Ex parte Nathaniel Holmes. Petition for Habeas Corpus


To the Honorable the Judges of the U.S. Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for Alexandria County.

Humbly complaining sheweth unto your Honors, your petitioner Nathaniel Holmes, that he is a free man and came to the town of Alexandria some time in June 1841. on board the Schooner Wm & Eliza commanded by on Captain Simmons: on his arrival here your petitioner had the bad fortune to have a disagreement with his said Captain as to the amount of wages due your petitioner which resulted in a refusal on the part of Captain Simmons to pay him any wages at all; in consequence of which your petition was obliged to avail himself of the assistance of law, and obtained from a Magistrate of this County a judgment against the said Captain Simmons. For these reasons your petitioner did not quit the town of Alexandria with the schooner in which he came to it, and was left in the said town without the requisite evidence of his freedom, which he had neglected to bring with him, not anticipating more than a short absence from home.

In this condition, your petitioner was arrested on the charge of being a runaway slave, and on this charge was committed to the Jail of Alexandria County, which is kept by Daniel Minor, in whose custody your petitioner has been ever since his commitment.

Your petitioner further sheweth to you

Under these circumstances your petitioner is without remedy in the premises without the interpretation of your this Honorable Court; he therefore prays your Honors to grant him the U.S. most gracious writ of Hab: Corpus, to the said Daniel Minor directed, commanding him to have your petitioner before your Honors in the order that the legality of the his detention of your petitioner   may be enquired into, with the cause of his Commandment.

Edm: J Lee for Petitioner
11th Novr. 1841

Nathaniel Holmes

Petition for Hab. Corpus.

ordered returnable immediately before the Court. Nov. 12. 1841