Petition of Dred Scott for Leave to Sue For his Freedom
To the Honorable the Circuit Court within and for the County of St. Louis.

Your Petitioner Dred Scott, a man of color, respectfully represents that from some time in the year 1835 Your Petitioner [was a slave] was purchased ^ as a slave by one John Emerson since deceased, who afterward, to wit, [illegible] about the ^year[Month of] 1836 or 1837 [illegible] conveyed Your Petitioner from the State of Missouri 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 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 an infant Child whose name is unknown to Your ^ Petitioner and that one Alexander Sandford has administered upon the estate of Said Emerson

Emerson[& that] Your Petitioner is now unlawfully held in Slavery by Said Sandford, as Said Administrator, & 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 him leave to Sue as a poor person, in order to establish his right to freedom & that the necessary orders be made in the Premises.—

Dred Scott
State of Missouri
County of St Louis

This day personally came before me the undersigned a Justice of the Peace Dred Scott the person whose name is affixed to this forgowing petition and made oath, that the facts set forth in the above petition are true to the best of his Knowledge and belief and that he is entitled to his freedom 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 the above petition ^ this day it being [the opinion] of the Judge of the Circuit Court[…illegible] that said petition contains sufficient matter to authorize the commencement of a suit for his freedom, it is hereby ordered that the said petitioner Dred Scott be allowed to sue on giving security satisfactory to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for all costs that may be adjudged against him and that he have reasonable liberty to attend his counsel ^ and the Court as occassions may require and that he be not subjected to any severity in account of this application for his freedom and that he be not removed out of the jurisdiction of the Court.

A. Hamilton
July 2, 1847. Judge of the St. Louis Circuit Court,
8th Judicial Circuit. Missouri.
Petition of Dred Scott for leave to sue for his freedom