Petition for Leave to Sue For Freedom

To the Hon. John M. Krum, Judge of the St. Louis Circuit Court.

The Petition of Harriet, a woman of color states, that she is claimed as a slave by one Irene Emerson, of the County of St. Louis in the State of Missouri, widow of the late Dr. John Emerson, surgeon in the United States army, now [decd.] That Harriet [illegible] about eleven years ago, petitioner was brought from the State of Virginia by one Major Salliafano, and carried to Fort Snelling on the St. Peters river in the territory of Iowa, that after living there, doing labor and service to the said Salliafano, for about two years, he the said Salliafano, sold your petitioner to the said Dr. John Emerson, then also stationed at Fort Snelling, who kept and retained them her there for about a year after he became the owner of her, part of the time in charge of Maj. Plimpton, and a Mrs. Anderson that afterward said Emerson was ordered to Fort Jessup in Louisiana, and having married there, he had petitioner removed to that post from Fort Snelling. After remaining at Fort Jessup, about 6 months, then sd.Emerson went back to Fort Snelling on the St. Peters river in Iowa territory and took petitioner with him where she remained with him as a servant about a year longer and from there was brought to St. Louis of the County aforesaid, where he left her in charge of his wife, while he proceeded to Florida. That said Emerson is now dead and his widow the said Irene, claims property in her as a slave but believing, that under this state of facts, that she is entitled to freedom, she prays your honor to allow her to sue in said Court the said Irene Emerson in order to establish her right to freedom and she will pray be.

Harriet X of Color