Jonathan and Gilbert, men of color v. Coleman Duncan, Edward Tract, and Charles Wahrendorff
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State ofMissouri MissouriMissouriCircuit CourtCircuit Court Third Judicial Circuit St Louis
CountyMarch Term AD 1831

To the Honorable WilliamWilliam C CarrCarr Judge of said
Court in Chancery Sitting

Your orators Jonathan & Gilbert
men of color represent unto your honor that heretofore
to wit on the 20th day of May in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred & thirtyat said county Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan
whom your complainants pray may be made defendant
to this bill had seized & taken into his possession & there
held in his custody the said GilbertGilbert who is the brother of
said JonathanJonathan & the said ColemanColeman then & there claimed
siad GilbertGilbert as his slave for life offered to sell him
as such to said complainant JonathanJonathan who is a free man of color & threatened that if said
JonathanJonathan would not purchase said GilbertGilbert to take
said GilbertGilbert to some other place & sell him as a slave
The said ColemanColeman proposed that said JonathanJonathan
should give him in advance one hundred Dollars
& said JonathanJonathan & said GilbertGilbert should give him
there obligation for three hundred Dollars more
payable by Installments $100 payable Ten months
from the date last aforesaid and & $100 payable Twenty
months from the date last aforesaid & $100
payable Thirty months from the said 25th day May AD 1830 and it was further suggested
that by the time these installments became
due said GilbertGilbert could earn the money aforesaid
$400 by his laboring & it was preposed that if said
GilbertGilbert should die at any time before the end of
the Thirty months aforesaid that the said Jonathan
& Gilbert should only pay said a porportionable
part of said sum of Three hundred Dollas, and it
was suggested that as GilbertGilbert desired to be a free man
said ColemanColeman should convey said GilbertGilbert to said JonathanJonathan
as a slave by bill of Sale That said JonathanJonathan
should give said GilbertGilbert a bond of Emancipation

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and that said complaints should give them same
obligation to said ColemanColeman for the Three hundred Dollars
payable by Installments as aforesaid your complainants
say that said JonathanJonathan acting under the belief that
the representation made by said ColemanColeman that said
GilbertGilbert was his slave was true & said GilbertGilbert acting under
of false imprisonment they to the preparation
& acted upon the suggestions of said ColemanColeman and said
JonathanJonathan accordingly advanced $100 to him said ColemanColeman
then gave said JonathanJonathan a bill of sale for said
GilbertGilbert , said JonathanJonathan there signed & sealed in
presence of witnesses a bond of Emancipation for
said GilbertGilbert which bond of Emancipation it was
suggested said JonathanJonathan should keep the said
sum of $400 should be paid by said GilbertGilbert so
that said JonathanJonathan should be secured for the
many & which he should security for an
amount of said GilbertGilbert which Bill of Sale and
bond of Emancipation are the first marked
A No 1 & the Second B No 2. and the
complainants make them a part of this bill.
said complainants say they their expected & believed
to said ColemanColeman there same obligation of for three
hundred Dollars payable by Instalments according
to the proposition of said ColemanColeman as before stated
and said complainants say that said sum of
$100 was advanced & said bond for $300 was
given for the purpose of affecting the the Emancipation
of said GilbertGilbert from Slavery & no other consideration
and said complainants alledge that when said
Bond was expected & long before that said GilbertGilbert
had became entitled to his freedom & said ColemanColeman well knew it but then & for a Long time

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held saidGilbertGilbert in slavery & false imprisonment
said complainants further say that said Bond
for $300 as they are informed & believe is now
held by EdwardEdward Tracy TracyEdward Tracy & CharlesCharles Wahrendorff WahrendorffCharles Wahrendorff
of St LouisSt Louis & that they are interested in it.

