Petition #11283403


Richard Cowper, executor of the will of Dr. Thomas O'Dwyer, cites that O'Dwyer’s will directed that "the negroes which he might own at this death, should receive their freedom." Stating that his testator owned fifteen slaves "at the time of his death," Cowper "therefore, feeling it to be his duty to fulfill the ... will of his Testator now prays your Honorable Body, that by an act of emancipation, you set free from the bonds of Slavery, the negro Slaves which as aforesaid were 'owned' by this said testator 'at the time of his death.'" He admits that his petition does not rest "on the ground of Meritorious Services, in all or any of the slaves," as "he is not aware that all or either of them possess a greater share of merit, than is Commonly to be found among the slaves in this section of the Country." Instead, he "grounds his petition ... on the consideration of the Hope and desire which your Petitioner believes his testator always cherished during his life" that his slaves "should receive their freedom."

Result: Rejected.

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Citation information

Repository: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina