Billy; Edith; Nancy; Dick; & Others: Petition, Prince George County
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They beg leave to state that Mrs Barr at her death had a number of other slaves all of whom with a solitary exception she devised to her Executor which goes to shew that she emancipated your Petitioners for their good behaviour. Your Petitioners state that Mrs. Barr's Will was admitted to record in the year 1823 and notwithstanding their earnest solicitations her Executor has failed to give them the lands devised to them in the manner she directs either in this State or any other. That she died possessed of a large Estate owing no debts of any amount They are unable to emigrate to a state where they can be free. In their present situation their right in a Court of Equity to recover from the Executor of Mrs. Barr the legacies devised to them seems questionable since they are mere tenants at will of liberty and may be deprived of it at any moment by the overseers of the Poor. Should the General Assembly in its mercy think proper to permit them to remain in this State; after getting from the Executor of Mrs. Jane Barr what she has devised to them they will be able to reach the Settlement on the coast of Africa of free persons of Color where they will most assuredly go if that settlement should continue to prosper & increase as it has heretofore done. They pray the General Assembly to permit them to remain in this State as free persons until they can accomplish this if they will grant them no other favor but if to them it shall seem fit they pray an act may be passed to permit them to remain in this Commonwealth. Nancy, her [X] mark for herself & children Edith, her [X] mark
Whereas it appears to the G A that by the last will & testament of Jane Barr late of Prince Geo Cty dec'd recorded the 9th day of Dec 1823 Billy &c slaves of [now?] emancipated, & the exors of the said Jane were directed to find the said Billy &c having repres'd to the G. A. that notwithstanding their earnest solicitations the said exors have hitherto failed to comply with the direction of her testator made as af'd [aforesaid] [illegible] favor by providing for them the land aforesaid whether in this state or elsewhere; and petitioned that they may be allowed in the Commwlth until this object can be effected, Be it enacted