Thomas Jefferson vs. Milton W. Hopkins
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St Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson (of color)
vs
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins

Petition for freedom
Now in .

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To the Hon. the Judge of the St. Louis CircuitCircuit Court
CourtCircuit Court.

The Petition of Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson , a man
of Color aged about thirty years, as represents
to your honor, that he wasborn a slave in the
State of VirginiaState of Virginia, when he resided the year
eighteen hundred and thirty five, that in the spring of
that year, your petition was boughtby his master
one CharlesCharles Drexler to St. LouisSt Louis in the State ofMissouri
MissouriMissouri, when he resided until the spring of the year
eighteen hundred and thirty nine, that in the month of March or April of the year last named his master the
said CharlesCharles Drexler sold your petitioner to one Doctor
SamuelSamuel ProsserProsser , who is a brother of said Drexler wife,
that said said DoctorSamuelSamuel ProsserProsser then resided and
new resides at JacksonvilleJacksonville in the State of IllinoisIllinois,
that said ProsserProsser immediately after becoming the owner
of your petition to wit in the month of April of the year eighteen hundred and thirty nine, took your petitioner
from St. LouisSt Louis in the State of MissouriMissouri, and conveyed him to the
County of MorganCounty of Morgan in the State of IllinoisIllinois, and then held
him to labor and service on his the said ProsserProsser farm
situate within four miles of JacksonvilleJacksonville in the said
County of Morgan State of IllinoisIllinois, from the said
month of April until the month of December in the
same year, being for a period of about eight months
that petition was employed during said time at ordinary
farming labor for the said ProsserProsser that in the month of
December of said year last named there began to be
deal of talk in the neighborhood about said ProsserProsser holding
petitions as a slave in said State of IllinoisIllinois, and said
ProsserProsser framing the information of the authorities there,
came from JacksonvilleJacksonville in a carriage with his father in law
to his farm when your petitioner was at work, put
and drove off and bought petition

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to St. LouisSt Louis in the State of MissouriMissouri, and then hired him
out, and now does and was since has received the rewards
of petitioners labor. That petitioner now is and has been
for the last two years and in the possession of one MiltonMilton W Hopkins
W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins , who holds petitioners in slavery as a
ProsserProsser . Your petitioner believes that he is entitled to his
freedom, and prays your for leave to see as a
poor person, in false imprisonment against said MiltonMilton W Hopkins
W HopkinsMilton W Hopkins , in order to establish his right to freedom, and he
will pray &c.

his
ThomasThomas Jefferson JeffersonThomas Jefferson
mark

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State of MissouriMissouri
St Louis County ss.

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson , a man of color
being duly sworn says that the mattersand things contained
in the foregoing petition are true

Sworn to and subscribed the >10th day of December 1842

AlfonsoWitmore
Justice of the Peace

his
ThomasThomas Jefferson JeffersonThomas Jefferson
mark

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

Being satisfied that the forgoing petition contains sufficient matter to
authorize the commencement of a suit, I do make the following
orders. First, That the said Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson , a man of color
be allowed to sue as a poor person to establish his right to freedom
and do assign F. B. MurdochF B Murdoch Esq. as his counsel.
Second that the said Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson have reasonable liberty
to attend his counsel and the Court, as occasion may require, that
he be not removed out of the jurisdiction of the County and that
he be not subject to any severity on account of his application for freedom.

Done in open Court 12 December 1842


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State of MissouriMissouri
St LouisSt Louis county ss

In the Circuit CourtCircuit Court
of St Louis County

ThomasThomas a man of color, complains
of MiltonMilton W Hopkins WMilton W Hopkins HopkinsMilton W Hopkins , of a plea of trespass for that
the said defendant, on the first day of December eighteen hundred and forty two, with force and arms
made an assault upon the said plaintiff to writ at
the County aforesaid and then and there beatbruised
and ill treated him the said plaintiff and then
and there imprisoned him the said plaintiff and
kept and detained him in prison there, without
any reasonable cause whatsoever for a long time,
to writ for the space of twenty four hours there next
following contrary to the laws of the said state and
against the will of the said plaintiff and the said
plaintiff's arms that before and at the time of the com

mitting ofsaid of grievances, he the said plaintiff was
and still is, a free person and that the defendant
held and still holds him in slavery to the said
plaintiff damage one hundred Dollars and therefore
he brings suit &

