Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20482302 Details

State:District of Columbia
Location:Washington
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honl. the Chief Justice and apurtant Judges of the circuit court of the District of Columbia in and for the County of Washington as a court of Chancery now Sitting
Filing Date:1823-June-18

General Petition Information

Abstract:James Tench and others ask for a retrial of the case in which their former slaves, Hezekiah, Dolly, Mary, Arey and Mary Humphreys, received their freedom. The Humphreys testified that since "they were the descendents in the direct female line of a free white woman," they deserved their freedom. The petitioners state that at the time they "were not properly prepared to rebut or disprove" the Humphreys' claims, but now they have new witnesses. They also refer to a 1795 case in which a Harry Humphreys sued for, and was denied, his freedom based upon his descent from a former slave named Arey, who is the "mother and person from whom the said petitioners lineally descended." The petitioners claim that "they are the true and lawful owners" of the defendants, who "hitherto have been wandering up and down through various parts of the Land as of their own will under no restraint from Your Orators and Oratrixes." They ask that the Humphreys family answer their allegations, that the court serve them with subpoenas, and that the case be retried.
Result:No recorded result
# of Petition Pages:5
Related Documents:Answers, Hezekiah, Mary, Emily, Mary, and Arey Humphreys, ca. 1823; Affidavits, Lancelot Griffin, James Tench, 16 April 1823; Court Proceedings and Depositions, Henry Humphrey vs. James Smallwood, 21 August - 24 August 1792; Inventory, John Hobson, 17 August 1742
Pages of Related Documents:22

People Associated with Petition 20482302

Slaves:8
Free Persons of Color:6
Defendants:6
Petitioners:10
Other People:7

Citation Information

Repository: National Archives, Washington, D. C.

  • Records of the United States Circuit Court, Chancery Dockets and Rule Case Files
  • Record Group: 21
  • Document Number 177
  • Box: 23
  • Folder: 20
  • Book: 3

Processing Information

Record Created:1/10/1996
Record Final Edited:10/15/1999
Record Last Updated on:12/15/2005 3:44:00 PM