To the Honorable the Speaker & Members of the Virginia Legislature. The undersigned Petitioners impelled by a feeling sense of humanity and a disinterested regard, for the unfortunate beings in whose behalf this petition is offered, respectfully represent, that Robert Marshall, deceased, late of the County of Lunenburg, did ordain by his last Will and Testament. that certain Slaves, therein named to wit, Cato Davy, Harry, Nero, Sarah and Judith, should be emancipated in consideration of their honestly and fidelity with which they had served him. Your petitioners are of opinion that altho the said Slaves can lay no claim to any act of extraordinary secret the peculiarity of their situation requires the interposition of the humane and beneficent legislature of their native State, from a [illegible] and thorough knowledge of their manners, their Habits, & customs, they feel themselves justifyed in saying that no injury or inconvenience could result to the State were they permitted to remain within its limits, as in their principles they are upright & honest, and in their comportment, they are uniformly humble respectful & obedient. They are bound by every tender [due?], parental, filial, & conjugal, to the soil of their nativity.