THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
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January 17, 1820
Judith Hope's Petition Was Rejected
Judith Hope (ca. 1803–1873), a young, enslaved woman, submitted this petition to the General Assembly in December 1819 to request that an exemption be made from a law passed in 1806 required newly freed people to leave the state. She wanted to remain in the state as a free woman if her mother, who had purchased her, emancipated her from slavery. Laws passed during the previous two decades had required freed slaves to leave the state within one year of emancipation, or face reenslavement. Although the General Assembly rejected her 1819 petition, Judith Hope finally gained her freedom in 1828.