Ben: Petition, Shenandoah County
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To the Hon. the General Assembly of Virginia; The Petition of Ben, a free man of color, usually known as Ben Dirting alias Ben Ware, respectfully showeth, that your Petitioner formerly was the slave of a certain Adam Dirting of the county of Shenandoah; that upon the death of the said Dirting, your Petitioner descended to Adam Dirting Junr and John Dirting the only heir at law of Adam Dirting decd. that after the said heir had attained their majority, Adam Dirting Junr; with a view to the final & more speedy emancipation of your petitioner, gratuitiously released all his interest in & title to the said Ben, to his junior brother John Dirting, with whom & under whose control your Petitioner lived until the 31st of December 1833, when by a bill of sale executed by John Dirting, all his interest & title to your petitioner was transferred to a certain Michael Barr of the county of Shenandoah; by whom your petitioner was emancipated, from motives of benevolence and humanity, as also in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars to him in hand paid by your petitioner, on the 31st December 1833, which deed of emancipation was not admitted to record however until the 11th day of July 1836 as by a copy marked A. from under the hand of the Clerk of the county of Shenandoah, will more fully appear. Your petitioner in the intention having lived with & in the employment of the said Michael Barr; who as well as your petitioner was ignorant of the requisition of the law touching the necessity of recording said deed of emancipation at an earlier date, until advisedly counsel. Your petitioner desirous of remaining in the state of Virginia & particularly in the county of Shenandoah, where he was born, raised & in so favorably known, is advised that to this end, it behooves him to petition your Honorable body for permission so to remain. Wherefore he humbly pray, that in tender consideration of the good name & exemplary habits hitherto sustained, as also by reason of the wish & desire of your petitioner to purchase the freedom of his wife & child, who are slaves in the possession of the said Michael Barr, a law may be passed authorizing him to remain in the state of Virginia & particularly