Molly Rector vs. John Bivens
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To WilliamWilliam C.CarrCarr Esq. Judge of the St Louis CircuitCircuit Court
CourtCircuit Court

The petition of MollyMolly a free girl of colour
humbly shows to your honor, that she was born in the
state of KentuckyKentucky and held and claimed as a slave
in the family of John Thurston. that upon the marriage
of Francis Thurston to Colonel Elias Rector she said
MollyMolly was transfered, to said Rector, who sometime in
year eighteen hundred and brought
your petitioner to KaskaskiaKaskaskia in the territory (now state)of IllinoisIllinois
where she resided four or five years with said Rector,
who promised your petitioner her freedom and liberty if she
would consent to live with said Rector and serve him
faithfully as a slave for the space of four years.
that she was brought to St LouisSt Louis some time afterwards and held as a slave
And your petitioner further shows that after remaining
three or four years in St LouisSt Louis and in the possession of
said Rector she was again sent to IllinoisIllinois and remained
therefore the space of about six months in the possession
of Joseph Barton the brother in law of said Rector, that
she returned some short time before the death of said Rector
and was sold by him to his brother StephenStephen , that at
the time your petitioner was sold to said StephenStephen , said
EliasElias Rector told said StephenStephen in the presence of your
petitioner that she your petitioner should be free
at the expiration of four years from the time of

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said sale your petitioner and that more than four years
have lapsed since the said sale to said StephenStephen . That some
two or three years lapsed after this, when said StephenStephen removed
to the state of IllinoisIllinois taking your Petitioner along with
him that after remaining in StSt Clair ClairSt ClairCo. IllinoisIllinois with said
StephenStephen about a year she was brought to St LouisSt Louis by Wharton
Rector and sold to JohnJohn Bivens BivensJohn Bivens who now holds your
petitioner as a slave, Your petitioner therefore humbly prays
this honorable Court to be permitted to bring suit as a poor
person, for the recovery of her natural freedom and liberty and
that this honorable Court would assign her Counsel and make
such other and further orders in the as may be
deemedconsonant to law and Justice. And your petitioner
will ever pray & C.

her MollyMolly Rector
mark

Test.

J.

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State of MissouriMissouri
County of St LouisCounty of St Louis

Ss. Personally appeared before the subscriber
a Justice of the Peace within and for the County aforesaid the
aforenamedMollyMolly who being duly sworn on her oath saith
that the matters and facts stated in the foregoing petition are true

her MollyMolly Rector
mark

sworn to then filed this 9th August 1827 Before me

J.C.

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upon reading of the within petition it is ordered that
said petitioner be permitted to institute suit as a poor
person to establish her claim to freedom agreeably to the
statute in such cases made & & JosephJoseph Charless Jr
CharlessJoseph Charless Jr JrJoseph Charless Jr . is hereby assigned her as counsel to prosecute
her said claim And it is hereby further
ordered that said MollyMolly have reasonable liberty
to attend her counsel & the court when necessary and that said MollyMolly
shall not be taken or removed out of the jurisdiction
of the Court nor she subject to any severty
because of her application for freedom

WillWill C. CarrCarr

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No 26

Nov Term 1827

MollyMolly Rector
vsJohnJohn Bivens
BivensJohn Bivens

Petition to be permitted to
sue as a poor person

Filed 14th September 1827

A gamble clerk

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State of MissouriMissouri
County of St LouisCounty of St Louis

Ss In the St Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court
November Term 1827.

MollyMolly Rector a free woman of color who
is by the court permitted to sue by Louis ALouis A Benoist .BenoistLouis A Benoist
her next friend, as a poor person by JosephJoseph Charless Jr Charless JrJoseph Charless Jr .
her counsel assigned by the Court, complains of JohnJohn Bivens
BivensJohn Bivens of a plea of trespass. For that the said defendant heretofore on the first day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven, with force and arms at the city
of St LouisSt Louis, unlawfully an assault did make
upon the body of said MollyMolly , and then and
there did beatbruise and illtreat her said
MollyMolly , and then and there imprisoned her said
MollyMolly , and kept and detained her in prison
without any reasonable or probable cause whatsoever
against the will of said MollyMolly , and has eversince
kept and detained her said MollyMolly in prison
and still keep and detain her in prison against
her will, without any reasonable or probable cause
whatsoever, contrary to the laws of this state,
and the said defendant other wrong then and
there did to her said MollyMolly against the peace
and dignity of the state. Wherefore the said
MollyMolly says she is injured by the said defendant
and hath sustained damages to the amount of
five hundred dollars and therefore she sues & c

Joseph CharlessJoseph Charless Jr JrJoseph Charless Jr .
Atty for Pltiff

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Upon reading of the within petition it is ordered that said petitioner be permitted to institute
suit as a poor person to establish her claim to freedom agreeably to the statute in such cases
made and provided & Joseph Charless JrJoseph Charless Jr . is hereby assigned her as counsel to prosecute her said claim
And it is hereby futher ordered that said MollyMolly have reasonable liberty to attend her Counsel and
the Court when necessary and that said MollyMolly shall not be taken or removed out of the Jurisdiction
of the court not be subject to any severity because of her said application for freedom

A true copy of the order A GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk

WillWill . C. CarrCarr

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Executed this writ on John BivensJohn Bivens n the city of St LouisSt LouisSept 27 1827 by readng to him the same with the declaration & order of
the judge

R SimpsonR Simpson Shff

Server $ 1.00
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It may be wise to state that the above named person declares his utter
ignorance of the matter of the writ & knowledge of the Plaintiffs

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No 26

St Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court
November Term 1827.

MollyMolly Rector
vs
JohnJohn Bivens BivensJohn Bivens

This is an action oftrespass
assault &Battery &
false imprisonment damages $ 500 Let
a summons issue

J. Charless Jr.
Atty for Ptff

Filed 14th September 1827

Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk

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The State of MissouriMissouri
County of St LouisCounty of St Louis Ss.

To the Sheriff of St Louis County Greeting

We command you to summon JohnJohn Bivens BivensJohn Bivens that he be and appear before the Judge
of our Circuit court at the next term thereof to be held at the City of St LouisCity of St Louis within
and for the County of St LouisCounty of St Louis on the Fourth Monday of November next then & there
to answer unto MollyMolly Rector & free woman of color who is permitted by the Court to sue by
Louis ALouis A Benoist BenoistLouis A Benoist her next friend as a poor person of a plea of trespass to the Damage
of the said MollyMolly of five hundred dollars and have you then there this writ-

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Witness ArchibaldArchibald Clerk of our said Court at office this
Fourteenth day of September 1827

Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk