Title: Petition of Elias Travers, 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.00033
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, Elias Travers of Washington City by this his petition in writing, represents and states, that he 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 a woman person of African descent of the name of Henneretta Queen— for and during the life of said Henneretta Queen and that by said act of Congress said Henneretta was discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Henneretta was of the age of about Forty-Eight years and of the personal description following:(1) A likely Black.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Henneretta in manner following:(2) By purchase on the 2nd of February 1859 from Alfred Richards of this city at the urgent request of said Henneretta to keep her from being sold south as per accompanying Bill of Sale.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Henneretta was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of full $400 dollars in money.(3) A good house servant of my own family. I have no knowledge of any moral, mental or bodily infirmity or defects whatever of said person
Your petitioner hereby declares that he bears true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that he 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 he has not brought said Henneretta into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Henneretta was 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Henneretta 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Henneretta 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.
Know all men by these presents that I, Alfred Richards of Washington City, District of Columbia, for and in consideration of the sum of Four Hundred Dollars current money to [his own?] hand paid by Elias Travers of Washington City in the District of Columbia, at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained and sold, and by these presents, do grant, bargain and sell to the said Elias Travers, his executors, administrators and assigns my negro woman, slave for life, named Henrietta Queen and aged about forty five years and now delivered into the possession of the said Elias Travers To Have and To Hold the said negro woman slave for life, above bargained and sold or intended so to be, to the said Elias Travers, his executors, administrators and assigns forever: and I the said Alfred Richards for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, the said negro woman slave for life unto the said Elias Travers, his executors, administrators and assigns against me the said Alfred Richards, my executors and administrators, and against all and every other person whatsoever, shall and will hereafter warrant and forever defend by these presents
Alfred Richards seal
Signed, Sealed & Delivered in the presence of "to the said Elias Travers" [first in testimony?] on 1st page—
F. I. Murphey
J. H. Wise
On this Second day of February A.D. 1859 before me the subscriber a Justice of the Peace in and for the County aforesaid, personally appeared in my County aforesaid Alfred Richards a party to the foregoing and annexed deed bearing date on the 2nd day of February A.D. 1859, the said Alfred Richards being personally well known to me to be the persons who executed said deeds, and acknowledged the same to be his act and deed. Given under my hand and seal this 2nd day of February A.D. 1859.
F. I. Murphey J.P. seal
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Elias Travers 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.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 5th day of May 1862 A. D. 1862.
H. C. Spalding J. Peace
George C Jilland
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.