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Morris, John: Petition, Patrick County

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To the honorable the speaker and members of the general assembly of Virginia The petition of John Morris of Patrick County humbly represents, that your petitioner is a very young man who has hither too supported himself by his labour, having acquired nothing from his forefathers. That sometime in the year 1805 having made a small quantity of tobacco and the market for the same in the leaf being dull and indifferent he was advised to manufacture it and did so and carried it out of the state and sold it, and took in exchange a likely negroe girl in pay, paying up a balance in cash, your petitioner states that not having the advantage of a liberal education and from his poverty not being able to mix with the more enlightened parts of the community,was ignorant of the Law that forbid the bringing of negroes into this commonwealth and thus ignorant he did bring her into the state and kept her some time before he found out his danger that on learning the law he took her over the state line, on the border's of which he lives, and has kept her there ever since by which means her value to him is greatly lessoned. Your petitioner states that from the integrity and honesty of the slave your petitioners wife