Inhabitants: Petition, Petersburg
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Know all Men by these Presents That I David Anderson of the Town of Petersburg in the State of Virginia, being in an unsound State of Body but thanks be to the Supreme ruler of the Universe that I enjoy all the blessings of a Sound mind and recollection, yet considering the uncertainty thereof, and being desirous to leave my worldly affairs at the time of my [death?] in the best order I can, so as to do justice to all men, and at the same time give as little trouble as possible to my executors, or those who may undertake the Settlement of my Estate, I therefore make this my Will and testament as follows viz I hereby make, Nominate, Constitute, and appoint Alexander Brown, Joel Hammon, Archibald Baugh & Robert Ritchie, all of the town of Petersburg jointly or severally, my executors, to execute this my Will & Testament, hereby giving and granting to them and each of them, full power, and authority, to sue for & collect, all debts and sums of money, which may be due to me, at my death by bond, open Acct, or any other way whatever, to sell any perishable property, of whatever kind, I may in whole, or in part be possessed or have an interest in, at that time, to grant Conveyances, & discharges for the same, to pay all the just debts I may owe and in general to execute the Office of executer, as is commonly done, according to law. My books will shew, within a few pounds of what I owe, or is owing to me, and if there is a Surplus, as a free Citizen, I have a right to dispose of it, as I please, the Crafts I own being perishable property, as well as hasardous ought to be sold, by giving the purchasers time, they will sell to more advantages taking care, however to have good security for the payment, the number of Slaves I now own is reduced to two men, viz. Michael & Jengo, Michael I direct to be sold where ever he can be found, because he has, in a manner been a runaway for the last twelve months, and would not obey any Orders or directions I gave him, furthermore, I conceive him, by no means fit, to be his own master, It has been my intention, if I was possessed of any Slaves, at the time of my death, to set them free, as far as the Laws of the Country will permit, provided they had behaved themselves in a dutiful way. Michael as stated above, has by his undutiful conduct, debarred himself of the privilege I intended him to enjoy, on the other hand, Jingo, for the Space of twenty years past, has conducted himself in so dutiful a manner, that I never have had cause to find fault with him, but as the emancipation law now stands, I am somewhat at a loss, how to regulate this, my Will, because it, in a great measure frustrates my intention, it is my Will and desire that he be not sold, or made a Slave of, to any person but that, my Executors become guardians to him and permit him to enjoy the fruits of his labour, and in failure of my executors doing as I have requested I recommend him to the protection of the Majestrates [Magistrates] of the Town of Petersburg for the time being. For the Corporation will ultimately be heirs, to whatever property I may leave. I direct my Lot and houses to be sold, as well as the Crafts &c. &c. and the whole of the neat proceeds of my Estate, Jingo excepted, after paying my debts, to be put on interest taking good security, Landed security is the best, or laid out in Bank Stock. I give to a free Negro Woman, named Nancy Hall, Fifty dollars, and a small white Covered feather Bed, with two Blankets, this donation only, provided She Survives me, to Richard tho not my property I give all his Brother Jacks clothes = three