Petition #21183705


Judy, a woman of color, informs the court that she was born in Virginia about 1786 and was brought to Louisville, Kentucky, where William Sullivan purchased the ten-year-old enslaved girl. After this purchase, Sullivan sold her to Robert Bunton, who took her to Vincennes in the Northwestern Territory, where he kept her for more than two years; he later sent her to Kaskaskia and sold her to William Lecompte. Lecompte then removed her to his residence in St. Louis. Judy asserts that "she is now illegally held in slavery by a certain Berry Meachum, a free man of color of Saint Louis County contrary to the provisions of an ordinance passed by the congress of the United States on the 13th day of July 1787." She therefore prays "that she may be permitted to sue as a poor person in order to establish her right to freedom." Depositions in related documents contain differing accounts of Judy's legal status ca. 1796. Some report that she was an indentured servant while others claim that she was held in slavery.

Result: Petition granted; plea of trespass filed, partially granted.

14 people are documented within petition 21183705

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Citation information

Repository: Civil Courts Building, St. Louis, Missouri