Elsa Hicks, a mulatto girl v. Patrick J. McSherry
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To the Honbl Judge of the St. LouisCircuit Court CircuitCircuit Court
CourtCircuit Court

The petition of ElsaElsa Hicks HicksElsa Hicks a mulatto
girl about twenty three years of age, respect-
fully represents to your honour that she was
born in the State of VirginiaState of Virginia and was owned
by oneJames MitchellJames Mitchell , who acquired her by
marriage with one Mrs Burnell and has
continued to hold her as a slave since that
time; That said MitchellMitchell about the year eig-teen hundred and thirty fourremoved from
said State of VirginiaState of Virginia to the Territory of Wis-
consin taking along with him your petitio-
ner as a Slave where he held your petitioner
as a slave for the period of six years cont-
rary to the Ordinance of seventeen hundred and eighty seven passed by the Congress of the Un-
ited States, that about the year eighteen hun-dred and forty one, your petitioner was broug-
ht to the City of St. LouisSt Louis State of MissouriMissouri
and hired out by said MitchellMitchell that one
PatrickPatrick JJ McSherry . McSherryJ McSherry now holds your petitioner
as a slave. your petitioner therefore prays to
be permitted by your honor to sue as a poor
person in your honbl Court on the Chancery
side thereof in behalf of her freedom and
she will ever pray

By her attorney

Jas. Daugherty

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State of MissouriMissouri
County of St. LouisCounty of St Louis

Your petitioner [ ElizaEliza ] Hicks
being duly sworn upon her oath says that
the matter and things set forth in the

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foregoing petition are true to the best of her
knowledge and behalf

Sworn and subscribed before me this27th day of October 1847. Isaac

B. Thomas

Justice of the Peace, Elsa her

x

Hicks mark
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on reading and considering the foregoing pet-
ition and being satisfied that the said petition
contains sufficient matter to authorise the
commencement of a suit by the said Elsa
for her freedom; It is ordered that the said ElsaElsa Hicks HicksElsa Hicks be allowed to sue upon her said
Petition as a poor person and that she have
reasonable liberty to attend her counsel at
the St Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court and that she be
not subjected to any severity on account
of the application to institute her said suit
for freedom and that she be not removed
without the jurisdiction of the Court and
that James Daugherty be assigned her as
counsel

Oct. 27. 1847

sAlex Hamilton,

Judge of the St. Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court 8th Judicial Circt
Mo
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Elsa HicksElsa Hicks
to
Honbl. Alex. Hamilton.

Petition

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Elsa HicksElsa Hicks (Mulatto girl)
v
PatrickPatrick JJ McSherry . McSherryJ McSherry

In the St Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court
November Term 1847

Elsa HicksElsa Hicks complains of PatrickPatrick JJ McSherry
McSherryJ McSherry of a plea of trespass for false im-
prisonment. For thatwhereinheretofore to
wit on the first day of September in the year eighteen hundred and forty seven the
said defendant with force and arms at the
the City and CountyCounty of St Louis ofCounty of St Louis St LouisCounty of St Louis then and there
made an assault upon the said Elsa HicksElsa Hicks
to wit; at the he and then and there beat
bruised and otherwise ill treated her the
said Elsa HicksElsa Hicks and then and there impr-
isoned her the
said Elsa HicksElsa Hicks and detained
her the said Elsa HicksElsa Hicks in prison without
any reasonable cause whatsoever for a long
time to wit, for the space of ten days last
part contrary to the law and against the
will of the said plaintiff further avers
that before the grievances above mentioned
were committed she was and still is a
free person of colour and that the said
defendant did then and there and still
[ hold ] her inslavery therefore she
sues

By her atty

Jas Daugherty

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County Of St. LouisSt Louis, Ss.

The State of MissouriMissouri

,

To the Sheriff of St. Louis County, Greeting:

We command you To Summon PatrickPatrick S. Mc
Sherry if he be found in Your County
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. LouisCounty of St Louis, on the third Mon-day of November next, then and there to answer unto Elsa HicksElsa Hicks
of her petition for freedom this day filed
to the damage of said plaintiff

dollars: And have you then there this writ.