F. P. Murdoch
atty for plff

St LouisSt Louis12 Decr 1842

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S LouisS LouisCircuit CourtCircuit Court
March Term 1843

ThomasThomas Jefferson JeffersonThomas Jefferson , a man
of color
vs
milton W Hopkins

Suit for freedom
Man in falseImpt

The Clerk will issue sums
as directed by the Court

FBMurdochMurdoch
atty for

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County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis, ss.
The State Of MissouriMissouri,

To the Sheriff of St. Louis CountyâGreeting:

We command you to Summon
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins
that he be and appear
before the Judge of our Circuit CourtCircuit Court , on the first day of the next term thereof, to be
held at the City of St. LouisCity of St Louis, within and for the county of St. LouisSt Louis, on the third Monday
of March next, then and there to answer unto ThomasThomas Jefferson
JeffersonThomas Jefferson (a man of color) of a plea of
trespass, in false imprisonment
to the damage of said plaintiff One Hundred
dollars: And have you then there this writ.

Witness, John RulandJohn Ruland , Clerk of our said Court,
with the seal thereof hereto affixed, at office, in the
city of St. LouisSt Louis, this twelfth day ofDecember in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty two

Jn. RulandJohn Ruland

Clerk.
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I acknowledge myself bound for all costs that may accrue in the above cause.

Witness my hand and seal, at St. LouisSt Louis, this day of 184

L.S.

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Contd. at Defts costs for J. Hildrett & Mrs. Drexler Bk 14 p 444. admission &
agreement filed Bk 14 p 453. Venue changed to St. LouisSt Louis Court of Comn.
Pleas Bk 15 p 77. (May 27. 1844.)

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No 14

St. Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court
March Term 1843

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
vs
summons
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins

Suit for freedom

It is ordered by the Court, First
that the said Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson a
man of color be allowed to sue as
a poor person to establish his right to
freedom and as assign F. BF B Murdoch MurdochF B Murdoch
Esqr his counsel, Second, that the
said Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson have reason
able liberty to attend his counsel and
the Court as occasion may require
that he be not removed out of the juris-
diction of the Court and that he
be not subject to any severity on ac-
count of his application for freedom
Done in open Court 12th Decr 1842

BryanBryan
Judge &c

Filed December 12th 1842

Jn. RulandJohn Ruland Clk

J. B. Murdoch

(24) .
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Executed this writ in the county of
Saint LouisSt Louis on the 31st day of December 1842
by reading it and the declaration and order
of the judge to Milton W HopkinsMilton W Hopkins the defendant

Service $1.00

William MilburnWilliam Milburn Shff
By HenryHenry B Belt Depty

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Bill of sale

Ch. W. Drechler
vs

$ 500.

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This indenture made of the city of St LouisSt Louis in the
state of MissouriMissouri between Charles W. Drechler
late of the state of VirginiaVirginia & now of the City
F.N.Orleans, by of the city of StSt Louis
LouisSt Louisaforesaid his duly authorized in
the premises party of the and

Proper of the State ofIllinois IllinoisIllinois
of the second part witnesseth &
comsideration of five hundred dollars by
of the secondpart to of the first
part. Three hundred & ten dollars. Partthereof
havingbeen this day paid to said amount and
the balance of the said five hundred dollars
having paid to said Drechler
himself)- the said party of the firstpart
hath granted, buy & delivered to
said party of the second part a negro man
slave for life named TomTom who is about
years & is lame in one of his legs-
to have and to hold said slave TomTom to said
Doctor his heirs & assigns
for such estate as said Charles W. Duchlerhas
& holds in said slave. In witness whereof
said party of the first part to sets his
hand & seal at the cityof StSt Louis. LouisSt Louisaforesaid
this 19th day of March A D. 1840

Charles W. Drechler
by his agent
WilliamWilliam CarrCarr Sam

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

Be it remembered that on this twenty seventh day
of March eighteen hundred before me
Joseph WJoseph W a Justice of the Peace in &
the countyaforesaidWilliamWilliam CarrCarr Samwhose per

sonally known to to be the manner is
Bill of sale as of Charles W.

