Nelly Richards, a woman of colour v. William Sewel
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NellyNelly RichardsRichards
Petition--

Filed 17March 1831,

A GambleArchibald Gamble Clk

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To the Hon. Judge of the

Circuit Court of the Third
Judicial Circuit, Saint Louis CountySt Louis State ofMissouri
MissouriMissouri.

March Term 1831.

Your Petitioner NellyNelly RichardsRichards Represents
to this Honourable Court that she was born in
Charles County MarylandMaryland, lived there until she
was fourteen years old the property of Kitty Middleton
at whose death she was left free, after the death of Kitty
Middleton her daughter sent the Petitioner to VirginiaVirginia
Forquier County to William SewelWilliam Sewel the Husband of
Kitty Middleton's daughter, about four years since the said
William SewelWilliam Sewel moved with his Family to IndianaIndiana
and the Town of Indanopolis,
of
where your Petitioner was allowed
allowed freedom by the Judgment of the Court of
that State, that after that the said Sewel removed
your Petitioner to LouisvilleLouisville KentuckyKentucky and brought
her from that place to the City of Saint LouisSt Louis
That your Petitioner is Twenty four years old_
Your Petitioner states that she is still held in slavery
by the said William SewelWilliam Sewel in the County ofCounty of Saint Louis Saint LouisCounty of Saint Louis and
State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri where she is advised and believes that
she is entitled to her freedom and therefore your petitioner
prays that she may be permitted to sue in forma pauperis
to establish her right thereto and that such other and
further orders may be made in the premises as the
Law directs and as may seem and proper to
this Hon Court--

NellyNelly Richards

x

her mark

Sworn to & subsribed this 10th day of March 1831 Before

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State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri
Third Judicial Circuit, To wit,

It is hereby ordered that the within named Petitioner
NellyNelly RichardsRichards be permitted to sue as a poor person
to establish her right to freedom and G. T. Strother Esq
is assigned as her counsel. It is moreover ordered that
the said NellyNelly have reasonable liberty to attend her counsel
and the court whenever occasion may require: and that
she shall not be removed out of the jurisdiction of the
Court nor be subjected to any severity on account of her
application for freedom. Given under my hand at my chambers this11th. of march 1831.

WillWill . C. CarrCarr


Judge of 3d Circuit aforesaid
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No. 2.


July Term 1831 S LouisS LouisCircuit CourtCircuit Court

NellyNelly RichardsRichards
a woman of colour
vsWilliam SewelWilliam Sewel

Trespass assault battery
& false imprisonment
The Clerk will issue
Summons

Geo. F. Strother


Atty

Filed 17th March 1831
A GambleArchibald Gamble Clk

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The defendant not found in my
County9th July 1831Non est. 50 cts

Jn K WalkerJohn K Walker


Sheriff
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St Louis County Circuit CourtCircuit Court
of the Term ofJuly 1831

StateMissouri ofMissouri MissouriMissouri
Saint LouisSt Louis County

To wit NellyNelly RichardsRichards , a woman
of colour who by permission of the Court sues in forma
pauperis, complains of William SewelWilliam Sewel For that on the
first day of August in the Year 1831 the said WilliamWilliam Sewel
SewelWilliam Sewel made an assault on the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards
to wit at the City within the County ofCounty of Saint Louis SaintCounty of Saint Louis LouisCounty of Saint Louis and
State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri and then and there seized and laid
hold of the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards and with great force and
violence, pulled and draged about her the said NellyNelly
RichardsRichards and then and there struck the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards
a great many violent blows and strokes and then and
there imprisoned the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards and kept
and detained her in prison there without any reasonable
or probable cause whatsoever for a long space of time to
wit for the space of six Months then next following
contrary to law did against the will of the said NellyNelly
whereby she the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards was then and there
not only greatly bruised and wounded but was thereby
greatly exposed and her life endangered to wit at the
City of SaintSt Louis LouisSt Louis aforesaid and and within the said
County and the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards avers that before
and at the time of committing the said grievances she was &
still is a Free_PersonPerson and that the defendantWilliamWilliam Sewel
SewelWilliam Sewel held and detained her and still holds and detains
her in slavery to wit at the County ofCounty of Saint Louis Saint LouisCounty of Saint Louis aforesaid
and other wrongs to the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards then and
there did against the peace of the State and to the damage
of the said NellyNelly RichardsRichards of Five hundred Dollars
and therefore she brings suit

Geo F Strother
Atty.

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County ofCounty of St Louis St LouisCounty of St Louis Ss The State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri

To the Sheriff of S LouisS Louis County Greeting

We command you to summon WilliamWilliam Sewel SewelWilliam Sewel that he be and appear
before the Judge of our CircuitCircuit Court CourtCircuit Court at the next term thereof to be held
at the City of S LouisS Louis within and for the County ofCounty of S Louis S LouisCounty of S Louis on the fourth
monday of July next then and there to answer unto NellyNelly RichardsRichards of a plea of trespass and false imprisonment to the damage
of said plaintiff of five hundred dollars and have you then there this
writ

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Witness Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk of our said
Court at Office the seventeenth day March eighteen hundred and thirty one

Archibald GambleArchibald Gamble Clerk

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State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri
Third Judicial Circuit-to wit

It is hereby ordered that the within named petitioner NellyNelly RichardsRichards be permitted to sue as a poor person to estab-
lish her right to freedom and G.F. Strother Esq. is assigned as her counsel
It is moreover ordered that the said NellyNelly have reasonable liberty to attend
her counsel and the court whenever occasion may require and that she
shall not be removed out of the Jurisdiction of the Court nor be subjected
to any severity on account of her application for freedom

Given under my hand at my ChambersChambers this 11th.. of March 1831

WillWill C. CarrCarr

Judge of 3d Circuit aforesaid_