Habeas Corpus for Nancy Jones, a free colored woman illegally imprisoned in Washington DC

National Archive Microfilm Publications Microcopy No. 434

Habeas Corpus Case Records of the United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia 1820 – 1863 Roll 1 – 1820 – 1843

Habeas Corpus for Nancy Jones

To the Honorable William Cranch, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia The petition of Nancy Jones, a colored woman, respectfully represents that she was committed to the Prison of Washington in the District of Columbia aforesaid, that she has been unable to obtain a copy of her commitment, that she is a free woman and that she is still illegally confined in the said Prison and humbly prays your honor to grant the United States most gracious writ of Habeas Corpus and sent (illegible) to the Marshal of the District of Columbia directed commanding him to have your Petitioner before your Honor at such time and place as to your Honor shall deem meet and that a subpoena may give for James Mullynix to testify on her behalf and as is duty bound your Petitioner will ever pray and so forth.

John J. Dermott Atty. For Nancy Jones 24th August 1835

To the Honorable William Cranch, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia The petition of Nancy Jones a colored woman respectfully represents that she was committed to the prison of Washington County, District of Columbia aforesaid, that she has been unable to obtain a copy of the commitment, that she is a free woman and that she is still illegally confined in the said jail and humbly prays your Honor to grant the United States most gracious writ of Habeas Corpus as (illegible) to the Marshal of the District of Columbia directed commanding him to have your Petitioner before your Honor at such time and place as to your Honor shall soon meet and that your Petitioner may be discharged from her confinement aforesaid and that a subpoena may issue for James Mullynix to testify in behalf of your Petitioner and as in duty bound your Petitioner will ever pray and so forth.

Nancy (X) Jones

The United States of America To the Marshal of the District of Columbia Greeting You are hereby commanded that you have the body of Nancy Jones, confined in the prison of Washington County as it is said, by whatever name she was committee, together with the cause of her caption and detention, before the Hon. William Cranch, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, at his chambers in the City Hall, in the city and county of Washington immediately, & do receive and submit to what may be then and there (illegible) in the premises. Hereof fail not as you will answer the contrary at your peril.

Issued the 26th day of August A. D. 1835 By my order

W. Cranch W. Brent, Clk. (copy of commitment) Dist. of Columbia Washington County, to wit

To the Marshall & Jailor of the Dist. Col. Whereas Nancy Jones a coloured woman from Baltimore, and not having produced any free papers or a pass, you are therefore hereby required to receive in your jail & custody the said Nancy Jones, and her safe keep until she be discharged. Given under my hand and seal this fourth day of May 1835.

Henry Werts, J. P.

Committed to the care of John Stevenson, Constable

To the Hon. William Cranch, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of the Dist. of Columbia

The Marshal of the Dist. Col. respectfully makes the following return, that he has the within named Nancy Jones at the time & place as within directed with the cause of her caption and detention, a copy of the commitment being herewith attached, and that she is detained for no other cause.

A. Hunter

Marshall Dist. Col.

The within named Nancy Jones having been brought before me by virtue of the within writ & being satisfied by the testimony of James Mullinax and Geo. W. Styles that the said Nancy Jones is not a runaway servant or slave, I have ordered her to be discharged.

W. Cranch 26th Aug. 1835