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Godwin, Benjamin: Petition, Portsmouth

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To the Honorable The General Assembly of Virginia Your petitioner Benjamen Godwin of the town of Portsmouth respectfully represents unto your honorable body that an act was passed in the year 1814 granting him permission to remain in the state as a free person of colour, and that since the passage of that act he has purchased his daughter and only child Elizabeth Godwin whom he is anxious to emancipate, and therefore prays your honorable body to pass an act extending the like permission (granted to himself) to his daughter. Your Petitioner begs leave to shew that the 62nd Section of the laws of 1819 concerning slaves, Free negroes & mulattoes, authorizing County Courts to extend to the children of such free negroes as have been permitted by the courts to remain in the state, does not apply to the case of his daughter inasmuch as that section provides for the children only of those emancipated slaves who have been permitted by the County Courts to remain and consequently the County Court cannot grant such permission to his daughter, as your Petitioner was permitted to remain in the State by the General Assembly and not by the County Court. Your Petitioner prays a favorable consideration of his humble petition[.] Benjamen Godwin