Certificate of Freedom

James Cooper


James Cooper is imprisoned in the Common Jail of Allegheny by John Wilkins. Wilkins suspects that Cooper is a runaway slave from “Canady.” Several men testify that Cooper is in fact a free man.

Partial Transcription

Allegheny County S.s.  Before me a Justice of the Peace in and for the said County Personally appeared John Johnston who being duly Sworn as the Law directs doth depose and Say that he knew James Cooper (a Negro man now confined in the Common Jail of Allegheny on Suspicion of being a Slave from Canady, Said to be committed by John Wilkins Esquire) at the time he lived as a hired man with a Mr. Ironside of Maulden in upper Cannady, and that at that time he was Generally Reputed to be a free man and that he never heard his freedom questioned until this Time although he has known him about five years

Sworn and Subscribed this 29th day of Novr 1803. 
Wm Gazzam


John Johnston

Allegheny County Ss. Before me William Gazzam a Justice of the Peace in and for the Said County Personally appeared Archibald StClair a white man who being duly sworn doth say that he hath known the above Named John Johnston a white man from Upper Cannady for at least three years and that to his knowledge he is a man of respectable Character.

Sworn & Subscribed before me this 29th day of Novr 1803
Wm Gazzam


Archd Sinclair

I certify that John Johnston and Arch’d Sinclair, offered to bring forward four or five Others to prove that the said Cooper committed (upon God knows what ground) by Justice Wilkins is a free man.

Wm Gazzam


Recorded 18th June 1810.