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Citizens: Petition, Petersburg

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To the Honorable General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia The petition of the undersigned citizens of the town of Petersburg humble shewith unto your Honourable body that your petitioner Edward Stokes was emancipated by the Will of his late honoured master [Hubert? Herbert?] B [Edder? Elder?] upon condition that he should be sent to the Colony in Libiria [Liberia]. That your petitioners do not wish in the least to oppose the operation of the provisions of the law forbidding emancipated slaves to remain in this Commonwealth but that they are willing both your petitioner Edward Stokes and the other petitioners that he shall receive the benefits in[illegible] to him on the conditions imposed by law and by his masters will. Your petitioners would further represent to your Honourable body that Edward Stokes would before this time have gone to Liberia but for the circumstances which they will now make known to you. Your petitioner Edward Stokes is a blacksmith; and from his industry, frugality and good behaviour is much encouraged in his calling, from the profits of which he is enabled to lay up a considerable sum of money which will enable him to purchase from her master his wife to whom he is strongly attached. The master of his wife is at this time about 19 or 20 years of age and has agreed that if he shall be allowed to remain in the Commonwealth until the first of October 1837 he will sell her to Edward Stokes