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Critz, Gabriel: Petition, Patrick County

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The Legislature of Virginia The Petition of Gabriel Critz respectfully represents that a fu [few] years since the County Court of Patrick directed the overseers of the poor to bind to him Shadrack Gowing, aged 15 years and Cornelius Gowing aged 13 & a little upwards free people of colour, that it was done accordingly upon the terms prescribed by Law, that your petitioner has taken considerable pains to learn them trades and bring them up upon the principles of morality & Religion, that he is nothing like compensated for this Trouble & expense he has been at, & cannot be unless he gets the full benefit of their labour till they attain lawful age. That your Petitioner has it in Contemplation to remove to the Western States & cannot carry these children with him without the interposition of the Legislature, that without this interposition he will be constrained to leave them behind & thus lose the labour & expense he has bestowed upon them in their Infancy; which can only be repaid by their labour now and untill the expiration of their Indentures. Your Petitioner states that their Father is dead & their Mother although alive had as well be dead as it respects the advantage which results to them from any efforts of hers to being them up in the path of [illegible], sobriety & Industry; for that she is Lazy, profligate & intemperate. Your Petitioner further states that the Mother is perfectly willing that the children should go with him to the west & that the children themselves are also very anxious to accompany him. Your Petitioner prays therefore that a law may pass authorizing him to remove the said children along with him to the west upon such terms and restrictions as your Honourable body may deem best to guard their rights & protect them when they shall have attained lawful age from sale or other abuses & he will in duty bound ever pray &c [etc.]. Gabriel Critz Nov 1830