Mar 26, 2015 - Sale 2377

Sale 2377 - Lot 22

Price Realized: $ 2,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
NORTHWEST TERRITORY [OHIO.] Partially printed document, accomplished by hand, wherein Dinah, a Free Negro sues Robert Worthington for $50 for "trespass vi et armis." Single long folio leaf, creases where folded; archival paper repair to one of the folds; docketed on the reverse; paper lightly and evenly toned. Signed by the court "Prothonotory," Edw. Tiffin; red wax seal. U.S. Territory, 30 June, 1800

Additional Details

a rare instance wherein a free black women sues for trespass and false imprisonment, in a u.s. territory that would soon become ohio. "Trespass vi et armis," as stated here on the document, was a kind of lawsuit at common law called a tort. The cause of action alleged a trespass upon person or property vi et armis, Latin for "by force." Mr. Worthington probably entered her home and tried to seize Dinah in order to sell her. An ink abbreviation at the docket, "Cepi Corpus" is an indication from the sheriff that he has made the arrest. The first time we have ever had such a document.