Chloe Ann Marter v. Elizabeth Neale. Petition for Freedom


To the Honorable the Judges of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia.

The petition of Chloe Ann Marter, now residing in the town & county of Alexa. in the District of Columbia, in behalf of herself & her child named Mary Ann, who are now illegally, as your petitioner conceives, held in slavery by Elizabeth Neale of Prince George's County in the State of Maryland, respectfully sheweth. That, since the passage of the Act of Assembly of Virginia, of 17th Decr. 1792, now in force in the said County of Alexandria, entitled "an Act to reduce into one the several acts concerning slaves, free negroes and mullattoes". to wit, some time in or about the year 1809, your petitioner was brought from the said State of Maryland into the town of Alexa. aforesaid, where she has been kept (except for the period of about two years which she has spent in Maryland) ever since. & particularly, that both she & her said child have been kept in the said town of Alexandria from the     day of January in the year 1814 until   until this 11th day of May 1815, two or three days only excepted. That is to say, your petitioner has been kept in the said town of Alexandria so long, at different times, since the passage of the Act aforesaid, as amounts to four or five years; & particularly both she and her said child have been kept in the said town so long, at different times during the last two years, as amounts to more than one whole year. in consequence of which, your petitioner conceives that both she and her said child are, by virtue of the aforesaid Act of Assembly of Virginia, entitled to their freedom. Your petitioner therefore humbly prays that your Honors will take her case into consideration, & make such order thereupon as to your honors shall seem just & right, & as by the said act of Assembly is directed. & your petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray &c. R. C. Norton, Counsel for the petitioners

I believe the facts stated in the foregoing petition to be true.

R. C. Norton.

Chloe Ann Marter & Child

Petition for freedom.


Negroe Chloe Ann Marter
Elizabeth Neale

Peto. for freedom

1815. April Term 7th day
On the Petition of Chloe Ann Marter for herself and her child Mary Ann Leave is granted them to commence a suit in forma pauperis for their freedom, and Richard C. Norton Esqr. is assigned them as Counsel to prosecute the same. And ordered that the plaintiff be in the custody of the Marshal until the deft. shall give bond and security in the sum of $500 to have them forthcoming to answer the Jud of the Court

1815 Decr. Nar: filed & Com: Ord:

Jany. Continued
Feby. Jud: & W. Inqy

1816 April Term 4th day
Ordered that this suit be set for trial this day & Jury sworn and afd & find the deft. Guilty and assess the plaintiffs dams to one cent, subject to the opinion of court on the Demurrer to evidence fd in this case and continued for hearing.

Apl.[?] Term Continued
Nov: Term 19th day
Contd. to amend Demrs.

Nar: 1818. April Term 16th day. On hearing the demurrer to Evidence the Court or of opinion that the Law is for the defendant and Judgment accordingly.