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Boswell, Betsy: Petition, Rockingham County

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To the Honorable the General assembly of Virginia, the Petition of Elizabeth Boswell (a free woman of colour) respectfully and humbly sheweth: That your petitioner formerly a slave of Henry J. Gambill Esq. of the County of Rockingham, has been purchased of her late Master by her husband James Boswell and emancipated. Your Petitioner begs leave to represent to your Honorable body that she is now advanced in life, being upwards of forty five years of age, her husband also has not only become old; but is much worn down by sickness and infirmity; so much so, in fact, as to forbid the idea of his encountering the difficulties and fatigue of removing to a new Country. Your Petitioner and her husband by sobriety, economy and industry, have acquired a competency of real and personal property to enable them to live comfortably in future with but little labor. Their property thus acquired must be sacrificed and your Petitioner and her husband reduced to poverty and wretchedness if Your Petitioner should be compelled to leave this Commonwealth of Virginia. Your Petitioner must also be separated from her former Master and Mistress and their children and from neighbours and friends