Aspasie, a woman of color vs. Francois Chouteau
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To WilliamWilliam C. CarrCarr , Judge of the Cir
cuit Court, within & for the County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis

The petition of AspasieAspasia , a free woman of colour, represents to your honor, that She was,
(as she has always been informed and believes to be
true, and is ready to prove,) born of a negro woman
held in slavery by one Baptiste Jeandrau
in the Town of KaskaskiaKaskaskia in the now state
of IllinoisIllinois, about the year 1806; that your petitioner
was held and claimed as a slave by said

from her birth until about four or
five years ago, where your petitioner was pur
chased by Colonel Menard now a resident
of the said Town of KaskaskiaKaskaskia; that your petitioner was soon, after given to FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau
and his wife, the latter of whom is the
daughter of said MenardMenard , both of whom now reside
in the County & city of St.LouisSt Louis in the
state of MissouriMissouri, and have for several years &
do now hold your petitioner in a state of absolute slavery, deprived of all her natural rights and privileges & in contempt and
defiance of the ordinance of the Congress of
the United StatesUnited States, made for the government of
Territory Northwest of the river OhioOhio,passed on the 13th day of July in the year of our Lord 1787 of which said
Territory IllinoisIllinois is a part, as your petitioner
your petitioner claims her freedom, being born
in said Territory Since the passage of said ordinance
Your petitioner therefore prays that she
may be permitted to sue as a poor person for

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her freedom, in the circuit court of St. Louis
County, according to the form of the statute in
that behalf made and provided, and that she
may be permitted to make the said FrancoisFrancois Chouteau
ChouteauFrancois Chouteau , by whatever name he may be
called, and all other person claiming your
petitioner as a slave parties in said suit â. And your petitioner will ever pray

AspasieAspasia her

X

mark
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State of MissouriMissouri
County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis

ss.

Personally appeared before
me PeterPeter FergusonFerguson a
Justice of the peace within and for the
county of St.LouisSt Louis, AspasieAspasia , a woman of
color, the person in the foregoing petition
mentioned, who being sworn, upon her corporal
oath saith, that the statutes & facts
contained in the foregoing petition, Stated on
her own knowledge are true, and, and
those are the information of others she believes
to be true

sworn to and subscribed before
me this 28th may 1827

PeterPeter FergusonFerguson
Justice of the peace

AspasieAspasia her

X

mark
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In the Circuit to Court July Term 1827.

St. Louis County Court,

AspasieAspasia who is permitted to sue as a
poor person by McGirk & Bent her attorneys complains of
FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau of a plea of trespass with force and
arms for that whereas heretofore towith on thefirst day of June in the year of Our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and Twenty six. The said Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau to wit
at the county of St. LouisSt Louis aforesaid, an assault did make
in and upon the body of the said AspasieAspasia
then there beat bruised ill-treated, & imprisoned her
the said AspasieAspasia there the said AspasieAspasia then & there kept
and detained in prison against her will & consent &
without any reasonable or probable cause, for a long
period of time towit for the Term of eleven months

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No 24

St Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court
July Term 1827.

AspasieAspasia
vs
Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau

This is an action of assault & battery imprisonment
Issue a Summons

McGirk & Bent
P. Q

Filed 30th May 1827

ArchArchibald Gamble GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk

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Executed this writ on FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau May 30th 1827 in the
City of St. LouisCity of St Louis by reading the writ Declaration & order of the Judge to him

R. SimpsonR Simpson Sheriff


By

L.P. Simonds Jr. Dp. SheriffService $1.00

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State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri

On reading within petition and affidavit, it is
ordered that the within named AspasieAspasia be permitted to sue as a poor
person according to the form of the Statute in such case made
and providedJohnJohn Bent BentJohn Bent Esquire are assigned as counsel. It is
further ordered that the said AspasiaAspasia have reasonable liberty to attend
her counsel & the court when occasion may require it and the said
AspasiaAspasia shall not he taken or removed out of the jurisdiction of
the circuit court for the county of St. LouisSt Louis, nor be subject to any severity,
because of her application for freedom â

Given under my hand at chambers this 30 May 1827

WillWill C. CarrCarr

Judge 3. Circuit

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County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis

The state of MissouriMissouri
to the Sheriff of St. Louis County Greeting

We command you to summon Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau that he be
and appear before the judge of our circuit court at the next time
thereof to be held at the City of St. LouisCity of St Louis within and for the county
of St. LouisSt Louis on the Fourth monday of July next then and there to
answer unto AspasieAspasia of a plea of Trespass with force and arms
to the damage of the said AspasieAspasia of one thousand dollars
and have you then there this writ

