Jane Cotton
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To the Honorable
AlexanderAlexander Hamilton HamiltonAlexander Hamilton , Judge of the
Circuit CourtCircuit Court of St. Louis County.

The Petition of Jane CottonJane Cotton Respectfully
she with:- that she is now held in slavery by
one James AJames A .
Little in the city and CountyCounty of St Louis
of St. LouisCounty of St Louis when she and has a right to be free.
And in order to establish this right, she prays
to be allowed to [ suo ], for the recovery of her
freedom in your Honorable court, and
for the following grounds, on which her
claim of freedom is founded, to wit
she
she was born free as she believes, in the Ter-
ritory of IllinoisIllinois; and two years after this Territory
had been admitted into the union as a
free state, she was brought for into
Boonsville MissouriMissouri, where slavery was by law permitted,
which Territory of MissouriMissouri, was, when ad-
mitted
into the union, was thus admitted
as a slave state; and the bringing of your
petitioner from a free state to a Territory,
was when she was in infancy and without
knowledge of her rights, and when she
had no one to protect her; and since she was
thus brought into MissouriMissouri she has been
wrongfully held as a slave, and is still so
held by one James AJames A Little a resident
of Fourth Street, in the city of St. LouisSt Louis
your petitioner further states that she
was carried to AlabamaAlabama within or to ArkansasArkansas after she was brought to MissouriMissouri
and she is not able to set forth any more facts and
particulars to sustain this application, but
relives upon the testimony which will
be addressed in the cause, and the
necessity of her witnesses; and your