Samuel Reeler v. Matthew Robinson. Petition for Freedom


To the honorable the Judges of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia. The petition of Samuel Reeler (a black man) respectfully represents that he was born a slave in the Charles County in the State of Maryland and brought afterwards & many years ago from the said County into the Town of Alexandria by one Samuel Harrison & has continued to reside in the said town ever since. That as he is informed no entry was ever made by said Harrison as is required by law, and further that said Harrison afterwards had him sold at public auction to serve only until he was thirty years of age, & that he was afterwards to be free, and he further states that he is & has for some time past been upwards of thirty years of age, but that one Mathew Robinson who for many years past has held him as his slave [illegible] refuses to discharge him. Wherefore your petitioner prays that he may be permitted to sue in forma pauperis for the recovery of his freedom, & that counsel may be assigned &c.

Saml. Reeler.


2d day. N.[?] 1

Samuel Reeler
Mathew Robinson


1819. April Term 16th day
Mr. Mason is assigned as Council for the Petr. to report &c who having made his report as aforesaid: leave is granted the Pltf. to sue in forma pauperis for the recovery of his freedom.

Caps. issd.

1819. Novem. Term 23d day

1820. Apl. Term 11th
Not guilty Jd and Jury sworn & affd [illegible] vedict for Plff & dams. subject to the opinion of the Court of the demurrer to evidence

Novem: Term 23d day
On hearing Judt: for Plttff. and considered that the pltff. recover his freedom & Costs.

I am of opinion that the petitioner upon proof the facts stated in the petition, is entitled to his freedom & that he ought to be permitted to sue.
Thomson F. Mason