Commonwealth v. John Stokes, 1787 (Jethro & Dinah)

PAS Papers Box 4A Manumissions
Habeas Corpus Actions

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Pennsylvania Js.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania To John Stokes of the City of Philadelphia Greeting We Command you that the Bodies of Jethro and Dinah Negroes in your Custody as it is said detained by whatsoever Names the said Jethro and Dinah may be charged in the same under safe and secure conduct together with the Day and Cause of their being taken

And detained you have before the Honorable Jacob Rush Esquire Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Pennsylvania at his Chamber in fourth Street in the City of Philadelphia to morrow morning at eight oClock then and there to do and submit to whatsoever our same Justice shall consider in that behalf and have you then there this writ  Witness the Honorable Thomas McKean[1] Esquire Doctor of Laws Chief Justice of our said Supreme Court at Philadelphia, the third Day, of April in the year of our Lord MDCCLXXXVII.

Allowed Js.                                                                        Edw. Burd[2]  prot
   Jacob Rush

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          To the Honorable Jacob Rush Esquire one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

          I John Stokes humbly certify and return to the writ of Habeas Corpus to me directed commanding me  to bring the Bodies of Negroes Jethro and Dinah before the said Jacob Rush Esquire at his Chambers in fourth Street on the fourth Day of April at eight o Clock in the forenoon that the said Negroes are now in the State of New Jersey, where they are now employed by their own Consent on the farm there belonging

To me that I have purchased the said Jethro of one Samuel Morrill in the State of New Jersey about three years ago and the said Dinah of one Abraham Albertson in the same State about five years ago esteeming them then to be Slaves and supposing that by their residence since that time in Pennsylvania they had obtained a right of freedom I agreed with them as above mentioned and this is the Cause why I cannot have the same Negroes at the return of the said writ where it is commanded me
                                                                                                     John Stokes
                                                                                                    April 4th 1787
                                                                                                    Affirmed before
                                                                                                    Jacob Rush

          April 7th Negro Jethro appearing on a Habeas Corpus before me the subscriber, it is admitted by Captain John Stokes that he rented a House at Market Street Wharf in July 1785 bringing his Family with him from New Jersey and that Jethro did not come to live with his said Master ‘till the Fall of 1785 that he then came and continued to work and live with his said Master during the Winter that in the Spring he left his Master and returned to him just after Harvest and continued with him the rest of the Summer and the winter following and ever since
          As to Dinah it is admitted by Stokes she came with him when he took his Family into this  State and has remained with him ever since
          April 7th 1787 on hearing I do Discharge the above Negroes from the Custody and keeping of Captain John Stokes
                                                                   Jacob Rush
                             Edw Burd

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Pennsylvania Js.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to John Stokes of the City of Philadelphia  Greeting  We Command you that the Bodies of Jethro and Dinah Negroes in your Custody as it is said detained by whatsoever Names the said Jethro and Dinah may be charged in the same under safe and secure conduct – together with the Day

And Cause of their being taken and detained you have before the Honorable Jacob Rush Esquire Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Pennsylvania at his Chamber in fourth Street in the City of Philadelphia to morrow morning at eight oClock then and there to do and to submit to whatsoever our same Justice shall consider in that behalf and have you then there this writ  Witness the Honorable Thomas McKean Esquire Doctor of Laws Chief Justice of our said Supreme Court at Philadelphia the third Day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven

Edw. Burd  prot

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Allowed Js
    Jacob Rush

          To the Honorable Jacob Rush Esquire one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
          I John stokes humbly certify and return to the wriit of Habeas Corpus to me directed commanding
                                                                  Edw Burd

Commanding me to bring the Bodies of Negroes Jethro and Dinah before the said Jacob Rush Esquire at his Chambers in fourth Street on the fourth Day of April at Eight o Clock in the forenoon that the said Negroes are now in the state of New Jersey where they are now Employed by their own Consent on the farm there belonging to me that I have purchased the said Jethro of our one Samuel Morrell in the State of New Jersey about three years ago and the said Dinah of one Abraham Albertson in the same State about five years ago esteeming them then to be Slaves and Supposing that by their Residence since that time in Pennsylvania they had obtained a right of freedom I agreed with them as above mentioned and this is the Cause why I cannot have the same Negroes at the return of the said writ where it is Commanded me
                                                                                      John stokes

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April 4th 1787
Affirmed before
Jacob Rush

April 7th Negro Jethro appearing on a Habeas Corpus before me the Subscriber, it is admitted by Captain John Stokes that he rented a House at Market Street wharf in July 1785 bringing his Family with him from New Jersey and that Jethro did not come to live with his said Master ‘till the Fall of 1785 that he then came and continued to work and live with his said master during the winter that in the spring he left his Master and returned to him just after Harvest and Continued with him the rest of the summer and the winter following and ever since
         As to Dinah it is admitted by Stokes she came with him when he took his Family into this State and has remained with him ever since
          April 7th 1787 on hearing I do Discharge the above Negroes from the Custody and keeping of Captain John Stokes
                                                                                      Jacob Rush

I Edward Burd Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania do certify that the foregoing writings are true copies of the of the original Record remaining in my Office at Philadelphia  Witness my Hand and the Seal of the said Supreme Court the 21 day of April 1787

                        Edw Burd prot Sup Cur

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Release
Habus Corpus
Negroes Jethro & Dinah
from John Stokes

Recorded in the Pennsylva
nia abolition Society Book
B page 43 &c.
          Benj Johnson

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Release    S
Habus Corpus
Negro Jethro & Dinah
from John Stokes

    Philada
Recorded in Pennsylvania
Abolition Society Book B
Page 43 &c.

*        *        *

I Edward Burd prothonotary of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania do certify that the annexed sheet subscribed with my name is a true Copy of the original Record remaining in my office  Witness my Hand and the seal of the said Court the 21 April 1787
                                                                                         Edw Burd prot Sup Cur


[1] In 1785, Thomas McKean, Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court, lived at 522 Third Street in Phliadelphia.  Macpherson’s Directory for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia (1785), 86.

[2] 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.