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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 Twenty Ninth day ofOctober in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty-seven

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

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Executed this writ in St Louis County on the
30th day of October 1847by offering to read it and
the declaration to PatrickPatrick McSherryMcSherry the within
named defendent which he refused
to hear

Samuel ConwaySamuel Conway Sheriff

By Geog. Stevens

Deputy

Service $ 1.00
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No. 121

St Louis CircuitCircuit Court CourtCircuit Court November Term 1847

Elsa HicksElsa Hicks
vs
PatrickPatrick J. McSherry

Pet. for Freedom
J Daugherty Att

FiledOctober 29th 1847

Jn RulandJohn Ruland ,

Clerk
Jury fund $2
Wrk 1
due $3
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plea on lease 18p59 to 18 p70 Mo
Colt to dismissed 18 p 171 Shff ordered to him and plff 18 p 171
dismiss 28 p 176 and 18 p 202 on order slavery Elsa HicksElsa Hicks from confinement &c
18. p 342.condi 19 page 231Nov 1850 for want of
protection 20 p 226Dec 23rd 1850

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ElsaElsa Hicks HicksElsa Hicks
vs
PatrickPatrick J. McSherry.

In the St. Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court,
November Term 1847

And the defendant comes
and defends the demand of the plaintiff

E. C.. BlackburnBlackburn

for

P. J. McSherry

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PatrickPatrick J. McSherry
adv..
Elsa HicksElsa Hicks .

Plea.

filedNov 23rd 1847

Jn. RulandJohn Ruland


clerk
E. C BlackburnBlackburn atty
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Elsa HicksElsa Hicks a slave
vs
Patric McSherry Defendant

Motion to to dismiss
suit

filedFeb 12th 1848

Jn. RulandJohn Ruland clerk

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ElsaElsa Hicks HicksElsa Hicks a Slave Plaintiff vsPatrickPatrick McSherryMcSherry Defendant

Suit for freedom in the
St. Louis Circuit CourtCircuit Court.
of February 1848

Now at this day appear Elsa ElizaEliza
Mitchell James Mitchell & Blair Mitchellunder
twenty one years of age by Lewis Burwell
next friend who claim to be the owners of the said mulatto woman Elsa HicksElsa Hicks
and move the court, to dismiss this suit for the
following reasons

1st There is no lawful Defendant to the cause.

2nd - Said suit was instituted and is prosecuted
by collusion between said Plaintiff and De-
fendant for the purpose of enabling said
petitionerdefendant to acquire an apparent right
to freedom to the annoyance & prejudice of
the real owners.

3. Said McSherryMcSherry never claimed saidslave
Plaintiff to be his slave never set up any pre-
tension of title to her, never withheld her
liberty from her, but her residence with him was
free and voluntary, and he has been selected
as a sham defendant, in order that judg-
ment of liberation might be obtained as
aganist him, without any serious resistance.

4.Before, at and since the institution of
said suit said McSherryMcSherry against the will of
the owners of said Plaintiff has entertained
and harbored her, has encouraged her in re-
maining as a fugitive, has at all times disclaim-
ed any claim of title to or ownership of said
plaintiff, and expressed his opinion that she was
free and has recently sworn to the same thing
and under such circumstances it would be a

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mockery to continue the suit, when the defen-
-dant and Plaintiff are both eager and
anxious that the same judgment may be ren-
-dered, the Defandant at the same time hav-
-ing no claim to or interest in the property.

5 The affidavit of the Plaintiff that she was
held in slavery by PatrickPatrick McSherryMcSherry , on the
strength of which affidavit she obtained
permission to bring this suit was false
and groundless.

