Jones, Elvira: Petition, Richmond City
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humble habitation in the suburbs of the City of Richmond. Thus after the effort and privation which when her situation in life is recollected, can be better conceived than expressed, when she had approached as she had hoped the very verge of the accomplishment of her dearest wishes; she finds herself cut off from that accomplishment by a barrier more insurmountable for then any which poverty or even bondage could interpose. Her poverty in a long lapse of time could be made subordinate to her humble but persevering exertions: the bonds of slavery the sympathies of a kindly heart have been willing to relax, but the stern dictate of a rigorous policy how shall an individual humble, ignorant and unknown have power to control? Tis with anxious and trembling forebodings then that your Petitioner presents herself before the legislature, to supplicate of their liberality and clemency, permission to herself and children to live and die in the Land of their nativity. To them, humble and obscure as they are, the endearments of kindred and of home, are not less, perhaps they are more important, that they are to persons more elevated in life. And if your Petitioner can then [illegible] hopes she can do, that she has been neither an useless or an undeserving member of the community in her station, she trusts that those endearments will not be disregarded by the honorable the Legislature; in obedience
to general calculations of policy or necessity. To conclude the history of your Petitioners case, she states that a receipt for the purchase money paid her late master for herself, and her children has been taken in her behalf by Wm. [William] Samuel Harris, and a conveyance in trust of the small house she has purchased has been made to the same gentleman. Upon the foregoing facts, and upon the documents herewith exhibited relative to her deportment and character, your Petitioner humbly prays the honorable the Legislature to invest her late Master or Wm. Samuel Harris (accordingly as she shall be deemed to be legally the property of the one or the other) or if necessary both those gentlemen, with power and authority to execute to her a deed of emancipation, accompanied with a grant of permission from your honorable body to your Petitioner and her children above mentioned to reside and remain within the commonwealth of Virginia.