Chapter 10


Moses HUNTER is thought to be the same person as Moses, who, in October 1830 by his attorney Abner FIELD, sued Jacob and Micajah LITTLETON for trespass and false imprisonment. He won his freedom in Union County and the LITTLETONs were fined $45. During the time of his trial, however, Moses was committed to jail until his free status could be determined. In 1834, the estate of Philip HARGRAVE, former sheriff of Union County, presented a bill for $190.55 for his fees in keeping Moses, who was too poor to pay them. The court rejected the bill "upon hearing testimony the said Negro was not in indigent circumstances."

Micajah LITTLETON married Catharine WOOLF, daughter of Jacob WOOLF, on 21 Aug 1824, in Union County and was one of the people who purchased the slave Absolem and then set him free in 1825. Micajah and Catharine were living in St. Louis, Mo., by 1832 (Deed Book 4 page 292).

Jacob LITTLETON came to Union County in 1814. He is on the 1818 census of Union County as the holder of four servants or slaves (p 12), but by the 1820 census, his slaves were not listed with him. Jacob and his wife, Milley, kept a tavern and operated ferry across the Mississippi River between Missouri and Union Co., Ill., in the 1820s and 1830s. Moses's was not the first case to involve the LITTLETONs and their slaves. One of the earliest Union County court cases was held in May 1818 in which "Milly a black woman" and others sued Jacob LITTLETON "on habeus corpus" but the court dismissed the case. One of the others in the case, whose names were not recorded, could have been Moses.

Moses remained in Union County after winning his freedom. He appears on the 1835 state census of Union County as Moses (no surname), one free person of colour, living alone. Moses HUNTER shows on the 1840 census of Union Co., Ill., incorrectly as a female age 55-100, born sometime before 1785.

Moses HUNTER, "a man of colour" was appointed administrator of the estate of Washington ABERNATHIE in 1836 in Union County. Washington was the son of John ABERNATHIE, a slave owner, who moved from North Carolina to Cape Girardeau Co., Mo., in 1800, and to Union Co., Ill., in the 1830s. ABERNATHIE's debts included $6 for cash he borrowed from Moses and $27.80 money paid ABERNATHIE by John GILES by consent of Moses. Moses purchased a gun at the estate sale of Washington ABERNATHIE on 6 Feb 1835, and was a purchaser at the estate sale of John PENROD in Union County on 29 Sep 1843, and of James M. ABERNATHIE in Union County on 19 Mar 1844. This is the last known record of Moses in Union County. He is not on the 1850 census and does not have a probate file in Union County.