Rachel & Rachel, Jr.: Petition, Northumberland County
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was bound directed and allowed by the laws of Virginia. Then being, on thereafter to be made and [illegible]. Thence your Respondent believed and was informed by his Counsel that the said Negroe Rachael and her child Rachael were not intitled to freedom according to the laws of Virginia by from or under the said last will & testament of his sd. [said] Brother. Nor by the Codicil thereto annexed. As by the said Laws especially an Act of Assembly made in the year of our Lord Christ 1748 Chap. 31st. A petition thereto being had may appear and as your Respondent firmly believes in his own Conscience, that his said decd [deceased] Brother never intended by his said Codicil, [illegible] be a present of the sd. [said] Rachael and her said child to the parish of [illegible]. he thinks the said Rachael can claim no merit or advantage from the said Codicil respecting setting her free, As 'tis evident to a demonstration that if the said Codicil can in the least operate to a change of her Condition. It can only be in this instance to procure a change of owners and masters, Since if it should be adjudged that by the said Codicil she does not belong to the [illegible] at Law of the said John Barr, she must be sold by the church wardens of [illegible] Parish together with her child. As Slaves for life to the highest bidder, towards depending the Parish Law. Nor as your Responent looks upon himself to be bound by every Tie of gratitude and brotherly affection to take care of Train up in a free and Christain manner (in any part of the world) (where the Municipal Laws of the Country will permit) the said Child, Rachael, as far as his estate and abilities will permitt. In such manner as he conceives will be most agreeable to the Codicil Annex w/o his sd. [said] Brother's last will. And this your Respondent apprehends that he can only do by acting as Admin. of his sd. [said] Brother's estate with his will annexed under and agreeable to the Laws of Virginia and by the said Laws of Virginia. Informed and believes that the said slave Rachael and her child Rachael descended and came to him as real estate undisposed of by by said Brother John Barr decd [deceased]. And this he hopes to be able to prove before any proper and Legal Court of Judication Having Lawfully Cognisance of the same the Commonwealth of Virginia therefore he always was and now is resolved to consider the said Rachael as his absolute property. As a slave. But as a brother of John Barr decd [deceased] He is also [illegible resolved?] to comply with the last will of his said Brother to the utmoist of his power Respecting the said child Rachael as