National Archive Microfilm Publications
Microcopy No. 434
Habeas Corpus Case Records of the United States
Circuit Court for the District of Columbia
1820 – 1863
Roll 1 – 1820 – 1843
On the 2 rolls of this microfilm publication are reproduced the Habeas Corpus records of the U. S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, 1820 – 63.
By section 14 of an Act of September 24, 1789 (1 Stat. 81) the First Congress gave all U. S. Courts the power to issue writs of habeas corpus. Among these records are petitions for writs of habeas corpus, the writs of habeas corpus, returns of writs, orders of the court, and other papers filed in habeas corpus proceedings. Most of the case papers, which are unbound and arranged chronologically, concern persons alleged to be fugitive slaves.
These records are part of Record Group 21, Records of District Courts of the United States. In the same record group are closely related records of the U. S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.