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Yancey, William: Petition, Richmond City

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confounding the former, with the latter. For instance, it is not permit[t]ed to any individual, to Free at his own whim or pleasure, any, or all of his Slaves, so as to admit them to the unrestrained rights of Citizenship within this commonwealth; yet may this Honb'le body safely reserve to itself, the right of discrimination, how far that general policy may be preserved, and its Justice appreciated, by exceptions in favor of those whose charactor and conduct shall be such, as to bring them within the saving exception of its Operation, and thereby entitle the Meritorious individual to the Special favor of the Legislature, upon equal grounds of Policy. Your Memorialist respectfully represents, that he was born a Slave within this Commonwealth, and at an early period of his life was purchased by the late Capt. John F. Price of this city, in whose immediate and particular personal Service, your Memorialist remained, until the time of the death of the former - that in Health, and in sickness, and in all vicissitudes, your Memorialist was a dutiful and faithful Servant to his said Master. That some time about the beginning of the present year the Master of your Memorialist departed this life, having previously thereto made his Testament and last Will to an authenticated extract whereof, so far as the same concerns your Memorialist, he refers, and in which, his desire is expressed, of Emancipating your Memorialist, as a retribution for his Fidelity. Your Memorialist aware of the inutility of anything which he might personally advance in commendation of himself, begs the indulgance of this Honb'le House to

to investigate the Documents and other evidence which he can adduce in support of his uniform good and orderly conduct in every Situation, and particularly towards his said Master: He therefore Humbly prays, that this Honb'le Legislature will be pleased to take his case into consideration, and if upon enquiery [inquiry] merit should be found to be on his side, that he may be permitted to remain in the Land which gave him birth, freed from the general Consequences attendant upon ordinary cares of Emancipation, and he as in duty bound, shall ever pray &c [etc.]. William Yancey