James, a person of color v. Hiram Cordell
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To the Hon Circuit CourtCircuit Court for the County of Saint LouisCounty of Saint Louis:
The petition of JamesJames a free person of colour aged about
nine years humbly represents that he was born free the child of MarthaMartha Ann
AnnMartha Ann a woman of colour entitled to freedom but in fact held
in slavery by SarahSarah Young : that after the decease of said
SarahSarah Young, your petitioner along with his mother said
Martha AnnMartha Ann was held in slavery by Hiram CordellHiram Cordell
Administrator of the Estate of said SarahSarah Young and yet is
held in slavery by the said Hiram CordellHiram Cordell : and the said
Martha AnnMartha Ann has presented her petition to this Court
for leave to sue said CordellCordell for her freedom and in said
petition has set forth the grounds upon which she is entitled
to her freedom, and your petitioner begs have to refer to
said petition of Martha AnnMartha Ann â prays that so much
as sets forth her title to freedom may be taken as
part of this petition: and your petitioner humbly prays
that he may be permitted to sue said CordellCordell for the
recovery of his freedom by judgement of law, and may
present such suit as a poor person and have counsel
assigned him by the Court â have reasonable liberty
of attending his counsel and the Court, and further that
all persons claiming under said CordellCordell â the said
CordellCordell himself be restrained by the order of the court
from removing your petitioner out of the jurisdiction
of this Court â so will ever pray âc

The mark X of JamesJames
by his Mother Martha AnnMartha Ann

Saint LouisSt Louis ss. Martha AnnMartha Ann the mother of the above named JamesJames the petitioner
makes oath and says that the facts set forth in the foregoing petition
are true.

The mark of XMartha AnnMartha Ann

Subscribed â Sworn in open court this
18th day of April AD 1844 â before me

John RulandJohn Ruland Clerk