Title: Petition of John E. Neale, 13 May 1862
Date: May 13, 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.00170
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."
Neale of the City of
Washington in the District of
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 Four males and Two females,
all persons of African descent of
the name of
John Lancaster—(his Brother)
Henrietta—Wife of said John
Louis Napoleon Bonnaparte Lancaster—Sons
of said John & Henrietta
Lancaster, and Eliza
Lancaster–daughter of said John
& Henrietta Lancaster for and
during the life of said persons above named
and that by said act of Congress said persons
as discharged and freed of
and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the
time of said discharge said
was of the age of 37 years or thereabouts and of the personal description
To wit: of a light complexion and Pock
Marked—very likely, smart, and intelligent, about 5. Ft 7. In in
height—tolerably stout and erect in his carriage. Said
John Lancaster was of the age of 35 years, or
thereabouts, of a Black complexion—very likely, smart and
intelligent, about 5 Ft 6 In in height—rather stout in person:
Said Henrietta Lancaster was of the age of Thirty
three (33.) years or thereabouts, of a Black Complexion—though
something Lighter than John—about 5 Ft. 6
in—in Height—tolerably stout and well formed—very
likely smart and intelligent, erect in her carriage: Said
James Lancaster was of the age of Sixteen (16.)
years, or thereabouts, of a Black Complexion, though something Lighter,
than John—about 5 Ft. high.–stout for
his age, and erect in his carriage, very likely, and with a moderate
degree of intelligence. He speaks rather slow: Said Eliza
Lancaster was of the age of Fourteen (14.) years, or
thereabouts.—of a Black complexion— though something Lighter
than John—about 5 Ft 6 in Height, tolerably
stout for her age and erect in her Carriage—very likely and
possesses a moderate degree of intelligence—She speaks rather
slow: Said Louis Napoleon Bonnaparte
Lancaster—was of the age of six (6) years, or
thereabouts,—of a Black complexion—though Something Lighter
than John—about 4 Ft 6 in height—stout
for his age and erect in his carriage—well formed. Sprightly.
Smart. and intelligent.
Your Petitioner filed for Record a Schedule or Statement of the above mentioned persons on the 23d day of April A.D. 1862 in the Clerks Office of the District of Columbia as by reference will appear
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) That is to say: that the said Henry, Henrietta, James, Eliza, and Louis Napoleon were acquired by Inheritance, And that the said John, was purchased by your Petitioner of Dr J. B. Eastin of Charles County, Maryland (Nephew of your Petitioner.) about 18 or 20 years ago. That all of said persons have been in the family of your Petitioner from their infancy—and his claim to the aforesaid servants can be established beyond all question or dispute; That at the time your Petitioner acquired said John in manner aforesaid, He (John) was quite young—the consideration paid for him was, according to the best of his recollection and belief $1000 or $1200—And your Petitioner's particular object in buying him was to keep him in the family (being a family servant) and saved him from being carried to Georgia.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of $12300 dollars in money.(3) as follows: Henry $3000. John. $3000. Henrietta $2000 James $1800. Eliza. $1500. & Louis Napoleon. $1000: Henry is an Engineer by trade and at the time of his discharge by the Act of Congress referred to, was hired out, and yielded $32 per month—and for some time prior to the said Act, averaged that same per month. John. is a Blacksmith by trade, and at the time of his discharge in manner aforesaid, was hired out, and yielded $39 per month.—and for some time prior to said set Act of Congress, averaged that same per month (the hire of both the above mentioned persons amounted to $852 per annum.) Henrietta is a very good cook and house help, another been hiring in the family of your Petitioner since she was a small girl—she is a very useful woman—and can command $9 or $10 per month, for her services at any time. James is a good waiter, and can command He has always been in the family of your Petitioner. Eliza is a good hand about a House, either as Cook, Chambermaid or Nurse—can command $5 per month with ease. Louis Napoleon, is very useful about a house either as Waiter or Messenger—is very smart and astute, and can command $2 or $3 per month readily. All of said Persons are sound and healthy—honest and industrious—of good morals generally—And your Petitioner avers that he has no knowledge of any moral, mental, or bodily infirmity or defect in said persons, or any of them, in the least calculated to affect or impair your Petitioner's claim.
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 persons, or any of them into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons, above named 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said persons above named 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 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.
And your Petitioner would add that he has raised said
persons above named at considerable trouble, risk, labor, and expense
that he has earnestly endeavoured to raise them properly: That your
Petitioner has a large family, and at the time of the Act of Congress
above referred to, the Hire of said persons was the chief—in truth
the main support—of himself and family—they were worth at
least $1200 per year to your Petitioner—which is the interest, or
income of $20000 of 6 per cent per annum. Your Petitioner is now
advanced in years. To wit: 59 yrs of age and is quite feeble.
John E Neale
A. Lloyd Counsel for Petitioner—
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, John E Neale 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.
John E. Neale
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12th day of May A. D. 1862.
F. I. Murphey J. P.
John E Neale.
Asbury Lloyd Esq
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.