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Depp, Abraham: Petition, Powhatan County

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We the undersigned (of Chesterfield County) neighbours and acquaintances of the late John Depp of the County of Powhatan being informed that the deed of emancipation made by him in the year 1801 and duly recorded in the Clerks office of Powhatan County by which he emancipated his man Abraham, is probably defective, and that the said Abraham, cannot safely claim his freedom under it and continue to reside in the state; and being informed also of the said Abraham's intention to apply to the County Court of Powhatan for permission to reside in said county, do hereby bear our willing testimony in behalf of the said Abraham, as a man of great industry, and punctuality in business, being sober, industrious and honest in all his transactions as far as we know or believe: And if his general acquaintance and standing in both Powhatan & Chesterfield County's did not make such a declaration unnecessary, we would not hesitate to say that he is a striking example of respectability for a man of colour; and that no person of colour in either of the county's stands higher. We therefore heartily unite in the expression of our wish that he may be permitted to reside in the county of Powhatan. Richd Gates Stephen Howard Thos Atkinson John Roper Nathaniel J Roper Godfrey Elam Lund Hopkins William Baw Francis Cheatham Sr John Baw Henry Howard Hezekiah B. Thurman Bret Aminet John Farber Elijah Johnson Henry Winfree [Chas?] Elam Fred Clarke [Hans Arns? Fred Clarke Haskins?] William Howard William H Morgan Samuel C Roper M Blankinship John Porter Lunk Silas Cheatham Pleasant Cheatham S. Vaden Stephen F. [Suban?] James Cheatham