Celeste, a woman of color v. Alexander Papin
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State of MissouriMissouri
County of St CharlesCounty of St Charles

Be it remembered that on the
twenty nineth day of October in the year Eighteen hundred and thirty eight a transcript of the record
and proceedings of the Circuit CourtCircuit Court of St Louis
County in the case of CelesteCeleste vs Alex PapinAlex Papin
was filed in the Office of the Circuit Clerk of the
Circuit of Saint Charles County, and is in the
words and figures following to wit State of
MissouriMissouri. County of St LouisCounty of St Louis Sct. Be it remembered
that heretofore to wit on the twenty forth day of June in the year eighteen hundred and thirty seven, CelesteCeleste
a woman of Color filed in the office of the Clerk of the
Circuit CourtCircuit Court within and for the county of St LouisSt Louis
in the eighth judicial Circuit of the State of MissouriMissouri
her petition which is in the words and figures following
to wit Petition To the Honorable Luke ELuke E Lawless .
LawlessLuke E Lawless Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit for the
State of MissouriMissouri. The Petition of CelesteCeleste a woman
of color respectfully represents that she is the daughter
of JudyJudy , who was born in the State of VirginiaState of Virginia about
the year 1786 and when about 10 or 11 years. old was
brought to Louisville KentuckyKentucky and sold to a certain
WilliamWilliam SullivanSullivan who kept her for a short
term as a slave and then sold her to a certain
RobertRobert Bernton a resident of the Town of VincennesVincennes
in the north western Territory that the said Bernton
took your petitioners mother to the Town of VincennesVincennes
in the Territory aforsaid about the year 1798 in which
place she was owned and continued to be held as a slave
by the said Bernton for the space of Two years or upwards.
That after your petitioners had been held and treated
as a slave in the Town of VincennesVincennes and Territory aforesaid
for the length of time set forth above She was sent to
KaskaskiaKaskaskia in said Territory and some short time
afterwards told to a certain, WilliamWilliam Lecompt of the
Town of St LouisSt Louis in the province of upper LouisianaLouisiana
where, she has remained in Slavery ever since and gave

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birth to your petitioner in the Town of St LouisSt Louis. Your
petitioner further represents, that the is now illegally
held in Slavery by a certain Alexander PapinAlexander Papin of St LouisSt Louis
county contrary to the provisions of an ordinance passed
by, the Congress of the United StatesUnited States on the day of
July seventeen hundred and eighty seven. Your petitioner
therefore prays that she may be permitted to sue
as a poor person in order to establish her right to
freedom, that counsel be assigned her for that purpose
and finally that Your Honor grant the usual
orders in such cases and as in duty bound will
ever pray &c CelesteCeleste a woman of color x her mark. Accompanying
which said petition was the following affidavit
to wit- Affidavit State of MissouriMissouri SaintSt Louis
LouisSt Louis county sct. this day JudyJudy a woman of color
came before me and made Oath that the matters and
things in the foregoing petition contained so far as
they depend upon her own Knowledge are true and
those coming from the information of others. She
believes to be true. JudyJudy x her mark a woman of Color, Sworn
to & Subscribed before me this twenty fourth day of June Eighteen hundred and thirty sevenJames JJames J
Purdy Justice of the Peace.Whereupon the Judge of
said court made the following Orders to wit Orders
1st It is Ordered that CelesteCeleste the person mentioned in
the foregoing petition be permitted to sue as a poor person
for the recovery of her freedom and that F W. Risque
be assigned as counsel for that purpose. 2nd That the
said CelesteCeleste have reasonable liberty to attend her counsel
and the court as occasion may require [ The ] she be not
removed out of the jurisdictive of the court and that
She be not subject to any severity on account of her
application for freedom. L E LawlessL E Lawless Judge Ct Ct