Brawner, Basil: Petition, Prince William County
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To the General Assembly of Virginia Your petitioner Basil Brawner respectfully represents to your Honorable body that heretofore a mulat[t]o called and known as William Hyden was apprehended in the County of Prince William and committed to the Jail of the said County as a runaway, that the said Hyden was confined in the Jail of the County, aforesaid, and advertised as the Law in such cases direct, and was by order of the County Court advertised for Sale & no person having claimed him, and he not having proved his Fre[e]dom, he was offered at public Auction for Sale by your petitioner as Deputy for Michael Cleary, then high Sheriff of Prince Wm. County, on the first day of January 1834. When one Robert Lipscomb being a bidder, and making the highest bid became the purchaser of said Hyden, as the agent of a trader, or dealer in slaves, and he Lipscomb informed your petitioner, that his principal would pay the purchase money in a five days, the said Hyden was returned to Jail to await the arrival of the said trader, who in a short time came and being requested refused to pay the amount which he had authorized the said LIpscomb to bid. Your petitioner afterwards sent the said Hyden to the Town of Fredericksburg, and to the City of Richmond by one Col. James Fewell of Prince William, (who had a number of slaves to be offered for sale,) to be sold if the amount of the said Robert Lipscombs bid could be obtained for him, the said Hyden was offered for sale to sundry persons in Fredericksburg by Fewell & Myself, he was also offered in Richmond by Fewell, all of Whom refused to purchase him at any price, on account of his colour all alledging that he was too white, the said Fewell returned him to your petitioner in the Town of Brentsville, where he offered him for sale on a court day, several traders were present, all of whom refused to make any offer for him, alledging that his colour was too light and that he he could by reason thereof too easily escape from Slavery and pass himself for a free man, and whilst your petitioner was endeavouring to sell the said Hyden he made his escape, and although your petition has made every exertion in his power to regain possession of him he has not been able so that your peti[ti]oner was compelled to report to the county court aforesaid his proceeding under this order, and to pay all the expense that arose from ap[p]rehension, confinement, advertising &c &c [etc. etc.] without having received any part of the sum of money which was bid for him the said Hyden, nor has your petitioner any prospect or hope of being reimbursed the expense so