Laura, a woman of colour v. Henry B. Belt
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LauraLaura
vs
HenryHenry B Belt
woman of color
suit for freedom

In the CircuitCircuit Court
CourtCircuit Court County ofCounty of St Louis
St. LouisCounty of St Louis state
of MissouriMissouri.

JoelJoel C RichmondRichmond attorney
for the plaintiff in the above entitled
cause
being duly sworn on his on his oath states that since the commencement of said
suit and serviceand service on the defendant that
he the said defendant sold the plaintiff and
that James MJames M Riley and James ChristyJames Christy became
the purchasers of said plaintiff and that
on the 16th day of February 1852 that the said
James ChristyJames Christy and --- E CurtisEdward Curtis
did decoy the said plaintiff from the place
at which she had been confined
to wit the
jail of Bernard M LynchBernard M Lynch whose slaves are kept
for and by by stating to her that they wished
her to go and see her attorney and that
instead of taking her to see an attorney that
the said ChristyChristy and CurtisCurtis with other per
sons to this affiant unknown did by force & threats
compel her the said plaintiff to go
on board of the steam Boat "IsabelIsabel " which was
at that time at the port of St LouisSt Louis in the
state aforesaid and that the defendant and the
said Christy & Curtis shipped or caused the said plain
tiff to be shipped on board of said steamBoat
IsabelIsabel and to be carried to New OrleansOrleans in
the state of LouisianaLouisiana or to some other place
out of the jurisdiction of this court for
the purpose of selling her as a slave the said
boat being at the time spoken of bound for New OrleansOrleans
Affiant states that the aforesaid CurtisCurtis did

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take the said plaintiff from the Jail of the saidBernard M LynchBernard M Lynch which is in the
aforesaid city of St LouisSt Louis and that he
the said CurtisCurtis with others to this
affiant unknown did force and compel by threats
and violence the said plaintiff to go
on board of said steam Boat IsabelIsabel after
she plff had informed them, the said CurtisCurtis and
others, that she was a free person and
affiant is informed and believes that the said
CurtisCurtis and the others who assisted him in
forcing said plff on said boat were aided
and abetted by the said James ChristyJames Christy in
all that was done to decoy and force
the said plaintiff in the manner and
form heretofore mentioned and that the said CurtisCurtis and others have
caused the said plaintiff to be carried
out of the Jurisdiction of the Court.

Affiant also states that it was well known
to the said CurtisCurtis that the plaintiff in this
cause had brought suit for her freedom as
he was the person who bid for the said plaintiff
when she was sold by defendant and that he
the said CurtisCurtis was the agent or Clerk of the said
James M Riley & James Christy And affiant states that he believes that the
said Riley & Christy were told
at the time plaintiff was sold as afsd
of her suit for freedom
at the time he
bid for and bought the plaintiff. Affiant
also states that he informed the said CurtisCurtis on the
day on which plaintiff was sold as aforesaid
that she had sued for her freedom. Affiant
states that he has called upon the defendant
in this cause and upon the said James ChristyJames Christy and
CurtisCurtis and asked as counsel for the
plff for some information of the whereabouts
of said plaintiff and that they have all failed or refused
to give him any information on the subject
Affiant states that the said plff was confined

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from the time which she was sold by
the defendant which was about the 10th of January
last until the time she was taken away by the
said CurtisCurtis in the negro jail or yard of the
said Bernard M LynchBernard M Lynch and that she
was carried too and taken from said jail or
negro yard by the aforesaid CurtisCurtis Affiant
states that it was not known to him until the 24th of this month Febr 1852 that said plaintiff had
been carried off in the manner spoken of when
he received a letter from a passenger on said steamboat IsabelIsabel on one who
purports himself to have been such at the time said
plaintiff was taken on board of and carried off
on said steamer IsabelIsabel said letter ate at
Memphis Febr 15th 1852.

JoelJoel C RichmondRichmond

Att for plaintiff