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The Petition of George Simmons to the General Assembly of Virginia

George Simmons a man of colour begs leave to approach the legislature of his native state and respectfully to represent that sometime about the year 1798 or 9 a certain Travers Daniel Senr. of Stafford County influence of by the paternal solicitations of William Simmons your Petitioners father a freeman and by feelings which excite the warmest gratitude of your Petitioner purchased him (the child of a slave) of a certain Enoch Mason for the express purpose of entitling him to the rights of a freeman. That the sale was made by Mason with the same benevolent intention and upon condition that he should be emancipated so soon as the said Daniel was remunerated by the services of your petitioner for the purchase money. Your petitioner further states that while he was in the service of the said Daniel and before his term of service expired his father William Simmons (to whom he would have been delivered) died. Among his papers was found a will in the hand writing of John Ford the Clerk of Stafford County but unfortunately not signed by the testator and destitute of other formalities necessary to its establishment in laws, by this will your petitioner is entitled to his freedom. What this will even as the intention of his father your petitioner is certain that he can establish to this Assembly by the evidence of Mr. Ford. But in as much as it has never been admitted to record or legally proven your Petitioner is fearful that at some future [hearing?]