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Claims and Memorials
Decision on the Claim of Moses Stephens of Virginia

STEPHENS, Moses  —  a Black  —  Virginia

4th Septemr. 1783

He was born in America & was born free he lived at home with his father when the Rebellion broke out upon the Eastern Shore of Virginia

he says he had an House & Plantation of 90 Acres of Land 15 Cows, 3 Horses, 10 Dozen of Poultry & that he had them from his Grandfather but of this there is no Proof & no Certificate & the Memorial appears to be in the same hand writing of Mr. WILLIAMS, he says however that it was written by a Mr. REED.

He says the Americans wanted him to take up Arms but he refused to do it.

He was on board British Ships for Seven Years fighting for this Country.

Being ask’d if he can give any Proof of his Case, he says he cannot unless by Mr. REED who wrote this Memorial.

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Entd.  —  Decision

This Case is attended with all those Circumstances of Suspicion which attend most of the Cases of the black men, the memorial being in the Handwriting of Mr. WILLIAMS with whom many of them lodge & the same Quantity of Land &c.

The man himself says his meml. was written by Mr. READ but it appears to us to be written by Mr. WILLIAMS & we have no scruple in saying that we pay no Credit to it, therefore we think this man not entitled in any degree to the bounty of Government.

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 12, Volume 99, folios 147-148.

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Invasion of Virginia, 1781
by Michael Cecere