Making History: Transcribe is made possible in part by federal funding provided through the Library Services and Technology Act program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Hannah: Freedom Suit, Arlington County (Part 1 of 3)

image 11 of 28

Zoom in to read each word clearly.
Some images may have writing in several directions. To rotate an image, hold down shift-Alt and use your mouse to spin the image so it is readable.

This transcription is complete!

To the Honourable Judges of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia sitting in Chancery at Alexandria - The answer of Arthur Pue West of Prince Georges County in the State of Maryland to the bill of complaint against him in said Court by negroes Hannah & others - This respondent saving now and at all times all and all manner of benefit and advantage of exception to the many errors uncertainties and imperfections in the said bill of complaint contained for answer thereto nevertheless or to so much thereof as he is advised that it is material or necessary for him to make answer unto he answers and says that there it is that the complainants Hannah & Peggy are the children of a free man of colour named Charles Jackson & his wife Rebecca who was the property of Stephen West who is now deceased, & that it was agreed between the said Charles Jackson and the said Stephen West some time in or about the year 1793 that the said Charles Jackson, should serve the said Stephen West as a servant for the term of seven years, and that the said Stephen West should in consideration thereof emancipate the said Rebecca. But whether or not the said Charles Jackson faithfully executed his part of the said contract this respondent is wholly ignorant.