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Butler, James: Petition, Petersburg

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We the subscribers having long known the Petitioner James and being [sensible?] of his Honesty sobriety and respectability of character, do hereby freely and with satisfaction certify the Same; and beg leave to express an anxious wish that his Master may be permitted to emancipate him, without his being subjected to the consequences attached to such emancipation by the present general Law of the Land[.]

Donald Machervill } Saml Cristian } The Petitioner has lived with us for three years in the Capacity of a Miller much to our Satisfaction. H. M. Baird Mary Williams Jno B Williams Richd Williams Jr [Alan?] G. Strachan Robert Bolling Jas Byrne Daniel Dodson James Campbell