Title: Petition of Sally F. Mathews, 5 May 1862

Date: May 5, 1862

Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 2. The original document is held in the Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, 1775–1978, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 217.6.5. Within the National Archives' Archival Description Catalog, see ARC Identifier 4644616 / MLR Number A1 347 (http://arcweb.archives.gov).

Civil War Washington ID: cww.00028

TEI/XML: cww.00028.xml



To the Commissioners under the act of Congress approved the 16th of April, 1862, entitled "An act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia."

Your Petitioner, Sally F. Mathews of Washington City, Dist. of Col. by this her petition in writing, represents and states, that she is a person loyal to the United States, who, at the time of the passage of the said act of Congress, held a claim to service or labor against the following named persons of African descent of the names of Lydia Sampson, and her five children, named respectively as follows. "Jinny," Laura" "Gertrude," "Maria," and "Florence," for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress said persons were discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said persons were of the ages of and of the personal description following:(1)

  • " Lydia Sampson ," aged 36 years. An intelligent looking Mulatto about 5 feet 3 or 4 inches high, slender build & has had a [gathering?] on one of her thumbs which somewhat disfigures it. no other marks recollected.
  • " Jinny ," aged 12 years. A good looking dark copper colored girl, stout of her age, and perfectly healthy.
  • " Laura ," aged 10 years. A bright Mulatto, usual size for one of her age, and is perfectly healthy.
  • " Gertrude ," aged 6 years. A very dark mulatto, rather stout for her age. age, and in excellent health.
  • " Maria " aged 3 years. A very dark Mulatto. has had her back injured from an accidental fall, looks delicate, but healthy.
  • "Florence" Rather a fine child of her age which is 18 months, dark mulatto, and healthy


That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said named persons in manner following:(2) by inheriting Lydia Sampson's mother from the estate of my father, William T. Ringgold of Maryland.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said named persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Twenty two hundred dollars in money.(3) The above named Lydia Sampson & her five children are all intelligent and very valuable as servants, and have no mental or physical defects except that heretofore stated in this petition of Maria's injured back

Your petitioner hereby declares that she bears true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that she has not borne arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid or comfort thereto.

And your petitioner further states and alleges, that she has not brought said persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons were held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your petitioner's claim to such service or labor.

Your petitioner further states and alleges, that her said claim to the service or labor of said persons does not originate in or by virtue of any transfer heretofore made by any person who has in any manner aided or sustained the present rebellion against the Government of the United States.

And your petitioner prays the said Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of her said claim to the service or labor of said persons herein above set forth; and if the same be found to be valid, that they appraise and apportion the value of said claim in money, and report the same to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, in conformity to the provisions of said act of Congress.

(Signed by)
Sally F. Mathews

[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]

I, Sally F. Mathews being duly sworn, do depose and say, that all the several matters and things which are set forth and stated in the foregoing petition, as of my own knowledge, are true in substance and in fact; and that all the several other matters and things therein set forth and stated, as from the information of others, I believe to be true in substance and in fact.

(Signed by)
Sally F. Mathews

Sworn to and subscribed before me this fifth day of May A.D. 1862

(Signed by)
F. I. Murphey J.P.
28 Petition of Sally F. Mathews
Filed May 5, 1862
Lydia Sampson, I think lives with A. Moxley, a Barker under Washington House, Pa. Av
W. M. Price
Capitol Hill. John Dowling
I. Street
Folio Oct 28, 1862

No 28. Sally F. Matthews

In the award to be made by the Commissioners in the above case, it is agreed that the amount of the award so far as relates to slaves Lydia and her child Florence shall be as follows that is, the sum of three hundred and fifty Dollars with interest according to agreement to be awarded to Mrs. Sally F. Matthews and the remainder if any to the estate of A. Moxley, dec'd​ .

This agreement is in no wise to affect the other slaves in said case.

