.D. 1833. Between the hours of
8 O'clock A.M. 6 O'clock P.M. of each of said
day on the part of the Plaintiff.

TimothyTimothy Fisk FiskTimothy Fisk of Lawful age, being produced
sworn and examined, on the part of the
plaintiff deposeth and sayeth that he
the parties to this suit, that he knew RalphRalph
the plaintiff whilst he was the slave of JohnJohn Gordon
GordonJohn Gordon , late âdeceasedâ of Hopkins CountyHopkins County and State ofKentucky
KentuckyKentucky that said GordonGordon in his life time,
as this deponent
understood sold or swaped said RalphRalph the
plaintiff to IsaacIsaac Metcalf MetcalfIsaac Metcalf as deponent understood and that since
GordonGordon parted with RalphRalph the plaintiff he
RalphRalph has been taken out of the County ofCounty of Hopkins
HopkinsCounty of Hopkins to some place unknown to this deponent
only by report.

Question 1st, on the past of the Plaintiff
Do you know whether or not RalphRalph the Plaintiff was

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ever hired permitted to labor in the Territory of
IllinoisIllinois previous to the 3rd day of December 1818 and
if so state what you know touching such hiring
or permission?

Answer: I have no knowledge of the matter

Question 2nd on the part of the plaintiff.
Do you know whether or not DuncanDuncan the Defendant
ever hired or consented to RalphRalph the plaintiff
to labor in the state of IllinoisIllinois?

Answer: I do not

Question 3rd on the part of the Plaintiff.
Have you ever been acquainted with John
Steel who married a Daughter Major : SamuelSamuel Downey's
of this County?

Answer I have

Question 4th on the part of the Plaintiff.
How long have you been acquainted with him?

Answer: About twelve or thirteen years

Question 5th on the part of the Plaintiff
How you had an opportunity of becoming
acquainted with his general character as a man of truth and if so state whether or not from
your knowledge of his general Character you
would believe him when on oath in a Court
of justice?

Answer: When John Steel first came in
my neighbourhood he commenced teaching an
english school near my house during which