transcribed by Dennis Hudgins
1. 1795 Petition requesting permission to build a new Surry Courthouse at the Cross-Roads
To the honorable the Speaker and other members of the General Assembly of Virginia
The petition of sundry inhabitants of the county of Surry [sheweth]
That your petitioners experience very considerable inconvenenience from the present situation of their court-house -
That it is not only far remote from the centre of the county, but that the entertainment and accomodations which the people, whose business calls them to court, meet with from the tavern-keeper are very ordinary and indifferent indeed -
And these circumstances (the last of which your petitioners are induced to think proceeds, in a great degree, from the retired situation of the court-house, as few people ever resort the place at any other times than during the sessions of the court) tend very much to delay the administration of justice within the county, - for to them your petitioners can but attribute the great reluctance and indifference with which the magistrates, as well as the people in general seem to attend court -
That your petitioners conceive that the citizens of this county, and the public in general, would derive great benefit from the court-house being placed on the lands of Robert McIntosh known by the name of the Cross-Roads -
It would then not only be more convenient to the people of the county generally, but those objections which are made by the public to their treatment at the tavern, where the present court house is, would be removed, - there being now, at the Cross-Roads, a very well kept house of entertainment -
and as it is a very public place and improving fast, your petitioners have no doubt that it would be in the power of the proprietor to give general satisfaction - [emphasis added]
Your petitioners beg leave also to observe that the aforesaid Robert McIntosh is willing to erect, on the above - mentioned lands, at his own expence, a court-house of brick, of the same dimensions, and equally good in every respect with the present one and as the gaols [jails] are now in a [ruinous] condition the county will sustain little, or no in- jury by the loss of them. [emphasis added]
Your petitioners therefore pray that an act may pass directing the court-house to be placed on the above-mentioned lands, called and known by the name of the Cross-Roads (provided the said Robert McIntosh will erect the same at his own proper expence, within _____ years or within such other period as to your honorable body shall seem proper) and that from and after the completion thereof a court for this county shall be constantly held at the said place - And your petitioners will...
[one line probably missing here]
2. 1809 Petition requesting permission to sell Southwark Parish silver
To the Honorable the Speakers and other Members of the General Assembly of Virginia,
the petition of sundry Inhabitants of the parish of Southwark, in the County of Surry respectfully represents -
That there is a quantity of valuable plate belonging to the several Churches in the sd. parish the greater part, if not the whole, of which, (as your petitioners are informed) became the property of the Churches, by private donation.
That ever since the dissolution of the Vestry this plate has been in the custody of private individuals, and for many years past, has never been used in the Churches at all; for although a Minister of the Gospel has been regualary inducted into the parish who still occupies the Glebe, yet he has long since ceased to preach in the Churches, assigning as a reason for such failure, that he did not receive an adequate compensation for his services, which your petitioners have no doubt was the fact.
Your petitioners beg leave farther to represent to your resonable body that in some instances, the persons who originally had the care of the Church plate have died - and though they have no reason to believe that any of it has hitherto been embezzled or lost, yet they are confident that such must be the inevitable consequences of the frequent change of possession, which death, removal and other circumstances will produce. Your petitioners humbly conclude that since this property is no longer applied to the purposes for which it was designed by the donors that since, in deed, it has been lying entirely useless for many years, and, for the reasons above mentioned, is liable to be lost and wasted - it would be for the interest of all concerned that it should be sold for the benefit of the parish -
Your petitioners therefore pray that your honorable body will pass a law authorising the sale of the Church plate in the parish of Southwark and directing the proceeds thereof to be applied to the use of the poor of the sd. parish in such manner and under such regulations, as to your honorable body shall appear proper - And your petitioners will pray &c