“The Petition of Thomas Savage” (February 10, 1725) 

1725 Handwritten petition by Thomas Savage to the Northampton County CourtWhipping Post

In this petition to the Northampton County Court, dated February 10, 1725, Thomas Savage argues that two of Jane Webb’s children, who were born after the end of her indentured service to Savage, should be indentured to him. In 1703, Webb and Savage made a contract in which she indentured herself to Savage for seven years and indentured any children born through 1711 until the age of eighteen in return for her enslaved husband’s freedom. Savage flouted the contract when he refused to free Webb’s husband and five oldest children in 1711. The children discussed in this petition are Webb’s two youngest children who were born outside the bounds of the contract, when Webb was a free woman; Lisha was born in 1716 and Abimelech was born in 1720. In this petition, Savage argues that because Webb has no income to support her children, they should be bound to him. On July 12, 1726, the justices decided that Lisha and Abimilech were bound to Savage. The strikethrough text reflects the part of the petition that was marked out.


To The Worshipfull the Court of Northampton County

The Petition of Thomas Savage

Humbly Sheweth,

That one Jane a Molatto Woman the Lawfull Wife of a Negroe Man Slave of your Petitioners named Left hath had severall Children by her Said husband some of which have been bound out by this Worshipfull Court to your Petitioner according to Law. That the Said Jane hath two children named Lisha, & Abimelech the former of which hath long lived with your Petitioner but hath lately been decoyd away from your Petitioner’s house & is detaind by her said mother from your Petitioner. Wherefore and for that the said Jane hath no Visible means to Support the Said Children as the Law requires and they may be induced to Take ill Courses and for that your Petinr is advised he hath the best Right to the Said Children.

Your Petinr humbly hopes this Worshipfull Court will order the said Lisha & Abimelech to be bound out to him According to Law.

And your Petinr will pray N.C.[?] as

                                                Thomas Savage

Febr 10 1725

APA Citation:
Webb, Jane. “The Petition of Thomas Savage” (February 10, 1725) . (2022, April 21). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Webb, Jane. "“The Petition of Thomas Savage” (February 10, 1725) " Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (21 Apr. 2022). Web. 19 May. 2024
Last updated: 2023, September 11
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