6. Said Defandant McSherryMcSherry has taken
no efficient measures to defend said
suit, he did not insist on her giving se-
-curity for costs nor did he make application to
have her hired out during the pen-
dency of the suit; but has ever since permitted
her to remain [ freely ] and voluntarily at his
own house, with her consent.

Garland Alexander & Wells

attys for plff in this

Matter

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To the Judge of the CircuitCircuit Court CourtCircuit Court of St. Louis County in the
State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri

.

I SamuelSamuel Conway ConwaySamuel Conway Sheriff of said county respect
-fully state that under an order of said courtI have
the possession of a mulatto woman namedElsa HicksElsa Hicks
alias Alice and her infant child-, which mulatto wom
-an & child are now confined in the jail of said county
that I am informed that said mulatto woman has
now in said court a petition for her freedom
in which she is the petitioner against one PatrickPatrick
McSherryMcSherry defendant. I state that saidwoman &
child came to my possession on the day of
February last. & that she has remained in jail even since
that time. that the order of said court by virture
of which I took & have the possession of said mulatto
woman & child requires that I hire her out to the
best advantage from time to time during the
pendency of said suit with PatrickPatrick McSherryMcSherry & take
bond from the hirer payable to the StateMissouri ofMissouri MissouriMissouri
&c conditioned for the payment of the hirer give the said
woman reasonableliberty of attending her counsel
& the court &c. I state that I have tried
to hire said woman out on the terms prescribed in
said order. that I have not been able to
hire her at all on said condition, & that I think
there is very little probability that, I shall be able
to dispose of said woman & child on the terms prescribed.
I state that since said woman & child
have been confined in jail the health of hath of
them appears to have become impaired. the woman
has reduced in flesh & looks badly, that from
the best information I can get there is no

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probability that her suit with McSherryMcSherry will be tried before
the next fall Term of this court and that if she
shall remain in jail [ til ] said suit is the
consequences will probably very serious to her health
& to that of her child & may be fatal to one or both
of them. I state that I am informed & believe that
there is no security given in said suit for the costs
of her keeping in jail. & that if her suit shall dis
-missed I know of no responsible party who will
be liable for the expence of keeping her in jail.

I state that I went to the jail on yesterday and
conversed with said woman & told her that I was
unable to get a house for her under the circumstances
& that she would probably remain in jail so long as
She kept her suit pending against McSherryMcSherry . She denied
that she had sued McSherryMcSherry . I told her her petition
against McSherryMcSherry signed by herself was on file in
said circuit court. She declared that if it were
so It had never been read so to her, she said
that McSherryMcSherry had never held or attempeted to hold
her in slavery. & that she never had authorized a
suit against him. But that she hadintended
to sue a Mr MitchellMitchell , I therefore pray that
If I am required to perform further duties & to
further expences with said negro. that the court will
cause some security to be given for my costs &
expences & trouble so required. Or if it shall
appear to the court that. Said petitioner does not
desire. the of said suit against said
McSherryMcSherry . that I may be discharged from further
duties in relation to her.

Saml. Conway

Sheriff St. Louis County
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Order 18.p 342.

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Saml Conway Sheriff
vs
[ ElizaEliza ] Hicks

Petiton

FiledJune 9, 1848

Jn. RulandJohn Ruland clk

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State ofMissouri MissouriMissouri
St Louis County

