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Hope, Judith: Petition, Richmond City

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To the honble [honorable] The Speaker and members of the house of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Petition of Judith Hope respectfully sheweth. That her late father Caesar Hope who for many years pursued the business of a barber both in Williamsburg when that town was the seat of government, and in Richmond after the government was removed, had by a long life of labor accumulated some small property both real and personal. That having two children in his old age who were in bondage, viz your petitioner and a brother since dead, the said Caesar Hope published his last will in writing, by which he directed the late Edmonde Randolph Esqu [Esquire], there in constituted his Executor, to purchase with a portion of his Estate, both your petitioner and her brother, and to have them emancipated. The will of your Petitioner further was made in the month of May 1807, but unfortunately for her, his kind intention towards her, was frustrated by the passage of the act of assembly, passed in January 1806, requiring that all slaves thereafter emancipated, should remove from the Commonwealth of Virginia within twelve months from the time of their emancipation, under the dreadful penalty of a forfieture of their liberty in the event of a failure so to remove. Dear as freedom is to your Petitioner, and she thinks she does not undervalue it, she can hardly say with the truth, that it is priced in her estimation "above all price"; for to go into eternal banishment from a kind mother, to sever every connexion [connection] and every habit and partiality of her life, does seem to her to be purchasing even this great possession at a rate which as a female perhaps she may be pardoned for considering as too diar. The mother of your Petitioner who was made free several years since has purchased her from her mistress, and is desirous to give her freedom if the permission of the Legislature can be obtained for her