Doxey & Jack: Petition, Princess Anne County
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left him free by his will; and his Executor has recently assented to the benefit conferred by his master. Your Petitioner is now about thirty four or five years of age, married, and has three children all of whom as well as his wife are slaves, residing in the County of Princess Ann. and the intelligence that he is a free man is damped by the notice to quit the state, and break all those ties which a Country, friends, and family have drawn around him. In a word, he is informed that none of these relations will longer subsist for him, and he is commanded as a wretched exile to seek in other climes, for those endearments which his native Country can alone afford, or to remain and become a Slave. To none can he appeal for relief, saving the Honorable body before whom he now appears a suppliant; begging them to interpose their aid, in a case otherwise hopeless. He feels, deeply feels the importance of the favour he asks, to his peace as a Husband and a Father; (if it be not arrogant to say so) he suffers keenly at the thought of quiting his native Country. True, to him, his Country has been a Step Mother; he has dragged on the burthen and endured the toil and hardship of slavery for thirty years, but still Virginia is his native Country, nor can he ever become insensible to those feelings and affections, which a native only can experience. He begs of your Honorable body, to be allowed to remain in the State; that by precept and example, he may induce others, and his family in particular, to learn that favour will be shown only to those who make it their effort to deserve it; that by good conduct as slaves, and an earnest attention to the duties of their humble condition, they will be most likely to obtain the indulgence of their masters, and the protection and care of those who respect worth, even in a negro, and a slave. Should this favour however, be too great a reward for so many years of service and devotion, he prays that for a term of years to be named by this Honorable Body, he be allowed to abide in the State. He is willing to forfeit all protection should he ever be guilty of any misconduct, but his character having never been questioned either before a Court of Justice or elsewhere, he is inclined to hope that the Legislature will the more readily hearken to his humble supplication. Doxey his X mark
We the subscribers know the negro Doxey, whose petition is above written, are well acquainted with his character for honesty, industry, and good demeanor, and believe that no injury can possibly arise to the Commonwealth by allowing him to remain in the State of Virginia. his former good conduct being deemed the very best security for his fidelity and usefulness hereafter. We therefore hope that the objects of this Petition will be granted by the Legislature.