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Taylor, William: Petition, Mecklenburg County

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To the honorable the speaker & members of the house of Delegates, the petition of William Taylor of the county of Mecklenburg humbly sheweth That John Potter formerly a resident of the said county of Mecklenburg in this state, being indebted to your petitioner in the sum of sixty pounds, your petitioner took a security therefor on a negro wench named Dinah. That said Potter having resided for many years in this state, removed a few years past, into that of North Carolina, and carried the said slave Dinah with him. That your petitioner having no other means of securing his debt and interest, was obliged to take the said slave Dinah in payment, but cannot bring her into this state, by reason of the law for prohibiting the importation of slaves. That altho' your petitioner humbly conceives, that this honorable house will be of opinion, that the accidental or fraudulent removal of individuals out of the state, ought never to alter or affect the private rights or contracts of individuals, yet he would have submited to the inconvenience of losing somewhat of his debt by delivery the sd Dinah in North Carolina, rather than have troubled the assembly with an application, except for a motive of philanthropy, which irresistibly impels him to crave both the justice, and indulgence of this honorable house. Whilst the said Potter resided in Virginia, a faithful slave belonging to your petitioner became her husband, and altho they are slaves, your petitioner, being convinced of their attachment to each other, confesses that he feels a strong aversion against the inhumanity of causing them to separate. Your petitioner therefore humbly hopes, when it is considered that the said Dinah was a native and inhabitant of Virginia, and when the other circumstances of this can an also considered, that altho' it is of little importance to the community, this honourable house will not subject him to the cruel alternative of losing his debt, or being guilty of a peice of inhumanity. He therefore prays that they will be pleased ( as he