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Inhabitants: Petition, Petersburg

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To the honorable speaker and other members of the house of delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The petition of the subscribers inhabitants of the Town of Petersburg and others respectfully sheweth, that Meyer Elbeck a free man of colour and a native of the United States removed from the State of Pennsylvania into this Commonwealth in the year 1802 - and settled in the town of Petersburg, believing that he had a right to do so; and unconscious of contravening any law, or acting improperly by such removal or settlement - that no magistrate or any other person, intimated to him even in the most indirect manner, that he ought not to settle in the said town and therefore he hath ever since, continued to pursue with the utmost industry and perseverance, his usual mechanical occupation therein; that his conduct and deportment during his residence in the said town, have been uniformly and strictly correct and proper & that his assiduity and attention to his business have been as remarkable, as his behaviour has been regular [illegible] [illegible] [illegible]. That as he [illegible] least suspicion that his removal to the State or settling in the town violated any law, and he was daily and hourly seen following his vocation, by those who knew the laws, & who ought to administer them, without receiving from any of them the slightest hint of his having illegally come in to the country he was induced to invest the fruits of his industry on