Diana Cephas, a woman of color v. James Scott
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To the Hon. LukeLuke E Lawless ELuke E Lawless . LawlessLuke E Lawless , Judge of the Circuit
Court of the County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis in the State of MissouriMissouri.

Diana CephasDiana Cephas , your petitioner, a woman
of color of the African race, aged about Thirty five
years, respectfully represents to your honor, that
she is held in slavery by one James ScottJames Scott of the
City and County of St. LouisCounty of St Louisin said State, and
deprived of her just and legal rights, liberty and
freedom, by the said ScottScott , who holds and claims
the possession and of your petitioner, under
an agreement of hire one Murray McConnellMurray McConnell
of JacksonvilleJacksonville in the state of IllinoisIllinois, who
pretends to be the legal owner of your petitioner-
That your petitioner believes that she is entitled
to her freedom on the following grounds and reasons.
Your petitioner was born a slave on the
Eastern shore of the state of MarylandMaryland, in which
state she continued to reside until the
spring of the year eighteen hundred & thirty nine
when she was brought to the Western Country
bordering on the MississippiMississippi river by her master one Mark DelahaDelaha - that on or
about the first of June eighteen hundred
and thirty nine, the said DelahaDelaha with his
wife, moved to the town of NaplesNaples on the IllinoisIllinois
river in the state of IllinoisIllinois, and took your
petitioner with them - that the said DelahaDelaha made the said town of NaplesNaples his permanent
place of abode, and then hired her your petitioner out to labor
and received the rewards of her labor, holding
your petitioner in involuntary servitude -
that in the month of August in that year
the wife of said DelahaDelaha died at NaplesNaples

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and in the month of February last, the said
DelahaDelaha departed from NaplesNaples & went to reside
as petitioner believes, some where in the Southern
county - that in the same month of February last
the said MurrayMurray McConnell McConnellMurray McConnell presenting to be the
owner of your petitioner, forcibly and against her
will took your petitioner on board of a
steam boat and conveyed her to the City of St. LouisCity of St Louis
in the State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri,, where she has been
living since, and is now in the custody of the
said James ScottJames Scott . Your petitioner
these state of facts is advised and believes
that she is entitled to her freedom, and
being poor, prays your honor to grant her
leave to sue as a poor person in the said CircuitCircuit Court
CourtCircuit Court for her freedom, against the said
JamesJames Scott ScottJames Scott or any other person or persons, claiming
pretending to claim you petitioner as a
slave, and she will ever pray &c

FF B Murdoch . BF B Murdoch . MurdochF B Murdoch

Diana CephasDiana Cephas


her mark