Petition to the will of Zephaniah Kingsley

Petition to the will of Zephaniah Kingsley Page 13

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Page 13 and they are [advised] and believe that the said [appointment] is wholly illegal and void and that it were legal and valid it would not confer upon said infant natural children any right which they did not before posses or in any way enlarge those that they had before possessed and did then possess. And that the said George Kingsley was and is wholly in capable of taking upon himself or of exercising the office of Guardian in this Territory for the reasons above stated in relation to his Appointment as Executor and that his appointment of Guardian is equally void as is that of his appointment of Executor. And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Zephaniah Kingsley by the said instrument of writing so by him called his Last will & Testament as aforesaid authorized (so far as he thereby could authorize) his Executors to allow to any of his (the said Zephaniah Kingsley’s) slaves the privilege of purchas- -ing their freedom at one half the price of their prospective valuation on condition of their emigrating to [Haiti] if they cannot be allowed to stay as free in this Territory (as will more fully appear by reference to the said instrument of writing) which provision your petitioners are advised and believe is in contravention of the Laws and Statutes (and against the policy of the Government of this Territory), dangerous to the peace and safety, and hostile to the interests of the community, and that the said instrument of writing so called the Last will & Testament of the said Zephaniah Kingsley deceased is for these reasons also, null and void. And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that they are advised and believe that slaves cannot be manumitted and set free in this Territory either directly or indirectly except upon certain conditions restrictions & limitations for which condition, limitations, or restrictions the said