Scope and Content Note

Almost all the writs of habeas corpus in this series were directed to the Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York (known as the Mayor's Court, since that official or his designee presided). The writ required that an imprisoned debtor be delivered to the Supreme Court of Judicature, and the writ transferred the case in which the debtor was the defendant to that court's jurisdiction. One writ issued during the War of 1812 was directed to the keeper of the New York City jail. It ordered him to produce defendants charged with treason, and to state the cause of their detention. A Supreme Court justice freed the defendants.