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Williams, Frederick: Petition, Lynchburg

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To the Hon: Speakers and members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the state of Virginia, the petition of Frederick Williams respectfully represents:

That your petitioner, now a free man of color, has for the last twenty years resides in the town of Lynchburg, the property, until recently, of Joseph Edwin Royall Esqr. That he has even conducted himself with propriety and decency and fidelity to his former master and by long and patient industry was enabled to lay up a considerable sum of money, with part of which, during the last fall, he purchased his freedom from his master at the price of $450. Your petitioner believed at that time, that with the residue of money then in his possession, and such additional sum as he could raise, in twelve months, he would be enabled to purchase his wife and two children, the property of John S. Meem Esq. with whom it was his bona fide wish and intention to remove from the state of Virginia. Your petitioner has found himself disappointed in this expectation--being unable at this time to have a reasonable price for his family, and by the operation of a law of the land, he will be forced to leave the state of Virginia and of carrying his family with him if indeed he can procure them, according to his original plan & purpose and he is confident that if suffered to remain a limited time in this commonwealth, he can accomplish that object. He is a barber by trade and with what money he has now, and will be enabled to realize from the profits of his labors for a few years he does not doubt he will be entirely able to purchase his whole family, with whom, as soon as he can procure them, he will remove to another state. Your petitioner is now about forty years of age, and for the honesty of his previous life, and his uniform habits of industry and economy, he begs leave to refer to a memorial of many citizens of the counties of Campbell, Amherst, and the town of Lynchburg here to annexed who have kindly lent their names and influence to the success of this, his petition. In consideration of the hardship of his case, and of his bona bide intention to remove from the state of Virginia with his family, as soon as he can procure them. He humbly prays that the Legislature will pass a law authorizing him to remain a limited time, say five years