Said complainants further alledge that said
Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan is not a resident of the state of
MissouriMissouri & that he is insolent & that if said bond should be paid
your complainants could have no adequate remedy
against him, your complainants pray that said
& may alsobe made defendants
your complainants for the reasonsaforesaid pray
that a subpoena may issued requiring the Defendants
to appear and answer this bill that they
may be compelled to answer an all
the allegations of this bill so far as such answers
will not them, that they may be
compelled to produce in court the said bond for
$300 - that they may be
at Law on said bond untill they shall have answered this bill to and finally that by the
of this Court said bond may be delivered &
cancelled and finally the complainants pray for
such further & other relief as shall to
this Honorable court & they will pray

G A BirdG A Bird Solicitor for
complainants

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No304

St Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court
March Term 1831

Jonathan & Gilbert free
men of color

vs
Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan
Edward TracyEdward Tracy
& Charles WahrendorffCharles Wahrendorff

Original bill in Changery

The clerk of St LouisSt Louis
Circuit will please
Issue a subpoena
G A BirdG A Bird Solicitor for
complts Filed12th March 1831

Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk

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Copy of B

Know all men by these presents that I JonathanJonathan
a free black man of St LouisSt Louis MissouriMissouri for &
in consideration of good causes me
hereunto moving do hereby emancipate
discharge & free from slavery
a certain Negro Man aged about Twenty five years named GilbertGilbert being the same
person this day conveyed to mt by ColemanColeman Duncan
DuncanColeman Duncan by bill of Sale_ hereby relinquishing
all my to him & discharging him
from all claim or

of I have hereto set my hand & seal this Twenty fifth day ofMay in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & thirty

Jonathan DuncanJonathan Duncan

x

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his mark Signed Sealed & Delivered after having been read to JonathanJonathan in our presence

JJ Spalding SpaldingJ Spalding JamesJames Keyte

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State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri. Judicial Circuit
St Louis CountyMarch Term AD 1831


To the Honorable WilliamWilliam C. CarrCarr Judge
of said Court in Cancery Sitting

Your orators Jonathan & Gilbert men of color
represent unto your honor that heretofore to wit
on the25th day of may in the year of our Lord eightheen hundred & thirty at said county
Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan whom your complainants pray
may be made Defendant to this bill had seized
& taken into his possession & then held in his custody
the said GilbertGilbert who is the brother of said JonathanJonathan
and the said then there said
Coelman then & there claimed said
GilbertGilbert as his slave for life offered to sell him
as such to said JonathanJonathan who is a free man of
color and threatened that if said JonathanJonathan not purchase said GilbertGilbert to take said GilbertGilbert to some other place & sell him as a slave
That said ColemanColeman preposed that said JonathanJonathan
should give him one hundred Dollars
and said JonathanJonathan & said GilbertGilbert should give
him this same obligation for three hundred Dollars
made payable payable by $100 payable
ten months from the date last aforesaid $100
payable twenty months from the date last
aforesaid & $100 payable in thirty months
from thedate last aforesaid said 25th day of of may AD 1830 - and it was further suggested
that by the time these installments became due
said GilbertGilbert could earn the money aforesaid $400
by his labor and it was proposed that if said GilbertGilbert should die at any time before the end
of the Thrity months aforesaid that the said Jonathan & Gilbert should only pay said Cole
man a proportionable part of said sum of
Three hundred Dollars -

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and it was Suggested that as Said GilbertGilbert desired to
become a free man Said ColemanColeman should
convey said GilbertGilbert to said JonathanJonathan as a slave
by bill of sale that said JonathanJonathan should
give said GilbertGilbert a Deed of Emancipation and
that said complainants should give these same
obligations to said ColemanColeman for the Three hundred
Dollars payble by intallments as aforesaid
Your complainants say that the said JonathanJonathan acting
under the belief that the representation made by
said ColemanColeman that said GilbertGilbert was his slave
was true and the said GilbertGilbert acting under
duress of false imprisonment they agreed to the
propositions & acted upon the suggestions of said
ColemanColeman and said JonathanJonathan accordingly-
advanced one hundred Dollars to him said
ColemanColeman said JonathanJonathan then gave said
JonathanJonathan a bill of sale for said GilbertGilbert
Said JonathanJonathan then Signed & Sealed in presence
of witnesses a Deed of emancipation for said GilbertGilbert which of emancipation it was
suggested said JonathanJonathan should untill the said sum of $400 should be paid by
said GilbertGilbert so that said JonathanJonathan should be
secured for the money advanced & which he
should security for on account of said
gilbert which Bill of Sale & Deed of emancipation the first marked A No 1 and the
second B No 2 and the complainants make them a part of this Bill. Said Complainants
say they there executed & delivered to said
ColemanColeman obligation for three hundred Dollars payable by instalments according to the
proposition of said ColemanColeman as before stated and said Complainants say that sum of $100 was advanced and said bond for $300

