Maria Kennedy v. Benjamin Buck. Petition for Freedom


To the Honorable the Judges of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, sitting in Washington County.

The petition of Maria Kennedy a free woman of color humbly represents that she hath been arrested by the Police officers, and constables as a Runaway slave, and as she is informed under the pretense that she is the slave of Benjamin Buck of the City of Baltimore, and the said constables are about to have her committed to the Jail of Washington County as such run away slave

Your petitioner humbly shewth that her mother Ellen Kennedy was in or about the year 1812 carried from the state of Virginia into the City of Baltimore and state of Maryland and was then contrary to the laws of the said state sold within a year after she was so imported to Benjamin Buck that your petitioner was afterwards born, and the said Ellen her mother filed her petition in the Court of Baltimore County for her freedom but after which your petitioner was born. That the said Petition being heard by the said Court was decided in favor of the said Petitioner & she was thereupon discharged from slavery. Your petitioner continued to reside in the family of the said Benjamin Buck for until sometime about the year 1828 when she removed to this city whither her mother had already come, and has continued to reside here without the slightest concealment or effort as concealment and as she believes with the full knowledge of the said Benjamin Buck   from that time to the present date, when she was yesterday most unexpectedly arrested, as she hath heretofore stated to your Honors.

She avers that she is free, and has reason to believe that the present proceedings are but the instigation of malice, and prays your Honors for a subpoena to the said Benjamin Buck to answer this her said petitioner, and that she may be permitted to go at large until the merits of this petition can be acquired into by your Honors.

Bradley for Petitioner


20. 75. 53. 158. 100. 136. 101.

Maria Kennedy
Benjn Buck

Petition for freedom.

Filed 12th Decr 1834