Ann Brooks v. William D. Nutt. Petition for Freedom


The Petition of Ann Brooks respectfully shews to the court, that one William D Nutt holds her illegally in slavery, and that upon complaint of this to a magistrate she has committed to the jail of the County of Alexandria where on which County she has heretofore resided. and that she is still in jail

Your Petitioner states to the Court that she is the daughter of a Mulatto Woman called Clara, who was sold to one Oliver P. Finley by her master James M. Stuart for the period of seven years. that the bill of sale from the said Stuart to the said Finley dated the 24th July 1805, was in effect a deed of emancipation, & contained a covenant on the pact of the sd. Finley to emancipate, after the sd. period of seven years, the said Clara

Your Petitioner further states that the said Finley did regularly emancipate the said Clara as he had covenented.

Your Petitioner was born during the said period of service of her mother. served the said Finley & his family til she was about 24 yrs old. since the death of the Finley his administrator took possession of your petitioner as his property. the original Bill of sale is herewith submitted. and your Petitioner   prays to be permitted to sue for her freedom in forma pauperis &c

I have examined into the facts upon which the petitioner Ann Brooks claims her freedom and now state to the court, that the petition of the said Ann Brooks, contains as full a statement of the circumstances of the petitioner's case, as I could now make, and that it is my opinion upon the facts of the case, that William. D. Nutt, who claims to be her owner, has no title to her. and that the petitioner is entitled to her freedom

T.W. Huitt, appointed by the Court Counsel for the petitioner

Ann Brooks Petition