Petition #20785001


Maria is suing Rebecca Kirby for freedom. In 1848, Kirby, assuming the name Rebecca Boyd and posing as Joseph Boyd's wife, took Maria to Pennsylvania. Maria charges that while Kirby was in Pennsylvania, Samuel Brown obtained a writ of habeas corpus on her behalf and the same was returned before the Court of Common Pleas. Kirby contended that Maria was her slave for life by virtue of a purchase in Kentucky, yet the court granted Maria freedom. Maria charges Kirby reneged on a contract to return to Kentucky in exchange for certain considerations. Maria avows that "she never waived her right to freedom." She made her contract as a free woman, returned as a free woman, and "supposed no restraint could be put upon her." Kirby is now threatening to sell her out of the state into "hopeless bondage." Maria wishes to sue in forma pauperis and asks for $200 in damages for her detention.

Result: Dismissed.

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Citation information

Repository: Kentucky Division of Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky