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Richards, Thomas: Petition, Lee County

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And he has never yet, heard the first objection made to it. Your petitioner for these reasons, humbly hopes, that the Legislature of the State in which he was born & faithfully served for forty four years as a slave, will, in the evening of his days, pass a law, allowing him to remain & enjoy his freedom, and the society of his wife, (with whom he has lived in uninterrupted harmony for Twenty years,) and his children, the remainder of his life; And as, in humble duty, your petitioner will ever pray &c [etc.]. Nov. 10th 1821. Thomas Richards

Virginia Lee County to wit, This day John D. Sharp Col [Colonel] 94th Regt.& Clerk of the Superior Court of Law for said County, came before the undersigned, a justice of the Peace for the County aforesaid, And made Oath that he has been well acquainted with and resided in the neighborhood of Thomas Richards, the above petitioner, for 12 or 15 years. And that he has uniformly, both whilst a slave & since emancipated sustained an humble, orderly, honest & upright character. That he has for a number of years, been a professing Christian, and in regular fellowship & communion with the Methodist Episcopal Church. That he knows that the petitioner several months ago, advertised his intentions of applying for leave to remain as a free man of color in this State; And that he has heard of no person in the county making objections to such leave. He is of opinion, on the contrary, that there is no person in it acquainted with the petitioner, but would promote his application. Sworn to, before this 13th day of November 1821. Stephen T. Mill

Lee County to wit. This day Thomas Blakemore came before the undersigned a justice of the peace for the County aforesaid, and made Oath, that this affiants father raised the petitioner, Thomas Richards, and after owning him thirty or thirty five years, gave him to this affiant, who owned