Elizabette Irwin certified that the Ralph’s petition was true and stated that is was her duty to certify the petition, and recommend to the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that Ralph receive the justice that he prayed for.
The petition states that Ralph a negro man who was formerly the property of John Rankin of York County, Pennsylvania for 9 years. John Rankin had repeatedly told Ralph of his intentions of setting Ralph free from Slavery as soon as he served him time equal to the amount of his purchase money, which can be proved to the Council full satisfaction by sundry honest and respectable inhabitants of York County, Pennsylvania.
Ralph had served John Rankin until 25 February, 1778 as stated in his certificate and seal received from John Rankin that he was set free from his state of slavery. Shortly after Ralph received his freedom John Rankin left his home and went off to the Enemy and his effects were seized for the use of state of Pennsylvania along with Ralph.
Ralph was apprehensive that he will be sold as a slave as part of John Rankin’s Estate which would be grievous hardship and the greatest cruelty, as Ralph can prove he is a free man.
Ralph requested that the Council will take his melancholy situation into serious consideration and make orders to remove his apprehensive that he will be sold as a slave and he pray for the success of the United States against the Enemies.