Moses Rustin v. John E. Stromatt. Petition for Freedom


To the Honorable Judges of the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia sitting at Alexandria.

Your petitioner Moses Rustin shews, to your honors, that he was born in Charles County in the State of Maryland, and was held in bondage as a slave in said County by John E. Stromatt (and his father prior to his death) until about the year 1828, when he was taken by the same John E. Stromatt to the City of Washington, when your petitioner remained in slavery for some years, he was afterwards taken to the State of Mississippi, where he remained a few months, and from thence back to said Charles County. Subsequently about the spring of 1837, your petitioner was brought to the Town of Alexandria, in the District of Columbia, where he has remained ever since, having been to the said Charles County once or twice since said last named period or a visit of a few days. Your petitioner states that the said John E. Stromatt claims the right to control, and hold your petitioner in bondage, and to receive compensation then for his services, and has so received such hires[?] up to the issuing of the   time of issuing the warrant against him by Joseph Eaches, a Justice of the Peace for the said County of Alexandria, to shew cause, why your petitioner was unlawfully held in bondage said handout being dated the 20th of December 1845. Your petitioner is advised that he is advised according to the foregoing statement of facts, that he is entitled to his freedom, having been brought here from the State of Maryland and Kept in slavery and upon several years continuously in the said county of Alexandria. That his said right to freedom arising under the act of the Virginia assembly in force in the County of Alexandria entitled to act to [illegible] into one, the several acts concerning slaves, free negroes and mulattos passed the 17th of Decr. 1792. In Old Rev. Co: Vol: 1st 186. and an act to amend said act in the same book at pa 346.

All of which is respectfully submitted
Moses Rustin x his mark


Alexandria County towit:

Moses Rustin personally appeared before the subscriber a Justice of the Peace in and for the county aforesaid in the District of Columbia & made oath in due form of law that the facts as set forth in the foregoing statement are true to the best of his Knowledge & belief.

Given under my hand this 11th day of May 1846

Jos. Eaches


Moses Rustin
John E. Stromatt


May T. 3. Day.
Petition filed & leave given to sue in forma pauperis. F. L. Smith Counsel.

M. T. 46. No. 1.