James (alias James Lafayette): Petition, New Kent County
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For which Greatful act of his country his heart will Be filled with Gratitude so long as its Blood runs warm. It is with sorrow and reluctance, that your petitioner is compelled by the Iresistable laws of nature, again to have himself on the [librately? liberty?] and Justice of his Country. He humbly begs leave to state to your Honl [Honorable] Body, that Greatfull for his liberation from slavery He has forborn to apply to his county, or country, for assistance untill he has arrived at the age of Three score years & ten at which age he feels the awful truth, That Tho by reason of strength man ar[r]ive the age of four schore [score] years yet is his strength but Vanity. So soon passeth it away. Your petitioner begs leave further to state that from natural decline of his bodily powers, he Has for several years found it extremely hard to acquire By labour a moderate support and feeling those Powers daily to decline, he awfully fears that without assistance he will not long be able to procure the necessaries of life. in tender consideration whereof he Humbly prays that yr Honl body will pass a law allowing a small sum for Emadiate [immediate] relief, and such moderate pencion [pension] for the remnant of his days as in your wisdom shall seem Just. and as in duty bound will ever pray[.] James Lafayette