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Depp, Abraham: Petition, Powhatan County

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To the Worshipful Justices of Powhatan: Understanding that Abraham intends applying to the honorable Court of Powhatan for permission to remain as a free man in their County, and from my long acquaintance with him -- having raised him from his childhood -- knowing probably more of him than any other one, I have thought it my duty, so it is also my inclination, to state to the Court what has been his character & conduct so far as they have been observed by me. And this I shall attempt to do frankly and candidly -- as little biassed [biased] as possible by the earnest and anxious desire that I have that he should be permitted to remain in his native County. As a servant, I must say that I have never known his equal -- being humble, industrious, sober, punctual in his business, & at all times ready and willing to discharge whatever business might be allotted to him. His shop having always had a large amount of custom, whenever it happened that the day did not allow sufficient time to accomplish the work before him, then night supplied no deficiency. And this, too, he did of himself, not being forced to it at all, by his master. Always most humble & polite, in the exercise of his trade, to strangers as well as acquaintances, he has had the good fortune, I am sure, to secure the good will of all who have in the lest known him. For the interests of his master & his family he always manifested the greatest solicitude. And so much confidence did we always have in his honesty, his capability for business of any sort, & his good sense that we entrusted him with any matter whatever. For many of the last years of his master's life Abraham transacted business of any sort which had necessarily to be attended to at a distance. Without any order, without any writing whatever -- with his master's money in his pocket, he would go to Richmond & buy all the iron and steel that were necessary