I Joseph B Wells State, that from
papers now in my possession I believe that the Mulatto
woman. Elsie Hicks now in jail in said County
plaintiff to a suit for her freedom now pending insaid
court the circuit court of said county against PatrickPatrick
McSherryMcSherry defendant & her infant child are the property of
four minor children namely Elen Elza Mitchell, Edward Blair
Mitchell, Charles Samuel Mitchell and James Burwell Mitchell
that I am informed and believe that all said persons are
Minors under fourteen years of age. and in capable in law of
taking care of their estates, that they at present reside in the
state of VirginiaVirginia. that I believe neither of them have a
Guardian curator in the state of MissouriMissouri, I state
that I heard the said Elsie declare that she never authorized the
said suit against McSherryMcSherry . I state that I have been informed
& believe that the said Else has been harboured
in the city of St LouisSt Louis. for a considerable length of time, so
that the friends of her Owners have been unable to get the
possession or [ controll ] of her, that I surely believe that if
the said Elsie shall be discharged & released from custody
while there is an order of said court prohibiting her remov
-al from said county there will be strong reasons to appre
-hend that she may again be taken & harboured by
persons with abolitionism & that her ownersand
those who may be disposed to take care of their interests
may again be unable to find or get her. I state that Joseph
Neal informed me. that on the 10th when there was
some probability that said Else would be released from custody
OneRev.Joseph Tabour. who has been strongly suspected of
being an abolitionist. Came to the state of the said Neal
& tried to hire the said Neal to take said Elsie in the event
that she should be discharged in a carriage. & convey her
to the house of him the said Tabour, I state that after
I got this information from said Neal. I Enquired of

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the attorney of said Elsie. What this Tabour had to do
with the negro or how he was connected with the controv
-ersey about her he said Tabour had nothing to do with
the matter in any way I state that I have seen
enough to satisfy me. that to turn said Elsie loose
again while said prohibitory order is in force. would
be to [ hazzard ] & the rights of her owners to all
the unfortuante influences that abolitionists may
exert upon slave property. On this of a
slave country. I state that I believe there are in
disguise in this community. as
as can be found disgracing that name & I submit to the
court whether the property in question. assuming it to
be the property of infants should by the act of the
court be exposed. to such injury as may result to
it by placing it in the search of those whose &
induce them to disrespect & to prostrate so
for as they can all rights to such property-

Joseph B Wells Atty

For Owners
of said slave
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Samuel ConwaySamuel Conway Shff.
v
Elsey Hicks.

FiledJune 12 1848

Jn. RulandJohn Ruland clk

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The Court being satisfied upon proofs, that the
Sheriff has hitherto been and is still unable
to hire out the petitioner under the order
of the Court heretofore made for that
purpose, and it appearing furthermore, that the said petitioner and her infant
child are in confinement in the jail of
this County, and that their contin-
uance in such confinement will be
highly prejudicial to their health, it is
ordered that the former order of theCourt directing the sheriff to take
care said petitioner and her child
into his custody for the purpose of
hiring out be so far reconsidered
as tothe said petitioner and
her child be released from con-
finement in the said County
jail.

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And it further appearing to the Court, that
and parties other than said De-
fendant. minor and non=residents,
who claim title to the said petitioner,
her who from peculiar circumstances,
to the Court, and under the advice of
their counsel, decline and are un-
willing to make themselves parties to
said suit, Believing that such a cause
would be prejudicial to their rights;
in view of its promises, the County a=
ttention respectfully requested
to receive the said petitioner and her
child into the known as
the County pain,â until the determination
of the said suit, her labor in the
mean=time to be applied towards
her support; And the Sherrif of this
County is hearby ordered to carry this
order into effect.

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ElsaElsa Hicks HicksElsa Hicks vsPatrickPatrick J McSherryJ McSherry

Suit for Freedom

It is ordered by the court
that Lewis Burnwell enter into a recogniz
-ance to the state of MissouriMissouri in the sum
of $1000.00 dollars with sufficient
security conditions that he will not
remove the Petitioner in this cause out
of the jurisdiction of this court

It appearing to the satisf
-action of the court that Lewis Burnwell
has failed to enter into the recognizance
which he was ordered to enter into in
this cause. It is ordered that the sheriff
take the said petitioner into his possession &
hire her out to the best advantage
from time to time during the pending
of this suit & that he take bond from the
hirer payable to the state of MissouriMissouri in the sum of $500 dollars with good
security that the will not remove
said petitioner out of the jurisdiction of
this court that he will pay the hire to
the sheriff & return the petitioner at the
expiration of the term for which she
is hired or as loan as this action is ended.

Garland & Wells

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