Nelly Richards, a woman of colour v. William Sewel
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St Louis County Circuit CourtCircuit Court
of the Term ofJuly 1831

StateMissouri ofMissouri MissouriMissouri
Saint LouisSt Louis County

To wit NellyNelly RichardsRichards , a woman
of colour who by permission of the Court sues in forma
pauperis, complains of William SewelWilliam Sewel For that on the
first day of August in the Year 1831 the said WilliamWilliam Sewel
SewelWilliam Sewel made an assault on the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards
to wit at the City within the County ofCounty of Saint Louis SaintCounty of Saint Louis LouisCounty of Saint Louis and
State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri and then and there seized and laid
hold of the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards and with great force and
violence, pulled and draged about her the said NellyNelly
RichardsRichards and then and there struck the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards
a great many violent blows and strokes and then and
there imprisoned the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards and kept
and detained her in prison there without any reasonable
or probable cause whatsoever for a long space of time to
wit for the space of six Months then next following
contrary to law did against the will of the said NellyNelly
whereby she the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards was then and there
not only greatly bruised and wounded but was thereby
greatly exposed and her life endangered to wit at the
City of SaintSt Louis LouisSt Louis aforesaid and and within the said
County and the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards avers that before
and at the time of committing the said grievances she was &
still is a Free_PersonPerson and that the defendantWilliamWilliam Sewel
SewelWilliam Sewel held and detained her and still holds and detains
her in slavery to wit at the County ofCounty of Saint Louis Saint LouisCounty of Saint Louis aforesaid
and other wrongs to the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards then and
there did against the peace of the State and to the damage
of the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards of Five hundred Dollars
and therefore she brings suit

Geo F Strother
Atty.