Lewis vs. Dodge (1769)
Edward "Ned" Lewis was 16 years old when his mother, Violet (see Violet vs Howe, 1766) sued for his freedom. Violet submitted documentation to show that her mother's mother was a "free Negro" and her mother was a "free Negro." Based on two generations of free maternal descent, Violet argued that she was legally free all her life and so too was Lewis. The case was lost at the ECCP level but won on appeal to the SCJ.
- Plaintiff: Edward "Ned" Lewis
- Defendant: Deacon Solomon Dodge
- Plaintiff's Attorney: John Lowell Esq.
- Defendant's Attorney: Benjamin Kent
- Attorney for Original Defendant on Appeal: Daniel Farnham Esq.
- Attorney for Original Defendant on Appeal: William Pynchon Esq.
Essex Court of Common Pleas
- September 1769 Newburyport: Case filed, disposed and appealed
- Disposition: Pledged as surety for appeal: J Lowell 10pds. D. Fanham Esq. 5pds. Wm Pynchon Esq. 5pds.
Court_Costs: To Defendant.
Superior Court of Judicature
- November 1769 Salem: Case filed and disposed
- Disposition: The (2nd) Jury find that the aplee (Dodge) is guilty of the trespass alledged in the Writ. Execution issues Feb 3 1770 [?] Lowell
Monetary Damages: To Appelant (Lewis) 5 pounds.
Court_Costs: To Plaintiff (Lewis). 7-6-8.
Related CasesViolet vs. Mark Howe (1766)
Violet was born in Newburyport in 1735, the daughter of a free "Negro woman" (who herself was born of "free Negroes") and an enslaved African. At some point she was sold as a slave, along with her "mulatto" son, Edward "Ned" Lewis, to a family in the Linebrook Parish of Ipswich. John Lowell Esq. of Newburyport negotiated her freedom and she received twenty shillings from her enslaver in 1766. Three years later, she sued her son's enslaver, again with John Lowell as her attorney, and was successful in freeing him. See also Lewis vs. Dodge (1769).
- Undated. Boston City Clerk Certification that Lydia Dyre's parents were free. In SCJ Files, Lewis vs Dodge 1769.
- Dated November 5, 1766. Writ for Lydia Dyre (Violet's mother) and Violet to appear in court. Signed with their marks on back.