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WitnessArchibald GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk of our said
Court at Office this Thirtieth day of May in the year 1827

Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk

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And her the said AspasieAspasia he the said FrancoisFrancois still continues in prison & confinement contrary to the laws
of this state, and other wrongs to her the said AspasieAspasia then & there did against the place & dignity
of the state of MissouriMissouri; whereby the said AspasieAspasia
says she is injured and has sustained damage from
the said FrancoisFrancois to the sum of One Thousand
dollars, wherefore she sues

McGirk & Bent


for

Pltff

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State of MissouriMissouri
County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis

Personally appeared before
me PeterPeter FergusonFerguson a justice of the peace within
and for the county of St.LouisSt Louis, AspasieAspasia a woman of color; the person who signed & swore to the
truth of the foregoing Petition, and upon her corporal oath, by me administrated, saith, that She has been
informed by Mrs. ChouteauChouteau the wife of the foregoing named
FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau in said petition mentioned, that she
& the said FrancisFrancis had determined to send this affiant
out of the state of MissouriMissouri, & had made preparations
to do so, but that not finding his affiant at
the time, She had refuted; & further this affiant saith that
she has understood and verily believes, that it is now the
find design & intention of the said FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau
and wife to carry this affiant an board the steam
boat AmericaAmerica, now in port, and about to sail in a
few hours and convey this affiant down the river out
of the boundaries & this state for the express purpose
of preventing this affiant from constituting suit for &
obtaining her freedom; And further this affiant saith
that to require her to procure the affidavit of any
white person to attest the truth of her petition, would
be the certain means of defeating the ends of justice
& the institution of any suit for the freedom of this
affiant, and that she is certain, that of she is debarred
from her right to sue for her freedom immediately,
that her right will be completely defeated by delay

AspasieAspasia her

X

mark
Sworn to and subscribed before
me this thirteith day of May 1827

PeterPeter FergusonFerguson Justice of the peace
County St.Louis State of MissouriMissouri

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State of MissouriMissouri, 3. Judicial Circuit ss.

On reading the within petition & affidavit it is
ordered that the within named AspasieAspasia be
permitted to sue as a poor person according to
the form of the statute in such case made & provided,
and IsaacIsaac C. McMcGirk GirkMcGirk & John BentJohn Bent Esquires are
assigned as her counsel. It is further ordered that the
said AspasieAspasia have reasonable liberty to attened her
counsel & the court when occasion may require it,
and that the said AspasieAspasia shall not be taken or
removed out of the jurisdiction of the Circuit CourtCircuit Court for
the County of St.LouisCounty of St Louis, nor be subject to any severity,
because of her application for freedom.

Given under any hand at chambers
this 30. May 1827.

WillWill C.CarrCarr
Judge 3. Circuit

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Filed May 30th 1827

Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble clerk

.
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St. Louis Circuit CourtCircuit CourtJuly Term 1827.

Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau vs. AspasieAspasia

And the said ChouteauChouteau by J SpaldingJ Spalding his attorney
comes and defends the force and injury when
& c. and says that he is not guilty of the said supposed trespasses above
laid to his charge or any past thereof in manner and form in as the said
AspasieAspasia hath above thereof complained against him and of this he said
ChouteauChouteau defendant puts himself upon Country &c.

And for a further plea in this behalf said defendant
says that said plaintiff ought not to have or maintain her aforesaid
action thereof against him because he says that the said
plaintiff was at the time when said several supposed trespasses
were committed and during all that time & from thence hitherto
was & now is, the slave of him the said defendant and this he
is ready to verify; wherefore he prays judgment if the said
plaintiff ought have or maintain her aforesaid action
against him &c.

J. SpaldingJ Spalding

for defnt
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AspasieAspasia vs Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau

And the said AspasieAspasia of the first plea of the said
FrancoisFrancois by him above pleaded doth the like

And for replication to the plea of the said FrancoisFrancois by him
secondly above pleaded She says that she was not at the time when
the said several trespasses committed & from that time hitherto nor is she now the slave of him the said FrancoisFrancois in manner & form as he
has in his plea alleged

Bent & McGirk P. Q.

