Petition of Harriet for Leave to Sue For her Freedom
To the Honorable the Circuit Court within and for the County of St. Louis.

Your Petitioner Harriet, a woman of color, respectfully represents that from some time in the year 1835 Your Petitioner was purchased as a Slave by one John Emerson, since deceased, who afterward in the year 1835 conveyed Your Petitioner to Fort Snelling, a fort then occupied by the troops of the United States & under the Jurisdiction of the United States, situated in the Territory ceded by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, lying north of 36 degrees & 30 minutes north latitude, not included within the limits of the State of Missouri, and resided and continued to reside at Said Fort Snelling for a period of one Year or more and holding Your Petitioner in Slavery at Said Fort during all that time; in violation of the Act of Congress of March 6th 1820, entitled “An Act to Authorize the People of Missouri Territory to form a Constitution & State Government & for the Admission of Such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States & to prohibit Slavery in Certain Territories”

Your Petitioner avers that Said Emerson has since departed this life leaving his widow Irene Emerson and his children his Child whose name is unknown to Your Petitioner and that one Alexander Sandford has administered upon the estate of the Said John Emerson, and that Your Petitioner is now unlawfully held in Slavery by Said

Sandford as Said Administrator and Said Irene Emerson who claims Your Petitioner as Part of the estate of Said Emerson and by one Samuel Russell

Your Petitioner therefore prays Your Honorable Court to grant her leave to Sue as a poor person, in order to establish her right to freedom & that the necessary orders be made in the Premises.—

State of Missouri
County of St Louis

This day personally came before me the undersigned a Justice of the Peace in deed for this County and State a aforesaid Dred Scott the Husband of the petitioner above who being duly Sworn [illegible] & says that, the facts set forth in the above petition of Harriet his wife are true; as he was with her during the time mentioned in said petition, and was personally acquainted with all the Statements above set forth Witness my hand this 1st day of July 1847.

Dred X Scott

Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 1st day of July 1847

Peter W Johnstone Justice of the Peace

Upon reading this bond petition and affidavit, this day, & it appearing that the said petition contains sufficient matter to authorise the commencement of a suit, it is hereby ordered by the undersigned, that the said petitioner, Harriet, be allowed to sue, on giving security satisfactory to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, for all costs which may be adjudged against her; and that she have reasonable liberty to attend her counsel and the Court, as occasion may require, and that she be not removed out of the jurisdiction of the Court, and that she be not subjected to any severity on account of this application for freedom.

July 2, 1847. A. Hamilton, Judge of the St. Louis
Circuit Court. 8th Judicial Circuit, Missouri.
Petition of Harriet for leave to Sue for her freedom