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Birch, John & Bond: Petition, New Kent County

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to the Speaker and members of the both houses of the lesgilative of Virginia now in session.The petition of John Birch and Bond Birch free persons of colour, respectfully sheweth that on the 25 July 1803 their father Harry Birch then a free man bought of the late William Dandridge Claiborne Esqr. of the county of King William your petitioner John with the intention of emancipating him. At that time be contracted with the same gentleman for the purchase of your petitioner Bond to be paid for in carpenters work, your petitioners further bring a good house joiner He your petitioners further warrant on to do the work forthwith but from various causes, not under the control of him your petitioners father, said work was not measured and valued until the year 1809. At that period the law had passed preventing partial emancipation, and Mr. Claiborne instead of making a deed of emancipation for your petitioners gave their father a separate bill of sale for each of them. That for your petitioner Bond accompanies this petition The one for your petitioner John is lost or mislaid. Thus were your petitioners still maintained in slavery although bought by their father with the [illegible] intention of emancipating them. On the 5 Dec 1818 your petitioners father executed his long avowed design, and by deed emancipated your petitioners, as you will see by the deeds also accompanying this petition. Your petitioners are now subject to the operation