Dred Scott vs. Alexander Sandford, Samuel Russell, and Irene Emmerson
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To the Honorable the Circuit CourtCircuit Court within and for the County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis.

Your Petitioner HarrietHarriet , a woman of color, respectfully represents that from some time in the year 1835 Your Petitioner was purchased as a Slave by one , since deceased, who afterward in the year 1835 conveyed Your Petitioner to , a fort then occupied by the troops of the & under the Jurisdiction of the , situated in the Territory ceded by to the , under the name of , lying north of 36 degrees & 30 minutes north latitude, not included within the limits of the State of , and resided and continued to reside at Said for a period of one Year or more and holding Your Petitioner in Slavery at Said Fort during all that time; in violation of the Act of Congress of March 6th 1820, entitled "An Act to Authorize the People of MissouriMissouri Territory to form a Constitution & State Government & for the Admission of Such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States & to prohibit Slavery in Certain TerritoriesTerritories"

Your Petitioner avers that Said EmersonEmerson has since departed this life leaving his widow Irene EmersonIrene Emerson and his children his Child whose name is unknown to Your Petitioner and that one Alexander SandfordAlexander Sandford has administered upon the estate of the Said , and that Your Petitioner is now unlawfully held in Slavery by Said

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SandfordSanford as Said Administrator and Said Irene EmersonIrene Emerson who claims Your Petitioner as Part of the estate of Said EmersonEmerson and by one

Your Petitioner therefore prays Your Honorable Court to grant her leave to Sue as a poor person, in order to establish her right to freedom & that the necessary orders be made in the Premises.â

Harriet