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Darmsdatt, George & Patsey: Petition, Richmond City

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To the Hon'ble the Speaker of the House of Delegates and Members of the General Assembly of Virginia The Petition of George & Patsey Darmsdatt most respectfully showeth: That although Your Petitioners are advised that there is a general law of this State, prohibiting the emancipation of Slaves within this Commonwealth, which prohibition originated out of the [illegible] consequent upon an indiscriminate emancipation of the wicked and worthless, as well as of the good and meritorious; yet that he has been assured that exceptions in favor of particular meritorious individuals may be made without impairing the general policy of the prohibitory law referred to. That to confer freedom exclusively upon such whose good and upright demeanor have induced their masters and employers to recommend them to the special favor of your Honorable Body, with whose permission alone they can enjoy that freedom which those whom they have faithfully served are disposed to confer upon them, is to create the strongest incentive to the black population of the State to behave with circumspection and good demeanor. That then, all will be stimulated so to behave themselves that they may enjoy their natural liberty, while Yr [Your] Hon'ble [Honorable] Body will decide against all who cannot come well recommended, and, that the laws in relation to the emancipation of Slaves, will be so varied and applied as to suppress the coils and advance the remedies for which they were enacted.