To the Honorable the General Assembly.
The Petition of Martha Gilchrist Humbly Sheweth
That your Petitioner is a native of Virginia, a Daughter of Mr. Robert Jones, (some time since Attorney General of the State of North Carolina) and the wife of Mr. Thomas Gilchrist, who formerly lived at Suffolk in Virginia, but for some years previous to the passing of the Treason Act, at and near Halifax, in this State. Your Petitioner's said Husband having been in partnership in Trade with his Brother John Gilchrist of Norfolk, for several years, the partnership at length expired, and the said Thomas Gilchrist went to Scotland, leaving almost all his Estate in the hands of his said Brother John. Your Petitioner's Husband having transacted his Business in Scotland, returned to Virginia, with a view to take possession of his Estate, and spend the remainder of his days in America, all his connections as well as your Petitioner's being in Virginia and North Carolina. But during his absence, his Brother John Gilchrist had unfortunately shot himself, and John Campbell, of Norfolk, had obtained Administration of his Estate, who was either unable or unwilling to account with Thomas Gilchrist, your Petitioner's Husband and the courts of Law being then shut in Virginia, he could not compel Mr. Campbell to do him justice; wherefore he retired with your Petitioner and four Daughters, and four or five Negro's all the Estate he could command, to Halifax Town; and this happened a little before the passing of the act for shutting up the port of Boston. Hostilities then commencing between Great Britain and the United States, Lord Dunmore with the British Troops, and General Howe, with the Troops of Virginia, destroyed a great part of the Estate of John Gilchrist by Fire, and Ld. Dunmore, by his Emissaries decoyed most of his negroes on board the Fleet, and John Campbell, the administrator, went off to Bermuda, with
As the Case of Mr. Gilchrist has been attended with Circumstances uncommon and peculiarly hard; as he never while here, or since his Departure, murmured at or obstructed the American measures; and as mercy is the most amenable Attribute even of the Almighty; Your Petitioner prays and conjures you that you will not banish her and her helpless Infants, who are Americans like you, from their Country, their Relations, their Friends and