Chapel, Thomas & Others: Petition, Loudoun County
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many of the descendants from Africa, are too far debased to be fit for freedom, but they see in this case no such obstacle. They see an individual under a solemn contract to liberate a woman of unexexceptionable [unexceptional] character and her children, who by Law are liable to be detained in his service, and to "entail" the miserable conditions of slavery "on the endless generations proceeding from them." They see this individual willing to fulfill his contract, willing even now to indulge his Slave with every comfortable privilege that he can, but alas! they know that virtue cannot be entailed like Slavery. They therefore ask that your honorable body will be pleased to pass an Act authorising the said Thomas Chapel to manumit the said Fanny and her infant children Ellen and Harriott. They conceive that Justice and Humanity require this at your hands, and that no Plea of expediency can with propriety be urged against it. They trust it will never be said that the Legislature of Virginia of the State which boasts as her son the man who assisted by a band of patriots united with him in the cause of freedom, achieved the Independence of our beloved country. that the Legislature of this State have suffered a legal obstruction, to be interposed to the performance of an act so obviously required by the best of motives; but that the "wisdom which cometh from above" and is profitable to direct in all things will be vouchsafed to guide your deliberations; and that this may be the case your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. Thomas Chapel Sydnor Bailey Moses Gibson Wm. F. R. Davis Benjamin Hitt Jane Hitt Robert Fleming Hugh Whiteford
Seth Smith Jacob Smith Ruth [Lumm?] Samuel Smith Mary Smith Anne Smith Sarah Smith Georgia Cooper Smith Elijah Glasscock