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Brown, John: Petition, Prince William County

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Prince Wm Ct Sct. Came before me James Smith a Justice of peace for said County Thomas Bramell, bring with him a negro man who he makes oath he took up as a runaway Slave about a mile & a half from Dumfries on the Coleb oad, and said negro being examined alledges his name is john Buttler and a freeman That he has gone by water as a sailor with Capt. Butts of the [Sch Arriot?] & that his residence is in Alexandria but having no papers of evidence or certificates, which the law requires and his appearance beint unlike his story. You are hereby desired & required to receive the sd [said] negro into your Jaill custody & him safely keep until his charge agreeable to law [illegible] & That ye forthwith advertise the said negro specially describing his person & dress as the law requires. Given undermy hand And seal this Eleventh day of July 1801. James Smith (Seal) To the Sheriff & Jailler [jailer] of Prince Wm Cot.