Elsa Hicks, a mulatto girl v. Patrick J. McSherry
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To the Judge of the CircuitCircuit Court CourtCircuit Court of St. Louis County in the
State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri


I SamuelSamuel Conway ConwaySamuel Conway Sheriff of said county respect
-fully state that under an order of said courtI have
the possession of a mulatto woman namedElsa HicksElsa Hicks
alias Alice and her infant child-, which mulatto wom
-an & child are now confined in the jail of said county
that I am informed that said mulatto woman has
now in said court a petition for her freedom
in which she is the petitioner against one PatrickPatrick
McSherryMcSherry defendant. I state that saidwoman &
child came to my possession on the day of
February last. & that she has remained in jail even since
that time. that the order of said court by virture
of which I took & have the possession of said mulatto
woman & child requires that I hire her out to the
best advantage from time to time during the
pendency of said suit with PatrickPatrick McSherryMcSherry & take
bond from the hirer payable to the StateMissouri ofMissouri MissouriMissouri
&c conditioned for the payment of the hirer give the said
woman reasonableliberty of attending her counsel
& the court &c. I state that I have tried
to hire said woman out on the terms prescribed in
said order. that I have not been able to
hire her at all on said condition, & that I think
there is very little probability that, I shall be able
to dispose of said woman & child on the terms prescribed.
I state that since said woman & child
have been confined in jail the health of hath of
them appears to have become impaired. the woman
has reduced in flesh & looks badly, that from
the best information I can get there is no

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probability that her suit with McSherryMcSherry will be tried before
the next fall Term of this court and that if she
shall remain in jail [ til ] said suit is the
consequences will probably very serious to her health
& to that of her child & may be fatal to one or both
of them. I state that I am informed & believe that
there is no security given in said suit for the costs
of her keeping in jail. & that if her suit shall dis
-missed I know of no responsible party who will
be liable for the expence of keeping her in jail.

I state that I went to the jail on yesterday and
conversed with said woman & told her that I was
unable to get a house for her under the circumstances
& that she would probably remain in jail so long as
She kept her suit pending against McSherryMcSherry . She denied
that she had sued McSherryMcSherry . I told her her petition
against McSherryMcSherry signed by herself was on file in
said circuit court. She declared that if it were
so It had never been read so to her, she said
that McSherryMcSherry had never held or attempeted to hold
her in slavery. & that she never had authorized a
suit against him. But that she hadintended
to sue a Mr MitchellMitchell , I therefore pray that
If I am required to perform further duties & to
further expences with said negro. that the court will
cause some security to be given for my costs &
expences & trouble so required. Or if it shall
appear to the court that. Said petitioner does not
desire. the of said suit against said
McSherryMcSherry . that I may be discharged from further
duties in relation to her.

Saml. Conway

Sheriff St. Louis County