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was given for the purpose of effecting the
emancipation of said GilbertGilbert from slavery &
no other consideration and said complain

-ants alledge that when said bond was executed
and long before that said GilbertGilbert had become entitled to his freedom but there & for a long
time previous held said GilbertGilbert in Slavery & false
imprisonment. Siad complainants further
say that said Bond for $300 is now held by
Edward Lay & Charles WahrendorffCharles Wahrendorff of StSt Louis
LouisSt Louis & that they are interested in it.
Said Complainants further alledge that said
Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan is not a resident of the
State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri & that he is & that
if said Bond should be paid your complain-
ants would have no adequate remedy against
him. Your complainants pray that said
Lay & may also be made Defendants
Your complainants for the reasons aforesaid
pray- that a subpoena may issue requiring
the Defendants to appear & answer this bill
that they may be compelled to answer on
oath all the allegations of this bill so far as
such answer will not criminate them that they may
be compelled to produce in
court said bond for $300 that they may
be from proceeding at Law on said Bond untill they shall have answered
this bill to_ and finally that by the the Decree
of this Court said Bond may be delivered
up & cancelled and finally the complaints pray for such futher & other relief as shall
seemmeet to this honorable court and they
will pray &c

G A BirdG A Bird Solicitor

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Copy of A No 1

Know all by those presents that I ColemanColeman Duncan
DuncanColeman Duncan of Hopkins CountyHopkins County in KentuckyKentucky for and
in consideration of four hundred Dollars to
me in hand paid by Jonathan DuncanJonathan Duncan a
free black man of St LouisSt Louis in MissouriMissouri have
granted bargained sold and conveyed and by
these presents do grant bargain sell and convey unto
said Jonathan DuncanJonathan Duncan a certain Negro man
slave aged about Twenty five years named
GilbertGilbert being the same slave conveyed to me
JamesJames by Bill of Sale dated second day of
April in the year of our our Lord one thousand
eight hundred & Twenty six-to have & to hold
said Negro man slave named GilbertGilbert unto him
said JonathanJonathan his administrators & assigns
and I do hereby that I &
my representations shall forever warrant & defend
said slave & the title thereto unto the said
JonathanJonathan his executors administrators and
assigns against all presons claiming him as a slave

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set
my hand & seal this Twently fifth day of
May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & thirty

Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan

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Signed Sealed &Delivered in presence of

J SpaldingJ Spalding

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Sitting as Court
of Chancery) at the next term thereof to be held at the CityCity of St Louis
ofCity of St Louis St LouisCity of St Louis within and for the County of Saint LouisCounty of Saint Louis on
the Fourth Monday of March instant then and there to answer
to a bill of complaint exhibited against them by JonathanJonathan
and GilbertGilbert free men of Color and have you then there this writ.

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Witness ArchibaldArchibald Gamble GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk of our
said Circuit CourtCircuit Court at office this twelfth day of March Eighteen hundred and thirty one

ArchibaldArchibald Gamble GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk

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I acknowledge service for

E Tracy

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No304

StCircuit Court LouisCircuit Court Circuit CourtCircuit Court
March Term 1831

Jonathan & GilbertvsColeman DuncanColeman Duncan , EdwardEdward Tracy
TracyEdward Tracy & Charles WahrendorffCharles Wahrendorff

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Executed this writ on Edward TracyEdward Tracy by off
-ering to him the copy of bill furnished
by the Clerk, and reading this writ to
him, & on Chas. Wahrindorff by his (said
Tracy's) acknowledging service, for
him, Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan not found
in my county

