Jacob v. Stephen Cooke. Petition for Freedom


To the Worshipful The Corporation Court of Alexandria

Your petitioner Jacob begs leave to state unto your Worships that he being a slave, the property of Mrs. Etherton some time in the year     he was sold by her to a certain Mr. Hamilton who was at that time an inhabitant of the state of Maryland. That some time in the year 1783 he was bought into this state and sold by the said Hamilton to a certain Samuel Earl, and that by different sales and transfers he at length got into the possession of Doctor Stephen Cooke, who has ever since held him in Slavery. Your Petitioner further represents that the said Hamilton failed to take the oath prescribed by the Act of Assembly passessed passed in the year 1778 providing for the preservation of the titles of owners of slaves importing them from Maryland or any other state, into this state. By reason of which failure your Petitioner is advised that he is entitled to his freedom. Wherefore he prays that he may be allowed to sue in forma pauperis for the same.


Corporation of Alexandria to wit,

This day appeared before one       an alderman for the Corporation of Alexandria and made oath that the within named Jacob now in possession of Doctor Stephen Cooke was brought from the state of Maryland into this State subsequent to the year 1777 and sold to a certain Samuel Arrell and the a certain William Hunter. Given under my hand this Eighth day of March April 1800.

Negro Jacob


1800. April, leave granted to Commence a Suit; and Thoms Botts assigned as Counsel to prosecute the Same, and deft to give Secy in the Sum of $500 to have him forthcoming at the trial. Caps Issd

1800. June. On deft [illegible] It is Ordered that the Bond given by him be cancelled, and that the Pltf remain in the Custody of the Sergeant of this Court.

Septr. Spl. Impl.
Octob rule plea
Decemr. Judgmt. by default & W Jy

1801. July Term, Removed to the Dismss.[?] District Court by Certiorari.