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Webster, Daniel: Petition, Prince William County

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To the Honorable the Speaker and House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Your Petitioner Daniel Webster humbly represents that he is a freeman of Colour now in the decline of life being fifty eight years old. That while a Slave he connected himself with a Mulatto Woman as his wife by whom he has Several Children and who is nearly as old as himself. That lately he purchased his said wife (whose name is Lucy) and being unwilling to hold in bondage one thus connected with him and the mother of his children and especially fearing the Consequences of dying she still remaining a Slave - he is exceedingly Solicitous to emancipate her. That where they are known & have made some Patrons they are able to live in comfort, but to be turned out into another and Strange State where they are unknown at their time of life would be to cloud their last days with Misery and want and perhaps to throw them in their old age upon the Charity of the World. This must be the consequence of his wifes Emancipation unless your Honorable body will under the Peculiar Circumstances of the Case relax the rigor of the law and permit his wife after her liberation to remain in her native Country. This indulgence your Petitioner humbly prays and as in duty bound will ever pray &c [etc.]. Daniel Webster Prince Wm. County Nov. 1812