Fugitive Slave Cases – George Watkins vs. John Edwards, Sarah Edwards, Richard Edwards, & Charity Edwards

Dist. Court of the U. S. for the Dist. of Col. Clerk of the Court “Fugitive Slave Cases, 1862,” May 15-19, 1862 (By file date or affidavit)

Original papers in fugitive slave cases before the Circuit Court of the U.S. for the District of Columbia consisting of claimants petitions, affidavits for arrest of fugitive slaves, warrants of arrest, depositions, court orders to deliver fugitive slaves to claimants, and related papers.

Transcribed from National Archives Microfilm Publication M433 “Records of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Relating to Slaves, 1851-1863, Roll 3.

George W. Watkins vs. John Edwards aged 21 Sarah Edwards aged 17 Richard Edwards aged 14 Charity Edwards aged 47 Filed 16th April 1863 District of Columbia, to wit:

On this sixteenth day of April A. D. 1863 before me the subscriber a Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, personally appeared G. W. Watkins, a citizen of Montgomery County, in the State of Maryland, and made oath according to law, that he is the lawful owner and possessor of the slaves hereinafter named, to wit: John Edwards aged about 21 years , black; Sarah Edwards, copper coloured, aged 17 years, Richard Edwards, dark coloured, aged 14 years, and Charity Edwards, copper coloured, aged about 47 years. That the said slaves are slaves for life, owing service and labor under the laws of the said State to this affiant; that the said slaves were in the possession of this affiant in the said State until October 1862 between which date and the present time, they on different days absconded from the said possession, without this affiant’s knowledge or consent and against his will, and fled to this District, where he has reason to believe, and does believe they now are fugitives and he prays process under the Fugitive Slave Law. And this affiant further swears that he has not borne arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid and comfort thereto. Sworn before me the day and year aforesaid.

Geo. P. Fisher