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Brawner, Basil: Petition, Prince William County

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paid by him, that Robert Lipscomb to whose bid the said Hyden was cried out, if legally bound to your petitioner for the sum bid by him $452. is wholy unable to pay any part of it, as is well known by several of your Honorable body, and if your petitioner had or could obtain a Judgment and Execution against him they would be without avail. That the former Sheriff of the County, Michael Cleary, now stands charged on the books of the Auditor of Public accounts with a large sum of Money which your petitioner will be compelled to pay unless your Honorable body will release him from it, although he has nor received nor has he any hope of receiving one cent of the same. Your petitioner beg leave to represent to your honorable body that it was the impression of all who saw and conversed with said Hyden that he was born free, that the said Hyden allway asserted that he was born free in the State of New York, was the son of a white woman and was educated in that State, which was evident from his pronunciation at the age of 14 he went to the State of Ohio where he continued about three years, when the increase of that population with whom he associated became to numerous as to induce the constituted authorities of that State to enact severe Laws in relation to the policies of the State, which compelled all persons of his colour, which was not able to comply with the requisitions of the Laws, to seek an asylum else where, and that he in endeavouring to return to New York his nativity, and not being acquainted with Virginia Laws attempted to pass through said state without evidence of his freedom, and for want of such evidence, he was apprehended and committed to Jail, and dealt with as a runaway slave, that your petition from conversation had with him and conversation had by other persons in his presence whilst he the said Hyden was confined in Jail, has a strong belief, and so have others whose certificates he present with this his petition that the said was free born, his knowledge of the Geography of New York his acquaintance with the cities, Towns, rivers & the trade of the state, is calculated to convince any person that he was born, raised, educated & migrated, as he the said Hyden himself represented to your petitioner & others. Your Petitioner therefore prays your Honorable body to pass an act releasing him and the said Michael Cleary from the payment into the Treasury