On 29 April 1803, William Steptoe died, leaving a tract of land in Westmoreland County, personal property, and "Negroes." To pay the estate's debts it was necessary to sell the personal property and the slaves; but the land is still in the estate. His widow, Elizabeth Steptoe, is entitled to a portion of the land as her widow's dower and the rest is to be divided in "fee simple" among her eight children, only one of whom, her co-petitioner, Thomas Steptoe, is an adult. Elizabeth Steptoe and her son Thomas represent to the legislature that they have no means to work the land and its division "into so many parts" would be "of little or no value" to any of the heirs. They therefore ask permission to sell the land and invest the proceeds in some fund for the heir's future.
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Repository: Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia