Negro Darby v. Armitage, 1787

Negro Darby v. Armitage, 1787

PAS Papers Box 4A Manumissions
Habeas Corpus Actions.


Pennsylv[an]ia Js.
The Commonwealth oif Pennsylvania To the sheriff of Philadelphia County Caleb Armitage of Frankford Township County of Philadelphia Yeoman – Greeting  [W]e command you that the body of a Negro Man Named Darby __________________________ in an prison under your Custody as his said detained by whatsoever name the said Darby _________________________ may be charged in the same, under safe and secure conduct, together with the day and cause of his _______ being taken and detained, you have before the Honorable George Bryan[1] Esquire one of the _____________ Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of Pennsylvania at his Chamber in third Street on Friday next at nine of the Clock in the forenoon of the same day___________________________ 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[2] Esquire Doctor of Laws Chief Justice of our said Supreme Court at Philadelphia the ?twenty sixth?fourteenth day of April June in the year of our Lord MDCCLXXXVII.

                                                              Edw Burd[3] prot
Allowed Js
      Geo. Bryan

*        *        *

Habeas Corpus ad Subj

I the within Caleb Armitage in conformity to this Writ of Hebeas Corpus do now set forth  that Negro darby now is & has been in my possession fo as a hired man for nearly two years – That he was delivered me by John Stauts of Quibble Town New Jersey who claims him as his Slave & who voluntarily consents to his Residence in Pennsylvania __  Witness my hand
                                                          June 29 1787__

                                                                   Caleb Armitage

NB: on the Returne – before
Judge Bryan he was by him
Declared Free

Several of the Comttee Present
amongst Whome [Whence??] _ John Olden[4]

Upon considering the reherse of Caleb Armitage to the annexed writ I do hereby

Habus Corpus
Negro_ Darby_
Caleb armatage
Freed by Geo Bryan
Freed so Say,[??] Jno Oldden

[1] “George Bryan, a Judge of the Supreme Court” lived at 437 Vine Street in Philadelphia in 1785.  Prior to becoming a Justice on the state Supreme Court, Bryan had been a member of the state legislature and a leader of its Supreme Executive Council.  His leadership was crucial to the passage of the 1780 Gradual Abolition Act.  While on the Court, Bryan often sided with the cause of liberty and the aggrieved slave.  Macpherson’s Directory for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia (1785), 16.

[2] 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.

[3] 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.

[4] In 1785, John Olden lived at 1005 Second Street between Market and Chesnut Streets. He was a very active member of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society and served on many of its committees. Macpherson’s Directory for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia (1785), 100.