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Inhabitants: Petition, Petersburg

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North Carolina, of which he was a native; believing that he had the same privilege of labouring to acquire a livelihood in Virginia that he had in his native state & not in the least suspecting that there existed any law or regulation in Virginia prohibiting his removal thereto or settlement therein; that sometime after his coming to, & settling in, the said town he intermarried with a native of this state; that no person apprized him of the existence of such a law: that he was permitted to continue the pursuit of his usual occupation from the year 1806 till the summer of the present year 1810, without the least molestation or interruption or the expression of any objection whatsoever, till the month of June last, when he was summoned to appear before several respectable magistrates of the said town (to most of whom his conduct and character and long residence in the town were well known) to explain to them, whether he did not consider the act of General Assembly entitled "an act to prevent the migration of free negroes and mulattoes into the Commonwealth", passed on the 12th of December 1793. and ought not to be removed and sent out of this commonwealth for having as it was alleged, migrated thereto and remained therein contrary to the said act: that he accordingly appeared before those magistrates: and though the non-execution of the said law by the magistrates of the said town (if it embraced his case in reality) had misled him