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Harris, Peggy & Others: 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 Peggy Harris, Tenor Moseley & Betty Mosley, and her children, Alsy, Lydia, Julia, & Dorcas Peggy, and Robert, Rachel Bentley and her three children, Lavinia[,] Julia Pamela, and Mary. Mary Watkins, and her child Edward, Patsy Moss, Rebecca Carrington, and her child Isaac, Levy Johnson, Timothy Harris, Charles Harris, Essex Harris[,] Tarlton Moss, and William Randolph free people of colour[.] That Your petitioners were emancipated by the last will and testament, of their old master George Radford in the year of our Lord 1820. In Consideration of their faithful services during his life. 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. They were kept in bondage from the year 1820 until the year 1828. When their freedom was decreed unanimously by the high court of appeals, That during the long time your Petitioners were contending for their liberty in the various courts of this commonwealth, They intermarried, They have Parents, Husbands, and wives, and a great many Young children; And some of Your Petitioners are old and infirm. They are therefore without the means of transporting themselves to Liberia, and they are prohibited by the Laws of the adjoining States, and indeed most of the States in the U. States from migrating into them; We have no money having been confined in slavery for Seven years after the will of our master George [Radford? Radferd?] had set us free. There is no asylum to us to which we can go. And if we remain a few months longer in Virginia