James Hutton v. William J. Belt. Statement of Facts


James Hutton
Wm J. Belt

Petition for Freedom
Case stated for the Opinion of the Court

It is admitted in this case that the Petr was a slave the property of Deft who is a lieutt in the U. S. Navy, & ordered as such, to U. S. Ship Columbus. that there now is & was ever since the late war an order of the Navy Dept prohibiting the taking into the U. S. service on board that it is a usual thing to allow officers making special application to take on board public vessels their personal servants the ships of war any others than free men that the Deft applied to Commodore Bainbridge the commanding officer of the Columbus for permission to have the Petr taken with him & put on the muster roll of the Columbus, with a view to take him as a servant (each officer of his grade being allowed to take a man from the ship, company as a servant). That the com:g officer referred him to the Secy of the Navy; who again referred the request to the Com:g officer, who thereupon consented, to his being and he was accordingly received on board and enrolled as a supernumerary in said ship to receive provisions only. Whereupon the said Petitioner sometime in the year 1819 or 1820 was accordingly so enrolled previous to the sailing of the Columbus & sailed in the said refusal to foreign pacts beyond the U. State


that afterwards on or about the [?] 1821 the said Deft was ordered from the said ship Columbus to the U. S. Brig of war Spark also under command of Commadore Bainbridge and took the Petr with him on board said Ship where he was enrolled on the Books of said ship Brig. as an ordinary an ordinary seaman as entitled to the usual pay & rations. That he was so enrolled in the Spark in some port in the Mediterranean. That he so continued & returned in the said Spark to Boston in August 1821, where he was paid off & returned to the State of Maryland where his said master resided, when not at sea, & where his family resided—

It is also admitted that after Petitioner had received his pay, he delivered it over to said Deft.

Upon the above statement it is submitted to the Court to determine whether the entering & enrolling the Petr as above stated & his serving as aforesaid with the knowledge & consent of the Deft, amounts to an implied manumission of Petr.

FS Key for Petr
R. S. Coxe for Deft


The Petr refers the Court to the case of Dolly Mullin against Hall a case of implied manumission decided in the Court of appeals of Maryland, in one of the late number of Reports published by Harris & Johnson.— Vol 5 page 140.