North, Richard: Petition, Richmond City
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the instrument attested by himself as such, was the true last will and testament of the said Patsy Jackson; as your petitioner well knew, she was perfectly in her senses, a clearly and distinctly understood the the disposition she had made of her property, by her said will; and that these facts were as well known to the said Dunn as to himself. But the said Dunn when constrained to attend the court, being provoked, as your petitioner supposes, at the loss of expected gain and at the indignant contempt shewn to his proposition to give one half of the property devised, in order to induce him prove the will, utterly disregarding the solemn obligation of the oath he had taken; stated to the court, that the testatrix was dying at the time he witnessed the will & was then absolutely destitute of all memory and understanding. Your petitioner begs leave further to represent to your honorable body, that the said Dunn has since stated as reasons, why he did not prove the will, that he apprehended your petitioner did not intend to purchase and emancipate the slave Henry, mentioned therein; and would not agree to give a part of the property devised, to a slave the child of a certain Betsy Johnson; and for proof of which your petitioner begs leave to refer to the affidavit of John Pearce. Your petitioner further states, that Patsy Jackson the testatrix left no free relations, and consequently none capable to take the property by inheritance, by reason whereof, it will escheat to the commonwealth. If it
be consistant with the ideas of justice entertained by your honorable body, your petitioner humbly prays, that an act of the General assembly may be passed, releasing to your petitioner, the commonwealths right to the said house and lot; either generally, or upon such conditions, as to your honorable body may seem just and your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray &c.