Matilda Derrick v. George Mason & Alexander Moore. Petition for Freedom


To The Honourable The Judges of the Circuit Court For the County of Washington, Oct. Term 1822.

Humbly complaining sheweth, unto your Honours, your Petitioner, negroes Matilda for herself Lucy & Matilda the infant & younger[?] infants whom under the age of twenty one, by       their next friend, that they, although entitled to their freedom & all the privileges of free blacks, are held in bondage & slavery by a certain George Mason late of the County aforesaid & a certain Alexander Moore

That they consider themselves entitled to their freedom, &, in duty to themselves, bound to make claim thereto, for several grounds. First they make claim thereto on the grounds of their Mother's negress Matilda their mother having been removed in the year 1792 from Charles County in the state of Maryland to Fairfax County in the State of Virginia, by a certain Doctor Craik claiming [illegible] & there continued as a slave for more than one year contrary to the laws & acts of assembly of the said State of Virginia & the provisions thereof.

2ndly on the ground of their own removal, from the County & State last aforesaid, into the County of Washington District of Columbia, contrary to the laws of the said District & the acts of Assembly of Maryland, adopted by Congress as the laws of the said Washington County. The petitioner Lucy having been removed from the said State of Virginia to Alexandria County, District of Columbia to [illegible] about six years ago & to Washington County aforesaid about three years since to reside. The petitioner Matilda to Alexandria County also about six years since to [illegible] & to Washington County, about two years to reside. Your petitioners further sheweth that she is at this time confined in the jail for Washington County, therein to be removed without the jurisdiction of your Honourable Court in a few days. by the Edward Mitchell

They therefore pray that your Honours grant precious writ or writs of inquisition[?] or any issue directed unto the said George Mason & Edward Mitchell prohibiting   them a witness of them him his agents servants &c from carrying the said Petitioners without the jurisdiction of your Honourable Court until a fair & impartial hearing in the premises & the matters thereto[?] applying can be heard before you Honours. And that the said George Mason & Edward Mitchell may or made a parties & defend unto hereto the said Petitioners Matilda for herself & Lucy & Matilda & [illegible] by their next friend, pray that your Honours may direct the writ or writs of subpoena to issue from your Honourable Court to the said George Mason & Edward Mitchell commanding them him to be & appear before your Honours to answer the matters & things herein contained. To the end thereof your Petitioners Lucy & Matilda by their next friend ever pray &c.

Tho. Turner Solr for Petitioners

District of Columbia,
Washington County sc.

On this 2nd day of October 1822 personally appeared before the subscriber one of the justices of the peace in & for the County aforesaid Matilda mother of the Petitioners & make oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God that she was removed from the State of Maryland into the State of Virginia some where about the year 1792 as [illegible] & verily believes. That her children Lucy & Matilda were removed from Virginia about the times & in the manner as stated in the above petition. That Lucy is now confined in the jail of Washington, therein to be shortly removed as she is informed & verily believes, out of the District. & That Matilda is detained as a slave in Washington County aforesaid.

Thos Corcoran


In the above case I am willing to become responsible for the fees & costs that may accrue therein & humbly direct my name to be entered on the dockett as security therefor.

Susan Tucker
October 2nd 1822.
Washington City


45 Novr Rules 1309.

Negroes Lucy & Matilda the younger by their next friend
Gary Mason & Edward Mitchell

Petn for freedom.

Let a subpona and injunction issue as prayed enter Mrs Susan Tucker security for costs.
B. Thruston
Col. Brent
2 Octr 1822

filed 2d Octr 1822