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Alice: Freedom Suit, Arlington County

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Deposition of John F Edelin taken by county parties at the office of Thomas T Mason Esq in Alexandria on the 17th of April 1820 to be used as evidence in a case now depending in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Alexandria, where in Alice a coloured woman is Plaintiff and Peter Matie Defendant

This deponent aged about twenty seven years being first duly sworn deposes and says that for about three years past he has been well acquainted with a mulatto girl named Alice, who was said to have belonged to Samuel Edelen, the girl when first known to this deponent was in Piscataway in the state of Maryland, & in that neighborhood for a considerable time. The said girl was in that neighborhood, & in which she was well known, generally reputed to be a natural daughter of said Samuel Edelen - the said girl was when this deponent first knew her going at large and publicly as a free Girl, and it was always understood in that neighborhood that Mr Edelen (and in which neighborhood Mr Samuel Edelen himself then resided) had set the girl free on that account. Mr Samuel Edelen removed from the neighborhood of Piscataway perhaps between two & three years ago the time not exactly recollected and left the said then going at large. The girl some time afterwards went off, as this deponent understood to George Town or Washington - & this deponent heard nothing more of her, until some time last fall when a letter was sent down from Washington to a near relation of this deponent informing that she was in jail in Washington, having been taken up as a runaway, & requesting aid to obtain her discharge, on the ground of her being known to be free, as this deponent thinks the letter stated that her papers had been lost. This deponent shortly afterwards having other business with Mr Samuel Edelen went over to