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Alfred: Freedom Suit, Amelia County

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To the Honourable the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the county of Chesterfield. The petition of Milly, Isbell, Esther, & Betty, persons of color detained in slavery by Jordan Anderson Junior of the county of Chesterfield; but who are advised that they and their children are entitled to freedom under the last will and testament of Jordan Anderson Senior deceased respectfully represents unto this honorable Court, that they are the children of a woman of colour, by the name of Rachel, who was the slave and absolute property of Jordan Anderson Senior, but who was emancipated by the last will and testament of the said Jordan Anderson Senior, which last will and testament, made and published on the first day of January 1805, duly attested by two subscribing witnesses, with a codicil thereto duly attested by one subscribing witness, was on the 9th day of December 1805, duly proved, the will by the two subscribing witnesses thereto and the codicil by the subscribing witness thereto, in the county court of Chesterfield. Your Petitioners were all born in the lifetime of the testator, and ever since his death have been held in the possession of Jordan Anderson junior as slaves, a son of the testator and a devisee and legatee under his will. There is in the will of Jordan Anderson senior, among others, the following provisions: vizt: "It is further my will and desire that my son Jordan shall have the labour of, and the caring of all Racel's increase but not to remove them out of this state, or so far as to prevent their freedom. As there are two young negroes with Charles (meaning the testators son Charles Anderson) and two with James, (meaning the testators son James Anderson) they and all other to be free at twenty one years of age. It is my will and desire that all my negroes that shall be twenty one years old, now living with me and my sons Jordan, Thomas & Nathan shall be free on the first day of January after mine and my wife's death, and they shall be well clothed both males and females, and shall have their working tools, and bread corn for one year, and liberty to settle on 33 acres where my son Thomas shall choose for them, and I, earnestly request,