Making History: Transcribe is made possible in part by federal funding provided through the Library Services and Technology Act program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

White, Ackey: Petition, Norfolk City

image 1 of 3

Zoom in to read each word clearly.
Some images may have writing in several directions. To rotate an image, hold down shift-Alt and use your mouse to spin the image so it is readable.

This transcription is complete!

To The Honorable the General Assembly of Virginia. The petition of Ackey White a free man of colour respecfully representeth to your honourable Body. That he was born a slave in the Borough of Norfolk and was owned by [blank] Jordan and that after his death being sold to pay the debts of his owner he was purchased by the widow of his Master whom he continued to serve with fidelity as her statement will shew for many years afterwards. That being permitted by his Mistress to hire himself out and appropriate to his own uses the earnings of his industry of over and above the amount he agreed to pay to her he was enabled in a few years to purchase himself a permission which was granted to him in consideration of his good conduct - and in the year 1824, the petitioner was emancipated by Marshall Parks the second husband of his Mistress by deed duly executed and admitted to record in the Court of Norfolk County. Since that period the petitioner had continued to reside in the Borough of Norfolk engaged in the responsible service of a common carrier by drays and as he has reason to believe, and the annexed certificates will shew, he has acquired the confidence and respect of the mercantile community and of all others who have employed him. He was not aware that he violated any law of the land by remaining in his native place and it was only recently when a prosecution was commenced against him for remaining in the State contrary to law that he was apprised that he must either leave the State or be again reduced to the bondage of slavery. The petitioner is now sixty years of age, has a wife and several children whom he has also emancipated by his industry and if now in his old age he be compelled to seek an asylum in another State. It is but too probable that poverty and all its lingering train of evils await him for which death only could relieve him. He therefore most respectfully