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Brown, Billy: Petition, Prince Edward County

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I Abraham W Venable do certify that Billy Brown the negro man mentioned in the petition to the Legislature of Virginia, has been a resident of this county with this neighbourhood for fourteen or fifteen years. I have known him for more than ten years since he purchased himself so far as I have ever had reason to believe he is an honest, unof[f]ensive, man who has supported himself by uncommon industry and deserves the character of a well behaved and peaceable negro. During his long residence in this vicinity I have never known him to be guilty of any of those violations of our laws which render free negroes so inconvenient in out country[.] Given under my hand this 29th of November 1825[.] A W Venable

I certify that I have known the above mentioned Billy Brown the last 6 or 7 years and during that time have never heard anything improper laid to his charge, and believe him an honest sober industrious man and believe he has sufficient property with good management to prevent his ever becoming chargeable on any person. Jas Todd 29th Novemr 1825

I agree substantially with the above statements J. D. Paxton