Chloe Ann Marter v. Elizabeth Neale. Copy of Petition for Freedom


Cloe Ann Marter & child
Elizabeth Neale

Copy of the petition filed in this case, at the last Court.

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

The petition of Cloe Ann Marter, now residing in the town & county of Alexa. in the District of Cola., 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 Georges County in the State of Maryland, respectfully sheweth. That, since the passage of the Act of Assembly of Virga. 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 mulattoes." 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. where   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 child have been kept in the said town of Alexa from the     day of January in the year 1814, until the     day of February, 1815. that is to say, your petitioner has been kept in the said town of Alexa., so long at different times as amounts to four or five years. & both she & 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 & her said child are, by virtue of the aforesaid act of Assembly of Virga. 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   seem just & right, & as by the said Act of Assembly is directed. & your petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray &c.

On the above petition the Court, at their last session ordered a writ to issue against the said Elizth. Neale, which writ is now in the hands of Mr Mandell, who has not yet been able to serve it upon the deft. she has several times been in town on Sunday, but at no other time.

The petitioner tells me that Miss Susan Hoskins, who lives on the ferry wharf, & Mrs Dougherty who lives the next door to Susan Hoskins, can prove the time of her & her child's residence in the District, & the other facts stated in the petition. I have myself seen neither of these witnesses, & am therefore unable to say what they can prove.


Negro Cloe & child
Elizth. Neale

Copy of petition for freedom, &c. &c.