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Depp, Abraham: Petition, Powhatan County

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[text shown vertically at right of page:] held under consideration the pet'n of Abraham Depp a man of color showing that in 1801, his late master John Depp executed a writing, which upon his acknowledgement was resolved in the Court of Powhatan County and by which he declared that at this death the petitioner should be free: that to the said writing a scroll was affixed & the word Seal written thereon; but that word not being found in the body of the instrument, he is informed that the deed is insufficient; that in 1829 his master died, having first made his will whereby he repeated his desire that the petitioner should be free, & devised to him property real & personal; and praying that he may be allowed, in accordance with the manifest desire & purpose of his master, to remain as a freeman within Commonwealth, during life -- or for the term of 5 years to make the necessary disposition of his property & his arrangements for leaving the state. Wherefore Resolved as the opinion of the Commonwealth that the said A.D. be allowed to remain as a free man in this Comm'th, three years, [illegible]