Wm O. Ward Atty for S. F. Matthews
Jno H Johnson Atty for A. Moxley
Petition of Albey Moxley for the award of Lydia Sampson and her child Florence [Knowing?] his Council J. H. Johnson J.P.
Jn. H. Johnson
Atty for Albey Moxley

Articles of Agreement entered into this Sixteenth day of April eighteen hundred and sixty-two between Mrs Sally F. Mathews of the city of Washington and District of Columbia of the one part and Alberry Moxley (colored) of the same place of the other part. Witnesseth: Whereas the said Sally F. Mathews is the owner of a slave woman named Lydia Sampson, aged about thirty nine years, and her child Florence Sampson aged about eighteen months, and being desirous of disposing of or selling to the said Moxley the said woman and her child. Therefore the said Sally F. Mathews and the said Alberry Moxley bind themselves to the following conditions. viz:

First Mrs Mathews agreed to give to Moxley a bill of sale for the said woman and child as soon as he (Moxley) shall fulfill his part of the agreement as hereinafter set forth, the title to, and ownership of, said woman and her child to remain with the said Mrs Mathews until the said Moxley shall fulfill in his part all the conditions expressed in this agreement.

Secondly The said Moxley agrees to pay to the said Mathews as the value of said slaves the sum of Four hundred and fifty dollars as follows, one hundred dollars in cash, and his two promissory notes, one payable on the first day of January Eighteen hundred and sixty three for one hundred and fifty dollars with interest from date and the other payable on the first day of January eighteen hundred and Sixty four for two hundred dollars with interest, the said Moxley further agrees that he will use his executions to pay said notes before they become due.

Thirdly Mrs Mathews agrees on her part that should the said slaves become free by act of Congress or otherwise, any


money received by her as the value of said slaves shall be credited to Moxley on his said notes, and should there be anything left after the payment of said notes then the sum so left to be paid over by Mrs Mathews to Moxley, and should such sum so received by her be sufficient to liquidate the whole of said Moxley's indebtedness to her, then Mrs Mathews shall surrender to Moxley the notes thus liquidated.

Fourthly It is further agreed between the parties that Mrs. Mathews agrees to and by these presents does hire to said Moxley the two slaves herein mentioned at the rate of two dollars per month payable monthly which sum when paid, shall be credited to Moxley on one of his promissory notes remaining unpaid.

Sally F Mathews seal
Alberry Moxley his x mark seal Atty
Jn H Johnson
W. F. Price
Witnesses to Moxley's signature
W. F. Price
Wm S. McNair
Witnesses to Mrs. Mathews signature

Received April 5, 1862 (the day on which the terms of the annexed contract was agreed upon) of Alberry Moxley one hundred dollars $100. Sally F Matthews District of Columbia County of Washington to wit: Know all men by these presents, that I Mary Moxley of Washington City D.C. do make contribute and appropriate Jn. H. Johnson of Washington City D.C. my true and lawful attorney, for me and in my name, stated and place to represent my interest and claim before the Hon. Commissioners appointed under the "Act of 16th of April 1862" to act for and recieve​ the same under the foregoing and annexed contract.

Mary Moxley Witnesses Jno Kendall Be it remembered that on this 20th day of May A.D. 1862, before me the subscribed, a Justice of the Peace, in and for said County personally appeared Mary Moxley and acknowledged the foregoing power of attorney to be his act and deed. Given under my hand and seal this 20th day of May A.D. 1862 Gilbert S. Morris J.P.

 Note (1.)-- Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately.

 Note (2.)-- Here state how the claim was acquired, when, from whom, and for what price or consideration; and, if held under any written evidence of title, make exhibit thereof, or refer to the public record where the same may be found.

 Note (3.)-- Here state such facts, if any there be, touching the value of the petitioner's claim to the service or labor of the person, as may enhance the same, and also such facts, if any, touching the moral, mental, and bodily infirmities or defects of said person, as impair the value of the petitioner's claim to such service or labor, and conclude such statement with an averment that the petitioner knows of no other infirmities or defects of said person which impair the value of petitioner's claim to such service or labor, and that he believes none other to exist. If the petitioner specify no such infirmity or defect, then his statement touching the value of his claim should conclude with an averment that he has no knowledge of any such infirmity or defect.

Transcription and encoding: Kenneth M. Price, Janel Cayer, Elizabeth Lorang, Robert Voss, Adam Minakowski, and Brittany Jones.