Ralph, a man of colour v. James Coleman and Duncan Coleman
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To the Honorable WilliamWilliam C.CarrCarr Judge of the CircuitCircuit Court
CourtsCircuit Court for the third Judicial CircuitsCircuit Court of the state of

1. The petition of RalphRalph a man of
Colour represents that he is justly entitled to his freedom
but that he is held in slavery now in St LouisSt Louisin said
Circuit by JamesJames Duncan Duncan & Colman DuncanJames Duncan
your petitioner further says that he has resided
in the state of IllinoisIllinois & the Territory of MichiganMichigan
for between two& three years lastpast here he
was taken by James DuncanJames Duncan &where he has
labored for him at his request &with the full knowledge &consentof said ColemanColeman your petititioner
says thats he said James DuncanJames Duncan in the state of
IllinoisIllinois for his freedom that said JamesJames wentinto
Courts where your petitioner had sued for his freedom
&represents that your petitioner belonged
to Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan where upon said suit
wasdismissed&before your petitioner could
sue said ColemanColeman for his freedom&serveprocess
upon him said ColemanColeman had escaped or concealed
himselfso that process could not be secured upon
him & in the mean time said James DuncanJames Duncan
kidnapped your petitioner & brought him to St LouisSt Louis
your petitioner further says that he believesit is
the intention of said James & Coleman to take

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your petitioner to some place where the facts of his
freedom is unknown &sell him for a slave
your petitioner prays thats he may be permitted to
sue as a poorperson to establish his freedom that
counselmay be assigned to him & that such order
may be made & such processissued in his behalf
as his personal safety requires & the lawwill warrant

RalphRalph by G A BirdG A Bird
his agent & atty