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Dungie, John & Lucy Ann: Petition, King William County

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as an Act of Justice & attonement for the error of an unguarded moment bequeathed to his innocent offspring the boon of freedom & a pecuniary legacy of $1,000 consisting of Stock of the Bank of Virginia, but with a limitation that the said Stock should remain in the hands of his executors in trust; that the dividends only should be paid to her during her life and that if she died without lawful children that the Bank Stock should revert to his next of kin. During the last year your Petitioners urged by the strongest & the purest attachment to each other were lawfully united in matrimony & fondly flattered themselves that they had every prospect of passing through life with a portion of happiness which is decreed to but few. Only a few months however had passed away before your Petitioners were roused from their halcyon state by being informed that by the Laws of the Land it was necessary that your Petitioner Lucy Ann should remove from the Commonwealth or be sold into slavery. The intelligent & the humane can at once imagine how app[e]aling this infermation [information] was to your Petitioners, how frightful the consequences of a rigid & unbending application of the Law, how totally distructive [sic] of the rights, the interests & happiness of your Petitioners--An Enumeration of the disasterous [disastrous] effects of an inforcement of the Law in this Case is almost unnecessary to your enlightened body, but they will briefly state - That if they are compelled to leave this Land your Petitioner John in a moment looses the labour of his life in acquiring an accurate knowledge of the Chessapeake [Chesapeake] Bay & of the Rivers which disembogue themselves therein, by which knowledge he is rendered [useless?] to himself & others & the Legacy bequeathed to your Petitioner Lucy Ann be lost or be of little or no value to them. They will be torn from their parents, relatives & friends, & driven in a state of