Sylvia v. George Coryell. Petition for Freedom & Affidavit of Jonathan Faw


To the worshipful the Court of Hustings of the Town of Alexandria

The Petition of Negro Sylvia humbly sheweth that your Petitioner about 8 or 10 years ago was brot[?] by Geo Coryell of Alexa. who now claims the Said Sylvia as a slave into the State of New Jersey, that she remained in the sd state of New Jersey for the space of about 2 years from whence she was removed into this State where she was removed into this State and further this where she has remained ever since, your Petitioner conceiving that under those Circumstances she is Entitled to her Freedom she therefore prays that she may be permitted to institute her Suit in forma pauperis according to the Act of Assembly in Such Cases made & provided & your Petitioner as in duty bound will pray &c


[illegible] April 9th: 1800

From the Facts stated in the above Petition it appears to me that under the Laws of this State it is doubtful whether and the Petitioner is entitled, but that it is extremely probable that under the Laws of New Jersey which the Courts of this State will recognize she her residing there 2 years will entitle her to freedom, and I am of opinion that there exists no circumstance to induce this Court to deny their interference

J Faw

[illegible] April 9th 1800


Negro Silvia
George Coryell


1800. April Court, leave grantd to commence a suit in forma pauperis, & Jona. Faw assigned as counsel

1800 April Caps. Issued
July, Bond filed and recd. and Ordered that the Plff be discharged from the Custody of the Sergeant.
July. C.O.
Aug. Jud: & W. Jy.

1800. Decr. Nt. Gt. Jd. and Jury sworn and By Consent withdrawn & Contd.

1801. July Term, Jury sworn & Verd: for Plf. & 1d. dam: subject to the Opinion of the Court upon the Case Agreed & Contd. for Arg. on hearing the Case agreed, It is the Opinion of the Court that the Law is for the Deft. & Jud accordingly.