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Watkins, Mary: Petition, Powhatan County

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To the honourable Speaker and Senate and Speaker and house of delegates of Virginia in General Assembly Convened. The Humble petition of Mary Watkins and her child Edward free people of Colour. That your petitioners were emancipated by the last will and Testament of their old master George Radford decd in the year of our lord 1820[.] In consideration of our faithfull services and extraordinary attention to him in his life time. That in consequence of a contest about the validity of said Will in the County Court of Powhatan the superior court of Powhatan and the Court of Appeals we have been kept in bondage from the year 1820 untill the year 1828 when our freedom was decreed unanimously by the high court of appeals and that your petitioner Mary Watkins have a husband & only one child Edward which is near & dear to her than almost her own existance and to leave her husband (who is now a slave) would be like suffering death and have no money or means of transporting themselves to Liberia or else where and they are prohibited by the laws of the adjoining states and indeed of most of the states in the United States from migrating into them; there is no asylum to us to which we can go and if we remain a few months longer in Virginia