William Cooper v. Elias P. Legg. Petition for Freedom


To the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia & County of Alexandria. The petition of William Cooper respectfully shews. That several years ago he was purchased by Elias P Legg of the town of Alexandria as a slave for life from Edward Lloyd of the state of Maryland. That this purchase was made in the state of Maryland where your petitioner was born & had [illegible] up to the time of this purchase by Mr Legg. That he was brought immediately after the purchase into the town of Alexandria by Mr Legg where he has constantly since remained, & for period now of upwards of three years. He is informed that by this importation into & subsequent rendered within[?] the [strikethrough] County of Alexandria in the District of Columbia he is entitled to his freedom.

He therefore prays that he may be allowed to sue in forma pauperis for the recovery of his freedom & that Counsel may be assigned him &c.


I have examined into the circumstances upon which the petitioner William Cooper claims his freedom & find they are correctly set forth in his within within petition, & I am of opinion that he is entitled to his freedom.
Thomson F Mason


Wm Cooper
Elias P. Legg


1831 Apl Term 8th day
Petition filed & T F Mason assigned counsel &c who reported &c & leave given to sue in forma paperis & Caps awd returnable immediately

11th day
Not guilty Jd.
Not gty Jd& Jury sworn & affd & verdict for Pltff & assess his dams at one cent & Judgt

We of the jury find for the plaintiff and assess his damages to one cent
Adam Lynn form