The spirit of the American Revolution inspired some slaveholders to manumit, or free, their slaves. In 1782, Virginia passed a law that allowed slaveholders to set slaves free in their wills, where before manumission required a special act of the state legislature. In response to the 1782 law, over 1,200 Virginians petitioned the Virginia General Assembly for its repeal. Some spelling changes and edits have been made to improve clarity.
Source | Citizens of Mecklenburg, Amelia and Pittsylvania Counties (Virginia), To the honourable the General Assembly of Virginia, the Remonstrance and Petition of the Free Inhabitants of Amelia County, 8-10 November 1785, (Richmond, VA: Legislative Petitions, 1784—1785, Virginia State Library). Creator | Citizens of Mecklenburg, Amelia and Pittsylvania Counties (Virginia) Item Type | Pamphlet/Petition Cite This document | Citizens of Mecklenburg, Amelia and Pittsylvania Counties (Virginia), “Virginians Petition to Prevent the Emancipation of Slaves (with text supports),” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed April 24, 2014, http://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1701.