A Black Servant Sues her Employers, 1690


Men and women, black and white, free and unfree, fought for their rights in British courts. This is the official record of an early pronouncement on the status of slaves in Britain. Katherine Auker called on the Middlesex County Court judge to grant her the right to leave her cruel employers, planters from Barbados, so that she could go and work for another. Auker's wish was granted, but only partially. She could find work in England with another employer until her original master returned from his Barbados estate.

Middlesex Country Records, Sessions Books, no. 472 (February 1690)

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