John Butler v. William D. Bell. Petition for Freedom


To the Hon the Judges of The Circuit Court of Washington County District of Columbia

The petition of John Butler of said City and District, who sues by his mother and next friend Elizabeth Butler of said City & District & a free woman of colour respectfully represents that he has been free from the period of his birth. And that he is unjustly held in custody and claimed by one William D. Bell of Prince George's County state of Virginia Maryland, formerly of Washington City District of Columbia.

And your petitioner would therefore pray that the said Bell and his agents may be prevented from removing him beyond the jurisdiction of your Hon" Court until the said matter is tried and determined by your Honours.

And that the said question may be tried by your Honours as law and equity demand. And [illegible] your petitioner's freedom may be decreed by your Honours and such other and further relief granted to your petitioner as his case in [illegible] of all the circumstances may require. And as in duty bound he will ever pray.

Edward C. Carrington
Atty for petitioner



John Butler who sues by his next friend and mother Elizabeth Butler
Wm. D. Bell

Petition for freedom

The clerk will file this petition and issue the proper process
Edward C. Carrington
Atty for petitioner
Sept 9th 1857

Filed 9. Sept 1857.