Petition #21184210


Vica, "a woman of color aged about nineteen years," recounts that she was born into slavery in North Carolina, the property of Isabella Walker. Vica points out that "she was taken from that state to the state of Mississippi, where she resided" with the said Walker until Walker's death about 1838. She further cites that Walker's son Felix claimed her and took her to Illinois in March 1841, leaving her with Chesley Evans, "a relation of this petitioner." Vica alleges that Felix Walker "intended giving her freedom papers." However, after Vica lived in Illinois four months, Walker's son-in-law, Benjamin Dill, asked her to come to St. Louis to care for his wife. Vica went, because "she felt and continues to feel a strong affection for [her] ... with whom she was reared from early infancy." In October 1841, the Dills returned to Mississippi, leaving Vica with John Sparr. Sparr sold her to Lyman Shaw, who sold her to Samuel Hobart on 25 April 1842. Fearful of being removed from St. Louis by Hobart, Vica insists that she is entitled to her freedom. She therefore prays that she be permitted to sue as a poor person to establish her freedom and that Hobart be compelled to bring her into court.

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

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Citation information

Repository: Civil Courts Building, St. Louis, Missouri