Peter Morris v. George Miller. Writ of Habeas Corpus & Answer of George Miller


District of Columbia towit

The United States of America to George Miller Greeting;

You are hereby commanded to have the body of Morris (otherwise called Peter Morris, otherwise called Peer Morris) at the Clerk's office of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the county of Washington on Friday the 17th Instant at the hour of 11 o'clock A.M. with the cause of his imprisonment & detention. Hereof you are not to fail as you will answer the contrary at your peril. Witness the Honorable Wm. Cranch Chief Judge &c.

Issued 15th May 1816.

By order of The Hon James S Morsell Esq. Asst. Judge Circt. Ct. D. C.


(signed)[?] Wm Brent Clk

It is agreed that this Habeas Corpus & answer be [illegible] & taken as the writ & answer issued against & returned by Jonathan Davis & James Kincaid the real claimants & possessors of Negro Morris: but the said Davis & Kincaid [illegible] agt the Jurisdiction of the Judge to adjudicate or decide the question of law & fact whether the petitioner be entitled to his freedom or not.


I the within named George Miller do certify, by way of return to the within writ (or to the writ whereof the within is a copy) that the within named Morris, otherwise called Peter Morris (as it is said) is not in my possession, power or control, but that said person negro Morris so called is held by Col. Jonathan Davis, who purchased him as a slave: and the said Col. Davis being a lodger the house of this respondent, and having hired a therein, keeps & detains his said reputed slave there; but not subject to the power or control of this respondent; and, therefore this respondent cannot produce the body of the said Morris, according to the [illegible] of this writ: but is informed by the said Col. Davis that he means voluntarily to produce the said negro at the time & place mentioned; in order that an [illegible] may be made into his right to hold him.

George Miller

The within is a copy [overlapping page] of the Habeas Corpus. The afft. is at the Clerks office

Proceedings of Judge Morsell respecting Negro Morris