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Potter, William & Dilliard, John: Petition, Henry County

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To the Legislature of Virginia The petition of William Potter and his wife and John Dillard all of this county of Henry would respectfully represent to your Honorable body, that Thomas [Bolling?] the father of your female petitioner made over to your petitioner John Dillard as trustee a certain negro man slave named Martin, to be held by him for the benefit of your female petitioner and her children to whom was reserved the use of the said negro. That during the last Spring, one John C Taylor applied to a magistrate of the county of Henry aforesaid for surety of the peace against the said negro man Martin, allegedly that he had good reason to apprehend that the said negro man Martin, would poison some of his the said Taylor's family or injure & destroy the houses and other property of the said Taylor. The said negro man Martin upon the complaint aforesaid was committed to the jail of the county of Henry and at the May term of the said County Court of said County, the owners of the said slave were required to give bond and security in the penalty of one thousand dollars, conditioned for the good behavior of the said slave for twelve months. Your petitioners William Potter and his wife are poor and have but little property beside the slave, and were unable to give the security required. Your Petitioner John Dillard acting merely as trustee & only holding the legal title to said slave in that character was unwilling to involve himself in any responsibility by entering into the bond required. The consequence was that said negro was recommitted to Jail where he has remained ever since, by means whereof your petitioners William Potter & his wife have been deprived of the services of said slave, and will they are apprehensive be compelled to pay the Jailer's fees for