March 1831

John K. WalkerJohn K Walker
Sheriff

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2 Service $2
2 .50
$ 2.50

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StCircuit Court LouisCircuit Court CircuitCircuit Court CourtCircuit Court
March Term 1831

Edward TracyEdward Tracy
Charles WahrendorffCharles Wahrendorff &

Jonathan & Gilbert

of to the of

The said defendants Charles WahrendorffCharles Wahrendorff &
Edward TracyEdward Tracy , & reserving to themselves all and all
manner of benefit of exception to said Bill of Complaint for
the manifold errors, & insufficiences therein
contained for answer thereunto or to so much thereof or
they are advised, is material, answer and they say that
in the spring of the year 1830JonathanJonathan one of the
complainants, came to the defendant WahrendorffWahrendorff & stated that his (Jonathan's brother GilbertGilbert , the slave
of Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan was then is your & could get
free by paying & saving the sum of four hun-
dred dollars, and asked said Wahrendorff's advice
respecting the manner in which it should be done:
he then stated further that said coleman wished
him (JonathanJonathan ) to become bound for the money
in which case he would give sufficient length of credit
to enable GilbertGilbert to earn the money
& that the sum of four houndred dollars was re-
quired to be paid down. The defendant Wahren-
dorff advised JonathanJonathan not to become bound
unless Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan would agree to make
a notable deduction from the amount of the
purchase money, in case GilbertGilbert should die
or become permanently unable to work within
the period allowed by the contract. JonathanJonathan

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to the suggestion of said WahrendorffWahrendorff &
& asked him to accompany him -said JonathanJonathan to
the office of J. SpaldingJ Spalding in order to conclude the
arrangement with Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan . The defen
dants further say that immediately thereafter
said WahrendorffWahrendorff did accompany JonathanJonathan to
the office of said SpaldingSpalding where the arrange-
ment was was concluded: and an instrument made
seal of Jonathan& Gilbert to Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan
for three hundred dollars was executed (a copy of
which marked A. No. 1. is hereto annexed as part of
this and immediately thereafter said Cole-
man & JonathanJonathan accompanied the defendant Wah-
rendorff to his stone, where he said defendant
advanced at Jonathan's request, one hundred
dollor to said ColemanColeman , it being the sum
that was by the agreement to be paid down
in cash and that in all this transaction the
defendant WahrendorffWahrendorff was in no no win interest-
ed, but acted merely as the friend of JonathanJonathan
& at his request, & from the same motives & no
other,then lent him said hundred dollars.
The defendants further say that the said JonathanJonathan
informed said WahrendorffWahrendorff during the aforesaid trans-
actions that said Gilbert & Coleman had got into a
dispute that ColemanColeman wished to take him out of
the country & that GilbertGilbert intended to sue for free-
dom, but that as he JonathanJonathan knew that Gil-
bert belonged to ColemanColeman , it would be best to
settle the matter amicably, & that it would be best to make the said arrangement; and that it
was right that GilbertGilbert should pay for himself
said defendents further say that afterwards wait

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on the twenty eighth of June in the same year
James DuncanJames Duncan the brother of ColemanColeman , called on
saidWahrendorffWahrendorff & borrowed on the the faith of said
instrument a sum of money & pledged the said
instrument or bond of Jonathan & Gilbert for the
repayment of the same & that there is now due
from said DuncanDuncan to these defendants for which said bond is
pledged, the sum of one hundred dollars: and that said defendants have been notified that the balance
due on said Bond, has been transferred to James
S. Thomas and these defendants charge that there
was no nor fraud in said transactions, alledging that they were not of any that the
purchase of Gilbert's freedom was in their belief
the result of a a dispute between the master and
his have, which was compromised fairly at what
they understand to be an underprice for the slave
the saidGilbert & Jonathan his brother choosing rath-
er to pay the sum of four hundred dollars, than
to abide the result, & pay the expenses, of a tedious
suit: and to that purport, the said JonathanJonathan
expressed himself to the defendant WahrendorffWahrendorff .
The defendants further say that within a week
after said bond was put into the defendant's
hands to secure said hundred dollars, said Jona-
than was notified of such fact & transfer at
which time be made no objection to paying the
same. The defendants further say that said Tracy during all said transactions was absent from
St. LouisSt Louis & knows nothing except from hearsay
& so makes the above statements. And they suppose that
the instruments copies of which are made exhibits in the Bill
of complaint were executed & that said copies are correct
but do not know & therefore do not admit it They

