After Robert's case was heard and decided in the Providence Court of Common Pleas, a court clerk wrote a summary of the case for inclusion in the record book, a book that listed cases and summaries chronologically by court term. The clerk noted that Robert had accused Godfrey Wainwood of trespass and that Godfrey Wainwood argued that his treatment of Robert on July 15, 1789 was in fact appropriate.
Robert a free negro man last residing in Providence in the county of Providence laborer complains against Godfrey Wainwood of Newport in the county of Newport baker in the custody of the sheriff in the action of trespass, for that the said Godfrey Wainwood aforesaid to wit at said Providence without any reasonable cause on the fifteenth day of July AD 1789 with force and arms upon the said Robert made an assault and him the said Robert did then and there beat, imprison, and cruelly treat, and the said Robert imprison at said Newport... without any reasonable cause, against the will of him the said Robert and contrary to the laws of the state of Rhode Island for a long time to wit for the space of two months continued and kept and other enormities to him then and there did against the peace. And the said Godfrey Wainwood saith that on the day of the date of same which the said Robert was a slave; and this he is ready verify. Wherefore he prays judgment if he shall be held to answer the writs of the said Robert. And if the said plea shall be overruled by this court, the said Godfrey reserving the same for a final decision thereon at the superior county court and defends the force and injury when &c and saith he is not guilty in manner and form as the said Robert declares against him, And this case being called the Plaintiff on the third day submits to judgment.