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Cousins, Charles: Petition, Nottoway County

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To the Speaker of the House of Delegates of Virginia and the members of that body, Humbly sheweth, that your petitioner Chs [Charles] Cousins of the County of Nottoway (a free man of colour) who was born free and that he is now about Sixty years of age, beg leave to represent that about eighteen years ago he took to himself a wife, then a slave, but soon after which event, his said wife was sold under a decree of the County court of Amelia, for the purpose of a division among the legal heirs of a certain Mr. Brown of that County, who was purchased by a certain Thomas Howlett for your petitioner and that your petitioner did on or before the 16th day of September 1812, pay the amount given for his said wife which will fully appear by a release or bill of Sale from said Howlett to your petitioner and that he has always been in full and peaceable possession of her from that time as his property. Your petitioner having been advised that in the event of him dying first, his said wife cannot enjoy her freedom nor can he emancipate her, so as to remain in this Commonwealth after the period of one year as free, and further that your petitioner has a mother yet living and brothers and sisters and children by a former wife, so that agreeable to the laws now existing in that case provided, she must fall into the hands of some of those his relations or there decendants and delt with as a slave, in the event of her out living him, which to your petitioner is a Subject of great uneasiness and distress, he therefore prays that your honourable body would pass a law for her emancipation and permission to remain in this Commonwealth and that she be called Aggy Cousins and as in duty bound your petitioner will ever pray. November 1st 1819 Chas his X mark Cousins