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W .Drechler wherein named and acknowledged
the said to be him act &
the think

& the day & year aforesaid

Justice

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Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
vs
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins

In the St Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court
April Term 1843

And the said defendant
by his attorneys causes and defends the
wrong & injury when & says he is not guilty
of the said supposed grievances above laid
to his charge or any part thereof in manner &
form as the plaintiff hath above thereof complained
against, & of this the defendant puts himself
upon the county &c

DrakeDrake & Rannells
Attys for Deft.

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Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
vs
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins

Plea
DrakeDrake & Rannells
Attys for Deft

Filed May 5 1843

L Ruland Clk

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County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis ss.
The State Of MissouriMissouri,

To
Wm CarrCarr Lane, Miron Leslie, John
Hildreth, & MahaliaMahalia Drexler
Greeting:â

You are hereby commanded, that setting aside all manner of excuse and delay, you appear
before the Judge of our Circuit CourtCircuit Court , on the 25th March, inst
at the city of St. LouisSt Louis, then and there to
testify and the truth to say in a certain matter of controversy now pending in our said Court,
wherein Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson is
plaintiff and Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins is
defendant on the part of defendant
and herein you are in no wise to fail.

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Witness, John RulandJohn Ruland , Clerk of our said Court, with the
seal thereof hereto affixed, at office, in the city of St. LouisSt Louis,
this 22d day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty 4

Jn RulandJohn Ruland

Clerk, C.C.
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Thos Jefferson
vs
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins

Writs for Deft

Wm CarrCarr Lane

Miron Leslie

John Hildreth

MahaliaMahalia Drexler

(Inquire of HubbardHubbard and Block on
main St opposite the Market.)
March 23
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Executed the 25th March 1844Hildreth
& Drexler not found

Wm MilturnShff

By

fee $ 1.50
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County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis, ss.
The State Of MissouriMissouri,

To PeterPeter C. Havaka,
& J E. Tracy
Greeting:

You are hereby commanded, that setting aside all manner of excuse and delay, you appear
before the Judge of our Circuit CourtCircuit Court , on the Twenty day of March
instant 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 Thomas, Jefferson, a man of Color is
plaintiff and Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins is
defendant on the part of plaintiff
and herein you are in no wise to fail.

Witness, John RulandJohn Ruland , Clerk of our said Court, with
the seal thereof hereto affixed, at office, in the City of StCity of St Louis.
LouisCity of St Louis, this >Twenty Third day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty four

John RulandJohn Ruland

Clerk C.C.
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In Circuit CourtCircuit Court

Thos. Jefferson
a man of Color
vs
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins

Subpoena

J. E. Tracy at social Hall
P. E. Havaka, at CharlesCharles

for March 25. for
Plff
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Executed the 25th March 1844


By

Fees $ 1.00
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Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
vs
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins

In the St. LouisCircuit Court
Circuit CourtCircuit Court
Suit for Freedom

Milton Hopkins, the
defendant in this case admits that
at the time of the institution of this
suit he held the said Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson ,
a man of color in his service as
a slave, having hired him of
of JacksonvilleJacksonville IllinoisIllinois

M. W. Hopkins

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I agree that the above facts are true and
that this may heneed in

Attorney

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In Circuit CourtCircuit Court

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
vs
Milton W. HopkinsMilton W Hopkins

Deft's admission

Filed March 26th 1844

John RulandJohn Ruland Clerk

Entered 14 1453