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Alice: Freedom Suit, Arlington County

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To the honourable the judges of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia. The petition of Alice (mulatto woman) respectfully sheweth that she is as she believe now illegally held in slavery by one Peter Mortey, who is about to remove her to a very considerable distance from this District. Your petitioner further shews that she formerly belonged to one Samuel Edelen of the State of Maryland. That she was in the neighborhood in which she lived very generally reputed to be the child of the said Edelen. That the said Edelen was an old batchelor until after he discharged your petitioner from his service. That your petitioner was continued in the house of said Edelen from her infancy until she was bout sixteen years of age, that is until about five year ago & has during all this time she was treated with great kindness. that about five years ago the said Edelen put into her possession a certain paper which he called a free paper. That your petitioner left his house with this paper, went to the City of Washington where she has ever since continued; & unmolested until the commencement of this fall. that your petitioner has unfortunately lost said paper, but will be able to prove its existence. but since she left the service of said Edelen she understands his circumstances have become much embarrassed & that he has also since married or rather lives with a woman as his wife & your petitioner is informed that his wife has in some manner become the active person in effecting a sale or disposition of your petitioner to the said Mortley who now claims her. your petitioner is informed that under these circumstances she is entitled to her freedom, &