The Islamic Nubian kingdom of Sinnār dominated the northern Nile-valley Sudan from about 1500 to 1821. During the eighteenth century the government began to issue official documents in the Arabic language. Of these, about seventy are known to exist today. The present study examines an extended dispute over landholding near the Nile confluence that generated a series of official documents. Specifically, it considers a pair of unusual early nineteenth-century records that document the invocation of the right of sanctuary by the leader of the defeated party.