Petition #11680907


In 1790, John Abston's uncle, Stephen Clements, died in Wilkes County, Georgia, leaving him a slave named Nutty and half her increase, an inheritance to which he would become entitled following the death of his aunt. In 1805, the aunt died and that summer Abston went to Georgia to claim his inheritance, but he found the slave Nutty in an advanced state of pregnancy and decided he could not move her. He returned to Virginia with Nutty's oldest boy, leaving the mother and two younger children behind, and intending to return for them in the fall or summer. But in 1806, Virginia passed a law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the state, thus subjecting Abston to "Hardships & Difficulties." He represents that he is a native of Virginia, that he has "ever continued to reside therein and with a numerous Family has always intended to continue a Citizen of the State." He further represents that his uncle "selected him as an object of his Bounty," but that having "only a residuary Interest" he could not exercise his right until his aunt's death and therefore could not get his slaves before the passage of the law. Abston writes that he remains "attached particularly to the whole of the Slaves," who were born & raised in his uncle's family, and "values greatly the mother's fidelity, honesty, and integrity." He is unwilling to part with them and therefore asks permission to bring to Virginia Nutty and the younger children as well as any other child of whom she may have been delivered.

Result: Rejected.

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Citation information

Repository: Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia