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Brewster, Thomas: Petition, Richmond City

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To the Hon#ble [Honorable] the general assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, the petition of Thomas Brewster a free man of colour respectfully represents That your petitioner acquired his right to freedom a long time before the passing of the act of the 25th Jany 1806 entitled "an act to amend the several laws concerning slaves" but owing to the operation of causes which it was not in his power to prevent, your Petitioner has never been able until very lately, to perfect his right by deed in the manner required by law. It does not become him to speak of his character; but he will beg leave to refer to the testimonials, accompanying this petition of a number of the most respectable inhabitants of the city of Richmond in which he at present resides and to sundry affidavits particularly detailing and fully proving the facts above referred to. He is advised that under the operation of the above recited act, it will be necessary for him to leave this state in as much as his right to freedom was not perfected by deed until after its passage. He therefore humbly prays that in consideration of the peculiar circumstances and hardship of his case, he may be permitted to reside within this commonwealth, and as in duty bound, he will ever pray &c. &c. &c.