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To Thomas Williams Esqr one of his Majesty’s
Justices of the Peace for the County of
Hampshire Complains John Williams
of Deerfield in sd County Gentleman against
Cæsar a Labourer & Servant of Nathaniel Dickinson of Deerfield aforesaid
that on the last day of November AD 1771
he said Cæsar did at Deerfield aforesaid
feloniously take steal & carry away one
gallon of West India Rum of the Value of foure shillings
Lawfull money the property of yr Complainant & other enormities
then & there did against the Peace & Contrary to
Law wherefore yr Complt prays that a Warrant
may issue against sd Cæsar that he may be
apprehended & dealt with according to Law & as
in duty Bound prays &
John Williams

Hampshire ss To the Sheriff of the County of

Hampshire his Under Sheriff or Deputy or either
of the Constables of the Town of Deerfield in
said County Greeting--
In his Majesty's Name you are commanded
forthwith to apprehend the abovenamed
Caesar & him Convene before me or some
other Justice of the Peace for sd County to answer
to the above Complt & that he may be
dealt with according to Law given under
my hand & Seal at Deerfield the Second day of
December AD 1771 & in the twelfth year of
his Majesty's Reign
Thos Williams Just. [of Peace]

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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A different economic system, among other factors, made slavery in the northern colonies different in some respects from slavery in the South. As in the South, however, northern slaves were still legally considered property, and could be subject to any manner of treatment. Running away was the most obvious form of individual resistance to slavery. This legal complaint against "Caesar a Labourer & Servant" by Nathaniel Dickinson of Deerfield, Massachusetts, suggests that resistance to slavery also took other forms. A Hampshire County Justice of the Peace issued a warrant for Caesar's arrest for stealing and for committing "other enormities" in November of 1771.

 

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Complaint against slave Caesar for stealing

creator   John Williams, Esq. (1751-1816)
date   Dec 2, 1771
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
height   12.5"
width   7.5"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Legal Documents/Summons
accession #   #L00.073


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