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Actions Involving Fugitive Slaves

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Discharge.  Supreme Court
                   to
Negro Jno Letnum

Certificate of the
Supreme Court for
Negroe John Letsom alias Letnum~

Recorded in Pennsylvania Abolition Society Books page 15
John Todd[1]

I certify that at a Court of Oyer & Terminer [2] &c held at Philadelphia for the City and County of Philadelphia [obscured and missing text]1786 Negro John Letnum who had been committed [missing text]James Loughead [3] Esq on a charge made by Daniel Glenn [missing text]Oxford Township of being a Runaway & belonging to Israel [missing text]nnison of Northampton County was discharged by [missing text]clamation from confinement   witness my Hand
[missing text]2d December 1786

Edward Burd [4], Prot [5] Sup Cr

Recorded in Committee Book of Society Book . Page 85
for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully [6]
[obscured]

*        *        *

          I certify that at a Court of Oyer & Terminer &c. held at Philadelphia for the City and County of Philadelphia the twenty second day of April 1786, Negro John Letnum who had been committed by James Loughead Esq. on a charge made by Daniel Glenn of Oxford Township of being a runaway & belonging to Israel Dennison of Northampton was discharged by Proclamation from confinement the 2d of December 1786.  Winess my Hand

Edw. Burd, prot Sup. Court

          A Copy

 


 

[1] As the Pennsylvania Abolition Society was re-organizing itself in the mid-1780s, John Todd, a Quaker schoolteacher, was an integral figure who was elected Secretary of the Society in 1784.  Over the ensuing years, he would serve actively on several of its committees. 

[2] A Court of Oyer and Terminer handled high criminal cases in some states of the United States including Pennsylvania and Virginia.

[3] In 1785, James Loughead was a prominent County Magistrate who lived at 275 Front Street. Macpherson’s Directory for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia (1785), 82.

[4] Edward Burd was the Prothonotary of the state Supreme Court.  In 1785, he lived at 414 Third Street in Philadelphia.  Macpherson’s Directory for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia (1785), 17.

[5] “Prot” is an abbreviation for “prothonotary,” a term for a chief clerk or official in certain courts of law.

[6] The Society for the Relief of Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was the initial name of the emerging antislavery society created by Quakers Israel Pemberton, Thomas Harrison and several other men in Philadelphia in April 1775.  As the Society re-organized itself in the mid-1780s, its members renamed their association the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, more commonly refered to as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.