Petition for Leave to Sue For Freedom

To the Hon. John M. Krum, Judge of the St. Louis Circuit Court.Dred Scott, a man of color, respectfully states to your honor, that he is claimed as a slave by one Irene Emerson, of the County of St. Louis, State of Missouri, widow of the late Dr. John Emerson, who at the time of his death was a surgeon in the United States army. That the said Dr. John Emerson purchased your petitioner in the city of St. Louis, about nine years ago, he then being a slave, from one Peter Blow now deceased, and took petitioner with him to Rock Island in the State of Illinois, and then kept petitioner to labor and service, in attendance upon said Emerson, for about two years and six months, he the said Emerson being attached to the United States troops there stationed as surgeon. That after remaining at the place last named for about the period aforesaid, said Emerson was removed from the garrison at Rock Island aforesaid, to Fort Snelling on the St. Peters river in the territory of Iowa, and took petitioner with him, at which latter place the petitioner continued to remain in attendance upon Dr. John Emerson doing labor and service, for a period of about five years. That after the lapse of the period last named, said Emerson was ordered to Florida, and proceeding there left petitioner at Jefferson Barracks in the County of Dr. Louis aforesaid in charge of one Capt. Bainbridge, to whom said Emerson hired Petitioner-that said Emerson is now dead, and his widow the said Irene claims petitioners services as a slave, and as his owner, but believing that under this state of fact, that he is entitled to his freedom, he prays your honor to allow him to sue said Irene Emerson in said Court, in order to establish his right to freedom + he will pray be.

Dred hisXmark Scott