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Woodson, Jesse: Petition, Prince Edward County

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The Petition of Jesse Woodson a free man of color for permission to remain in the state. To the General Assembly of Virginia Your petitioner humbly sheweth to your honorable body that he was born the slave of Polly Jackson in the county of Pr. Edward; that in the year [blank] Polly Jackson died leaving a will which is of record in the county court of Pr. Edward that in said will your petitioner was bequeathed to Taulton Woodson of Prince Edward County to be held by him as his property until your petitioner came to the age of twenty five years and then your petitioner should have his freedom . That said Taulton Woodson took possession of your petitioner and bound him to a cabinet maker until he was was [blank] years old, and then hired him out for the next [blank] years. That on the [blank]day of [blank month] 1847, your petitioner arrived at the age of twenty five years and at the [blank] term of the county court of Prince Edward in the same year received his certificate of freedom under the will of Polly Jackson deceased. That he has acquired some skill in his trade and has and now is honestly supporting himself in the exercise of it. That he has ever maintained a character for honesty and general good behavior, which he trusts can be shewn to the satisfaction of your honorable body. That he has a wife who is a Slave & several children and that he is now in the employment of Geo. W. Claiborn at Pr. Edward Co. Ho. with whom he learned his trade. And being without relief in the premises, because of the difficulty and impracticability of convening the justices of his county, that he may apply to them, till May next before which time in obedience to the laws of the State he will be obliged to leave or forfeit his freedom, therefore your Petitioner humbly prays that your honorable body will allow him the privilege of remaining in the state, a[nd] your petitioner will ever pray. Jesse his X mark Woodson Witness F. N. Leitch Sam C Anderson