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believe said ColemanColeman is not a resident of MissouriMissouri, but
do not know whether he is insolvent or not but be-
lieve & charge the the fact so to be that he is not in-
solvent.Nor do these defendants know whether said
GilbertGilbert could have obtained his freedom from said Cole-
man by suit, but believe & charge that both Jona-
than & GilbertGilbert were doubtful of the event, & chose
rather than try the experiment of a suit & pay the
expense & submit to the delay, to compromise the claim
to freedom in the manner aforesaid: and then de--
fendants deny any participation in the transactions
detailed in said Bill of Complaint other than as
above stated: without that that there is any other
matter or thing material or necessary for this defendant
to make answer unto and not herein and hereby
will and sufficiently answered unto, confessed or avoided
traversed or denied, is true,, all which matters and things
these defendants Tracy & Wahrendorff are ready to aver
and prove as this honorable Court shall direct and
award & humbly prays to be hence with their
reasonable costs & changes in their behalf most wrongfully sustained

J SpaldingJ Spalding


for Tracy &

Wahrendorff

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State of MissouriMissouri
CountyCounty St Louis of StCounty St Louis LouisCounty St Louis

ss

Edward TracyEdward Tracy & CharlesCharles Wah-
rendorff being severally duly sworn on their oaths
respectively say that the matters & things in above an
swer stated as of their own knowledge are true &
those stated as matters of or belief they be-
live
to be true

Edwd. Tracy


Chas Wahrendorff

Sworn to & Subscribed to the
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A.No.1.
(copy)

Ten months after date we promise
to pay to Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan or order the sum
of one hundred dollars: & twenty months after
date we promise to pay said ColemanColeman the fur-
ther sum of one hundred dollars & thirty months
after date we promise to pay said ColemanColeman the
further sum of one hundred dollars. The two
last mentioned serves to bear interest from the
date hereofat the rate of six per cent per an-
num for value received. This obligation however
subject to the following condition. That
whereas
this instrument is for the benefit of the under-
signed GilbertGilbert whose labor it is hoped will meet
there payments now if said GilbertGilbert shall die or become from sickness or accident permanently
unable to work, at any time within thirty months
from this date then only the notable proportion
of the above sum shall be paid, Witness our
hands and seals this25th. May 1830

Jonathan DuncanJonathan Duncan
Gilbert Duncan

Signed sealed & delivered in


presence of (after its being read
to JonathanJonathan (after its being read
GilbertGilbert

J SpaldingJ Spalding

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No
Tracy & Wahrendorff &
Coleman DuncanColeman Duncan
Jonathan & Gilbert

Answer of Tracy & Wahrendorff

J SpaldingJ Spalding
for T & W

filedApril 6th 1831

A GambleArchibald Gamble Clk

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County of St LouisCounty of St Louisss
The State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri

To the Sheriff of S LouisS Louis County Greeting

We command you as we heretofore commanded
you to summonColeman DuncanColeman Duncan that he be and
appear before the Judge of our CircuitCircuit Court CourtCircuit Court sitting
as a Court of Chancery at the next term thereof to
be held at the City of S LouisS Louis within and for the
County of S LouisCounty of S Louis on the fourth monday of July
next then and there to answer the bill of Complaint
of JonathanJonathan and GilbertGilbert , free men of color And
have you then there this writ

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Witness Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk
of our said court at office
this 21st day of April 1831

ArchibaldArchibald Gamble GambleArchibald Gamble Clk

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ColemanColeman Duncan DuncanColeman Duncan not found in my
County

John

Shff
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July Term 1831
Jonathan Gilbert
vs
ColemanColeman Duncan DuncanColeman Duncan

Alias-