To the speaker and House of Delegates of the State of Virginia the Petition of Mary, a free black woman, late of the County of Stafford, respectfully represents. That in consequence of her fidelity and attachment to her late Mater, who died about 4 years ago, he devised to your petitioner by his last will and Testament, the sum of Twenty Dollars cash, three hundred pounds of pork, and three barrels of Indian corn to be paid her annually fro his estate during each, and every year of the life time of your Petitioner, and also bequeath to her a house and garden with an adequate supply of fire wood: at the same time leaving your petitioner free from slavery. Your petitioner was immediately advised that she could not enjoy her freedom under [then] laws, she has therefore since the death of her master spent a considerable portion of her time in the District of Columbia. Your petitioner further & respectfully represents that her husband and three children, reside in this state, and that the youngest of her children is ten years old. From the peculiarity of her case, her deportment and character, the adequate support left her by her master, which will ever prevent her in old age from being a charge to the County, your petitioner most confidently trusts, and hopes that she will be permitted to reside, and enjoy her freedom in her native State, in the bosom of her family, among her friends, and in the enjoyment of that freedom, & property that which has been bequeathen to her. In support of the above facts your petitioner begs leaves to refer to subjoined statement of respectable persons in the neighbourhood where her master formerly resided. and your petitioner will ever pray on Mary, a free black. Oct.18th 1813. Stafford County. State of Virginia.
We the undersigned are well acquainted with the petitioner Mary, a free black woman, and with the circumstances above stated and hereby certify that her general deportment and conduct have been orderly, and well behaved that from attentions, and fidelity to her late master, he left her free at his death, and an annual support during her life of thee barrels of corn, three hundred weight of pork,