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Belton, Solomon: Petition, Loudoun County

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To the honorable the speakers and members of the house of delegates and senate of the commonwealth of Virginia in general assembly convened, the memorial and pet[it]ion of Solomon Belton of the County of Loudoun, respectfully represents, that, about the 1st of December of the year 1808 he prepared for the removal of himself and family to the state of Georgia, for which purpose, he, then, took with him to Georgia, where he afterwards purchase a tract of land, the greater part of his slaves; and, among others, his waggonner, named Tom: that he left his family in Virginia, intending to remove them, the ensuing year, after providing for them, a suitable residence. Your petitioner remained in Georgia the whole of that year; without having it in his power to execute this intention, earlier than in the spring of the year 1810, when he returned to Virginia with the slave Tom, for the purpose of removing to the farm he had purchased, the residue of his slaves, and his wife and children. But so it is, your petitioner, having a large landed estate to sell, and numerous accounts to settle in this state, has not, until, very recently, found himself prepared to leave Virginia, and, now, he understands that under the existing laws of this Commonwealth he has incurred a heavy penalty by retaining so long the said slave Tom within this Commonwealth. as your petitioner most solemnly declares, that, in so doing, he had no intention of violating any law of Virginia; and that he has been driven to the necessity of doing so, by delays