Rosetta Barby v. Benjamin Lewis. Petition for Freedom


To the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Columbia, The Petition of Rosetta Barby respectively shews that she was held by one Benjamin Lewis as a slave in the state of Mississippi, that in the year and that about five or six years ago she was brought by the said Benjamin Lewis from the said state of Mississippi into the Town of Alexandria, where she has continued to remain ever since. That said Lewis about that time engaged in the Business of purchasing slaves and removing them to the south, & is still engaged in it, and remains as she is informed & believes a citizen of the state of Mississippi to to present time, tho' he is frequently in the District of Columbia & spends a great part of his time[?], engaged in his said occupation. She is informed that under these circumstances she is entitled to her freedom, [strikethrough] and prays to be allowed to sue in forma pauperis, for the recovery of her freedom & that counsel may be assigned her &c.

Rosetta Barby + her mark


I have examined into the facts stated in the petition of Rosetta Barby, & am [illegible] satisfied that they can all be proved by the [illegible] testimony, & that they do entitle her to her freedom according to the laws in force within the county of Alexandria & District of Columbia I entertain no doubt.

Which is respectfully submitted.

Thomson F. Mason
Novr 6th 1828



Rosetta Barby
Benjn Lewis


1828 Nov: Term 4th day
Petition filed & leave to sue in forma pauperis & process ordered to be issued

14th day. The petitioner by T. F. Mason her atto: filed her decln agt. said Lewis who by R. I. Taylor his attoy appeared & pleaded not gty. & issue is thereupon fd.

15th day. ordered that the said Rosetta be committed to the custody of hte marsl until said Lewis enter into bond & secy: in the penalty of $1500 conditioned &c

1829 Apl Term 4th day
Jury sworn & verd: for the plaintiff for 1 cent damgs & Jud.

We of the jury find for the plaintiff and assess the damages to the sum of one cent
Alexr McKenzie[?]