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.—

Harriet