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Ruth: Freedom Suit, Montgomery County (Part 1 of 5)

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James Sallust Deft.

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Ruth, Abraham, Rhoda, Armistead, Washington, Juliet, and Charles Plts. Trespass. and the said James Sallust comes and defends the charge and injury when &c and says that the said plaintiffs ought not to have or maintain their said action thereof against him because he says, that the said Plaintiffs, at the time of assaulting beating and imprisoning the Plaintiffs, by the defendant as set forth on the said Declaration were the Slaves of the Defendant, and therefore he was well justified by the Laws of the Country in assaulting, beating & imprisoning the said Plaintiffs; and this, He the said Defendant is ready to verify, wherefore he prays the Judgment of the court, whether the said Plaintiffs ought to have & maintain their said action against him &c.

Henderson for Deft.

and the said Plaintiffs, come and say that they ought not to be prevented from having their said action against the said Defendant, by any thing in his said plea [illegible] because they say they are free persons and not slaves; and thus they are ready to verify wherefore they pray judgement &c.