Citizens: Petition, Preston County
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To the honourable Speaker and memburs of the Legislature of Virginia Gentlemen; a certain Thomas Butler former of Preston County and State of Virginia but late of the State of Ohio and now deceased when he left said County of Preston & moved to the State of Ohio (he settled a certain Blackman who he called Jack) on a tract of land belonging to said Butler in said county of Preston to do the best he could for himself & family having a free Black Woman for his wife and appointed agents to take care of said Jack so that he should not pass as a freeman & that the law should not take hold on said Jack by going at large as a slave & dealing for himself &c [etc.] said Jack has resided on said farm with his family ever since and conducted himself in an upright and becoming manner for perhaps ten years or upwards, and the said Butler by his last will and testament requested his Executors to suffer said Jack to go into the State of Ohio & receive his freedom[.] Now your petitioners prey [pray] that a law may be past [passed] by your body to allow said Jack to return to the State of Virginia (after receiving his freedom & remain on the place where he now lives with