Filed July 25th 1827

A gamble Clerk

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FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau vs AspasieAspasia

pleas

filed July 23rd 1827

A G clerk

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AspasieAspasia , a woman of Colour
vs
FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau

In the St. LouisSt Louis circuit
court, Novr Term 1827

The above named defendant will take
notice, that the plaintiff in the above named cause,
will attend by herself or attorney at the Dwelling house of Madam RocheblaveRocheblave in the City of St. LouisCity of St Louis an saturday the
twenty fourth day of November instant between
the hours of nine of the forenoon and four
of the afternoon of that day, and then and there take the depositions of witnesses to be read at
the trial of the above named cause, an the
post of the plaintiff

St. LouisSt Louis, Novr 15th 1827

AspasieAspasia

, by

Bent & McGirk Attys

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AspasieAspasia
vs
FrancoisFrancois Chouteau ChouteauFrancois Chouteau

notice

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AspasieAspasia
vs
ChouteauChouteau

Notice to take depositions on 24 Nov.

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A copy of the within notice was
delivered to Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau Nov 16. 1827.

Service -$ 50

R SimpsonR Simpson Shff

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County Of St. LouisSt Louis, Sct.

The State of MissouriMissouri,

To the Sheriff of St. Louis County--Greeting.

You are hereby commanded to summon Marie Louise RocheblaveMaria Louisa Rocheblave , Louise La Chapelle
that, setting aside all manner of excuse and delay, he be and appear in proper person before the Judge
of our Circuit CourtCircuit Court , on the Seventh day of December at the City of St. LouisCity of St Louis,
then and there to testify and the truth to say in a certain matter of controversy now pending in our
said Court, wherein AspasieAspasia is plaintiff,
and Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau is defendant,
on the part of the plaintiff; and have you then there this writ.

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Witness, Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble , Clerk of our said CircuitCircuit Court
CourtCircuit Court , at the City of St. LouisCity of St Louis, this fourth day ofDecember in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven

A gamble

Clerk, C.C.
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Executed on Marie LouiseMaria Louisa Rocheblave RocheblaveMaria Louisa Rocheblave
and LouiseLouise LaChapelle LaChapelleLouise LaChapelle by reading to
them the same this 7th of December 1827

John Musick Sheriff

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november 1827
AspasieAspasia
vs
Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau

Marie LouisMaria Louisa Rocheblave RocheblaveMaria Louisa Rocheblave
LouiseLouise LaChapelle LaChapelleLouise LaChapelle

for

pltff

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Deposition taken at the dwelling house of Madam RocheblaveRocheblave within
CityCity of St Louis of St. LouisCity of St Louison Saturday the twenty fourth day of November within the year 1827 between the hours of nine the forenoon and
four in the afternoon of said any by virtue of writ to be read in evidence at the trial or the case Now... Circuit court of the county
of St. LouisSt Louis Between AspasieAspasia woman of color
as plaintiff and Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau defendant on the part of the plaintiff

MarieMaria Louisa Rocheblave LouiseMaria Louisa Rocheblave RocheblaveMaria Louisa Rocheblave being duly sworn on her oath
Saith that she is a acquainted with AspasieAspasia a mulatto girl, knew her
at KaskaskiaKaskaskia in the state of IllinoisIllinois, knew her from the period
of her birth, was the slave of a certain Baptiste Jeandrau
same place has understood that she had been sold by Jeandrau
to Pierre MenardPierre Menard with whose daughter she the said AspasieAspasia
came to the city of St. LouisSt Louis, has held her within city of some
time back, that the said AspasieAspasia was born at KaskaskiaKaskaskia in the family of Jeandrau this deponent is acquainted with the mistress of said AspasieAspasia , the wife of FrancoisFrancois Chouteau -
ChouteauFrancois Chouteau , has visited the home of said ChouteauChouteau where she has seen said AspasieAspasia in capacity of a slave, believing the
said AspasieAspasia may be and of twenty years of age

Sworn to & subscribed


on the day and year between the hours and at the place above written, the plaintiff attending...

Justice of the Peace

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MarieMarie LouiseLouise LaChapelle LaChapelleLouise LaChapelle being also duly sworn on her oath saith that she is acquainted with AspasieAspasia the above named girl, knew her at KasKaskia in IllinoisIllinois, understood that
the said AspasieAspasia was born at KaskaskiaKaskaskia...here at the taking of these depositions and who is

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AspasieAspasia vs

Francois ChouteauFrancois Chouteau
the clerk of the circuit court

St. Louis County

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Filed 3rd December, 1827

A gamble clerk