Fugitive Slave Cases – Mary Massey vs. Mary Ann Williams

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.

Mary Massey vs. Mary Ann Williams District of Columbia, to wit:

The United States of America To the Marshall of the District of Columbia. Greeting: Whereas Mary Massey of the County of Alexandria, State of Virginia hath applied to the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia in the County of Washington, for the restitution to her of a certain black Negro woman named Mary Ann Williams who was held to labor by the said Mary Massey in the State of Virginia and has escaped from said state: And the said Court being satisfied that at the time of said escape, the said Negro woman owed service in labor to the said Mary Massey and that she still owes her such service in labor. Therefore you are hereby commanded forthwith to arrest her the said Negro Mary Ann Williams, she being found in your bailiwick, and her safety keep, so that you have her body before the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Washington immediately to do, receive and submit to what shall be considered of and concerning her in the premises. Hereafter fail not as you will answer the contrary at your peril.

Witness the Hon.: James Dunlop Chief Judge of said Court the 16th day of December 1856.

Issued this 17th day of December 1856. Jno. A. Smith, Clk Marshalls Office DC

I do hereby authorize and depoh William Cox to serve the within writ. J. D. Noonan (?) Marshall Dec 17th 1866 State of Virginia County of Alexandria to wit: At a County Court of Alexandria County called and held according to law, the 16th day of December 1856. Present Washington T. Harper John Summers Justices Upon the application of Mary Massey, the court doth certify and order to be entered of record, that the said Mary Massey hath this day proved to their satisfaction that a certain black Negro woman named Mary Ann Williams, who was held to labor by the said Mary Massey in the State of Virginia, has escaped from said State: that at the time of said escape the said Negro woman owed service or labor: That the said Negro woman is about thirty five years of age, has a dark complexion, is short & thick set, and has a cast in one of her eyes. I, Benjamin A. Berry, Clerk of Alexandria County Court do certify that the foregoing is a true transcript from the records of said Court.

In testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name & affix the seal of said Court this 16th day of December 1856, & in the 81st year of the Commonwealth.

B. A. Berry, Clerk

In Re–Mary Ann Williams a fugitive slave from labor from the State of Virginia claimed by Mary Massey. The said Mary Massey having produced in open court the record, hereto annexed (within) & the said Mary Ann Williams being brought into court by the Marshall on a warrant issued by the court in the premises & her identity having been proved by Rudolph Massey. It is this 17th day of December 1856 ordered by the court that the Marshal of the District deliver her the said Mary Ann Williams to the said Mary Massey & the said Mary Massey is authorized by this order to transport the said Mary Ann Williams to the State of Virginia from whence she escaped, the said Mary Massey paying to said Marshal the costs of her detention & arrest.

By order of Court Test. Jno. A. Smith, Clk