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Munford, Nancy; Armistead, Elizabeth; & Walden, Catherine: Petition, Petersburg

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the Mr Thomas D Watson, who lived near to him, to buy of him, a lot which he then possessed alledging [alleging] that his object was to Build upon it a House, for Each of his daughters the Petitioners- so as to enable him, to retain the one he then lived on, for himself & your Petitioner, Nancy, who in all respects he [reigned? regarded?] as his wife with whom he had lived for many years. By the sudden, and unexpected calamity, which has befallen them, your Petitioners have without preparation, been thrown into great straits and difficulties in supplying scantily, the many comforts which were furnished them by his Industry, and prudence, your Petitioners under a connection that the Legislature [may?] consents to permit Land to escheat to the Commonwealth Except in cases where there are neither legal or natural things of the decedant, that [it?] only takes when there are none to claim, who have a better title in any way. Hope that from the foregoing statement of facts, that the Legislature will be satisfied that your Petitioners are the rightful and natural Heirs of the Decedant Thomas Walden and that with a generous & liberal Legislature the enquiry (of whether your Petitioners (Nancy was ever married) in her children who join her in this petition were born in lawful [illegible], or not, Cannot have the land [illegible] in placing then in a difficult condition than they would have been if the Ceremony had been performed a Ceremony which there observed by the [while?] than the coloured population, of our State, under all the Circumstances herein set forth, your petitioners Humbly pray that the legislature all the [illegible] of their Hard care [illegible], will surrender to them the Commonwealth right & no more to the real estate herein before set forth with it they may be enabled to live in reasonable comfort, without it they will be left in a great measure destitute[.] Nancy Munford alias Walden her x mark Elizabeth Walden x her mark Catherine Walden witness Wm Retectson as Nancy Munford alias &c Peter Baird