To the Honorable the Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Petition and Memorial of the subscribers, freeholders and inhabitants of the county of Monroe respectfully represent
That by an Act of the General Assembly of this Commonwealth passed in the year [blank space left unfilled] the seat of justice of the judicial district composed of the counties of Greenbrier, Montgomery, Botetourt, Kanawha and Monroe was established at the Sweet Springs in the county of Botetourt: that under the operation of the said law a monopoly enures to the proprietor of the Sweet Springs, perhaps, equally unconstitutional, as it is oppressive to your Petitioners that situate in a remote part ^corner of Botetourt county, apart from the body of population and without the advantage of a neighborhood, the suitors and witnesses to the said court are confined for their accommodation, to the tavern of the proprietor under the most inconvenient charges and regulations: that the expense of witnesses attendant upon the said court being generally equal to the fine incurred by their absence, the administration of public justice is generally retarded, and too frequently entirely defeated: that owing to the peculiar circumstances of the place a trial in the said court is rarely to be obtained previous to a lamentable train of continuances equally injurious to the parties litigant as to the general effectuation of rights: that the jail of the said District is so weak and untenable as frequently to occasion the escape of prisoners: that the said District does not command a clerk’s office, but that the records and exhibits are precariously kept in a small log mansion house among the mountains considerably detached from the said court house: that they are partially transported to the terms of the said court, and remain during the session in no certain place and under no certain arrangement, equally inconvenient to those whom they may concern, as unprotected from the common accidents by which they may be destroyed. Your Petitioners beg leave further to represent that the town of Union in the county of Monroe is situate in the heart of a compact and plentiful settlement, rapidly progressing in itself with comfortable and reasonable accommodations : a strong jail : a large and commodious court house, nearer the centre of population and territory than any other town of the District and commanding every advantage of country resource. Your memorialists therefore humbly represent : that situate as they now are, they are burthened [burdened] with numerous and oppressive hardships, without the convenient and regular administration of justice, to which they are entitled in common with other citizens : and solemnly averring to your honorable body that the convenience, the interest and opinions of the great body of the District loudly demand a removal, and that those invaluable objects are hapily and peculiarly concentrated in the town of Union in the county of Monroe : and firmly convinced that that equal and sound policy, which hath ever actuated the legislature will regulate their care. They pray your honorable body to pass a law for the removal of the seat of justice of the said District from the Sweet Springs, to the town of Union in the county of Monroe and they as in duty bound will pray
Source: Freeholders and Inhabitants of Monroe County, Request to Relocate Court, 15 Dec 1801; Virginia Legislative Petitions, LVA microfilm reel 130, Library of Virginia, Richmond.
The following is a partial list of surnames found on this document. Since the actual lists consist of signatures, I was unable to decipher some of them.
ALDERSON, ALEXANDER, ALFORD, ALLEN, ALLFORD, BALLARD, BENNETT, BENSON, BERN, BERRY, BICKET, BLACK, BLAND, BLANTON, BOLDIN, BOLLEN, BOSTICK, BOYD, BROOKING, BROWN, BRYNSIDE, BURDIT, BURK, BURN, BURNS, CAMP, CAMPBELL, CANLEY, CANTLEY, CANTLY, CAR, CARTER, CASSTER, CHAMBERS, CHARLTON, CHRISTY, CLARK, CLINE, COLLINS, CORNWALL, CORNWEL, CROSER, DAWSON, DEBOY, DOLTON, DONNELLY, DORREY, DOUGHERTY, DOUGLASS, DOUTY, DUGLAS, DUNBAR, EARLY, ELLIOTT, ERSKINE, EWING, FALKNER, FARLEY, FIFE, FOSTER, GABBERT, GALLE HURR, GARED, GARVIN, GLENN, GOTS, GRAHAM, GRASS, GRAY, GREEN, GWINN, HALL, HANDLEY, HARMON, HARPER, HAWKINS, HINCHMAN, HOLLAND, HONICER, HOUND, HUGHES, HUMPHREYS, HUTCHISON, JAMES, JOHNSON, JOHNSTON, JONES, KERNAN, KIENAN, KILBURN, KINCAID, KING, KINKAD, KISINGER, KITCHEN, KNOX, LAREW, LAWRANCE, LEACH, LEE, LEG, LEGG, LIVELY, LOUSE, LOVE, LOWE, LYNCH, MADDY, MAN, MANNIX, MATTHEWS, MCDOWELL, MCGLAMERY, MCGRAN, MCNEER, MEADOWS, MILLER, MILLER, MITCHEL, MORDACK, NELSON, NICHOLL, NICKEL, NICKELL, NICKIL, NICKL, PACK, PATTERSON, PATTON, PHILLIPS, PIERSEN, POWERS, PRENTICE, RAINS, RALSTON, RAMSEY, RAYNS, ROACH, ROBINSON, RUBLE, SCOTT, SHANKLIN, SHANKS, SHIREY, SHOEMAKER, SKAGGS, SKEGGS, SMITH, SPICKARD, SWOBE, TACKETT, TAYLOR, TERRY, THOMAS, THOMSON, VINVENT, VOSSEMINE, WHIT, WIGEL, WIKEL, WISEMAN, WITHEROW, WYLIE, YOUNG
Link to transcription of names in the arrangement wherein they appeared on the document pages/fragments. This list includes partial transcriptions of names that were difficult to read. You will see here how family members and perhaps neighbors signed in groups.