Title: Petition of Marinus Willett, 6 May 1862

Date: May 6, 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.00042

TEI/XML: cww.00042.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, Marinus Willett of Georgetown 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 colored person of African descent of the name of " Harriet ," for and during the life of said Harriet and that by said act of Congress, said Harriet 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 " Harriet " was about twenty six years of age (26) She is short, thick set, not more than five feet high, solid and compactly made, full, strong, and well proportioned, of dark mulatto or copper color, full oval face, no mental or bodily imperfection, except the loss of a joint from one finger some years since by a bone—fallon​.

That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said "Harriet" in manner following: viz: on the 3rd day of August 1848: he purchased the same of Geo. Washington Young,


administrator of Mrs. H. M. S. Young Dec'd​. for the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars. ($250) The bill and receipt for the same signed by said Young and witnessed by Henry Trumel is herewith exhibited, and made to his wife Sarah Willett.

That your petitioner's claim to the service of said Harriet, was at the time of Discharge therefrom, of the Value of six hundred dollars in money; That she was strong, healthy, and capable of most of the duties of household labor, and the most efficient one for that purpose in his small family for the last seven or eight years. and petioner​ knows of no Moral, mental or bodily infirmities or defects (except the finger joint above Stated) to impair his value of service aforesaid, and he believes none other to exist.

Your petitioner hereby declares that he bears true faith and 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, that he has not brought said Harriet into the District of Columbia since the passage   of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Harriet 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 alledges​, that his said claim to the service or labor of said Harriet 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 " Harriet " 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.

Marinus Willett

Marinus Willett of Georgetown D. C. 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.

Marinus Willett

Sworn & subscribed before me this sixth day of May 1862.

Wm. R. Woodward clk​ of Commissioners

Rec'dGeorge Town Aug 3—1848 of Mrs Sarah Willet two hundred & fifty dollars for servant girl Harriet aged about thirteen years the property of Mrs H M S Young (Dec'd​) which I warrant a slave for life

George W Young, Administs
Henry Trumel

The following named persons are referred to if necessary to prove my faith and Loyalty to the constitution and Government of the United States viz: Judson Mitchell , collector of the part of Georgetown. Henry King , Secretary of Potomac Insurance Company. Eben Brown , Deputy Collector &c

And the following neighbors & friends to prove the use, service, and title to the claim of said Harriet , viz: Noble Hurdle, Geo. A. Bohrer, Doct​. Benj. S. Bohrer, Abraham B. Shekell, and George W. Young, also Edward L. Shekell.

Marinus Willett
Marinus Willett
United States
Claim for Servant
Filed May 6, 1862
Transcription and encoding: Kenneth J. Winkle, Brittany Jones, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Janel Cayer.