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St.LouisSt LouisJuly the 10th 1835

To the honorable Luke Lawless one of the Judges of
the Circuit Court of the State of MissouriMissouri- the petition
of Michael Edward, colored sheweth; that he
the said EdwardsEdwards is a free person that he was born in the
State of IllinoisIllinois in the Town of KaskaskiaKaskaskia about eighteen
years ago and since the ordinance of seventeen hundred
and eighty seven, and that he has never done any thing
where by he had forfeited his freedom- And that a certain
J J Birdsong although he is aware of the premises and well knows
that he the said Michael EdwardsMichael Edwards is a free person and has always
been a free person and has never done anything to
forfeit his freedom yet be the said J. J. Birdsong has and
does still actair him the said EdwardsEdwards in custody against
Law â right and against his will in the Common Jail of
the county of St LouisSt Louis and with the interest and purpose
as he the said EdwardsEdwards verily believes of carrying him out
of this State, in order that he may sell him as a slave in
four one of the near Southern States. wherefore your
petitioner humbly prays your honour that an order be
made, that your petitioner be allowed to sue as a poor per-
son, for the purpose of establishing his freedom, and that your
Honour assign the said petitioner counsel and that your
Honour with also order, that the petitioner have reasonable
liberty to attend his counsel and the court, when occasion
may require; and that the petitioner be not taken or re
moved out of the jurisdiction of the Court, nor be subject
to any severity because of his application for freedom.
and your petitioner as in duty found will ever pray &c

EdwardsEdwards his mark