Title: Petition of Ann Kelly, 8 May 1862
Date: May 8, 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.00101
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, Ann Kelly of Washington 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 Laura a person of African descent of the name of Laura, for and during the life of said Ann Kelly and that by said act of Congress said Laura is discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Laura was of the age of thirteen and of the personal description following:(1) Laura is of slender form, in complexion a mulatto, healthy and industrious, and obedient to my wishes. She is faithful and truth-telling, and I have always reposed confidence in her.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Laura in manner following:(2) Laura was purchased in Washington, of Mr. Philip Rotchford for the sum of four hundred dollars, on the 12th day of May, 1860, and fully paid for by your petitioner, as by receipt in her possession
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Laura was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of five hundred dollars in money.(3) and that your petitioner's reliance for domestic comforts and attendance in her infirm state of health was mainly placed on the faithful services of said Laura who was her only companion, attendant, and nurse both night and day.
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 Laura into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Laura 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 the said claim to the service or labor of said Laura 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 the said claim to the service or labor of said Laura 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.
Bought of Philip Rotchford a servant girl called Laura to serve Miss Ann Kelley during her lifetime and at her death to become free for the sum of four hundred dollars three hundred being paid the balance due but unpaid
June 29, 1860 Received in full for the above bill
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Ann Kelly 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 8th day of May A.D. 1862
Wm R Woodward clk of Commissioners
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.