Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 21184302 Details

Location:St. Louis
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honorable the Judge of the Circuit Court within and for the County of St Louis in the State of Missouri (, )
Filing Date:1843-May-1
Ending Date:1843-May-1

General Petition Information

Abstract:Mary Charlotte, a woman of color, petitions on behalf of herself and her four children, Antoine, Augusta, Victorine and Euphrasia. She asserts that she is "entitled to freedom by being born of a Negresse named Rose, who herself was born at Montreal in Canada." She further avers that John Stork, an "Indian Trader," took Rose to Prairie du Chien in the Northwest Territory about 1791; two years later upon Stork's death, a trader named Andrew [Andre] Todd brought Rose to St. Louis and sold her to a priest named Didier. The petitioner submits that Didier later sold Rose to Auguste Chouteau, who has since died, and that Therese Chouteau, widow and executrix of Auguste Chouteau, held Rose and Rose's four children until her death a few months ago. Gabriel S. Chouteau, administrator of Therese Chouteau's estate, now claims them as slaves. Mary Charlotte asks to sue as a poor person for her and her children's freedom. She also asks the court to pass an order that she "have reasonable liberty to attend her Counsel and the Court and that she shall not be subjected to any severity on account of her application for freedom, nor be removed out of the jurisdiction of the Court." When the jury found for the defendant, Mary Charlotte's attorneys filed a motion for a new trial. The court overruled the motion, so Mary Charlotte appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court. In 1848, the Supreme Court reversed the verdict and remanded the case for further proceedings. [A set of documents covering the proceedings in the second phase of the case (1853--1855) is attached to this petition. The circuit court transcript includes copies of this original 1843 petition, the judge's order, the subpoena for Gabriel Chouteau, sheriff's returns, and Chouteau's plea. The rest of the transcript documents the circuit court proceedings through the 1855 judgment of nonsuit. Mary Charlotte appealed the judgment, and the case went to the Missouri Supreme Court for the second time.]
Result:petition granted; plea of trespass filed, denied; motion to set aside verdict and grant new trial overruled, appealed, reversed and remanded
# of Petition Pages:2
Related Documents:PARs #21181901, #21184006, #21184204, #21184310; Transcript of Court Record, Mary Charlotte, et al., vs. Gabriel S. Chouteau, 1 May 1843--25 April 1846; Clerk's Certification and Index, 7 October 1846; Copies of Testimony, Paschal L. Cerre and Michael Marlis, 21 May 1845; Copy of Testimony, Michael Fontaine [Fortaine], 22 May 1845; Copy of Conveyance, Andre Todd to D. Didier [English translation], 28 October 1795; Copy of Conveyance, Pierre Joseph Didier to Auguste Chouteau [English translation], August 1798; Copy of Testimony, Madame Tesson, ca. 22 May 1845; Opinion, Missouri Supreme Court, 8 January 1848; Copy of Transcript of Court Record, Mary Charlotte, et al., vs. Gabriel S. Chouteau, 1 May 1843--6 December 1853; Copy of Agreement of Counsel, 8 February 1849; Copies of Testimony, Auguste Dufresne and Joseph C. Barlow, ca. 12--21 October 1853; Copy of Deposition, Samuel Gale, ca. 12--21 October 1853; Copy of Transcript of Court Record, Robert alias Robin vs. James Fraser, Court of King's Bench, District of Montreal, Province of Lower Canada, 31 January--18 February 1800; Copy of Conveyance, Andre Todd to Mr. Didier [French with English translation], 28 October 1795; Copy of Conveyance, Pierre Joseph Didier to Auguste Chouteau [French with English translation], 8 August 1798; Order, 6 December 1853; Index and Clerk's Certification, 12 January 1855; Request for Transcript, Missouri Supreme Court to St. Louis Circuit Court, 29 December 1854; Clerk's Return, 12 January 1855; Opinion, Missouri Supreme Court, 19 December 1855; Certificate of Transcript, 12 January 1855; Copy of Plea of Trespass, November Term 1843; Copy of Plea, 20 November 1843; Copy of Jury Appointment, 12 October 1853; Copy of Order to Discharge Jury, 13 October 1853; Copy of Order, 21 October 1853; Copy of Bill of Exceptions, 22 October 1853; Copy of Depositions, Paschal Cerre, Peter Payant, Romaine Dufresne, Michel Fortain, Jacques Bonneau, Michel Mark, Honorable James Reid, Joseph C. Barton, Samuel Wentworth Monk, 12 October 1853; Copy of Certified Record Montreal, Canada, 16 April 1846; Copy of Deed, Andre Todd and Translation, 28 October 1795; Copy of Deed from Didier to Chouteau and Translation, 8 August 1795; Copy of Motion, 13 October 1853; Copy of Order 6, December 1853; Copy of Sheriff's Return, 6 December 1853; Copy of Opinion, 19 December 1853; Agreement of Counsel, 3 October 1867
Pages of Related Documents:91

People Associated with Petition 21184302

Free Persons of Color:0
Other People:7

Citation Information

Repository: Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri

  • Records of the Supreme Court, Case Files
  • Record Group:
  • Document Number 12, 3
  • Box: 578
  • Folder:
  • Book:
  • Volume:
  • Page:
  • Microfilm:

Processing Information

Record Created:6/23/2000
Record Final Edited:8/2/2002
Record Last Updated on:8/29/2007 11:54:00 AM