Title: Petition of Jessee Sisson and Ann F. Sisson, 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.00171
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."
Jessee Sisson & Ann F
of the City of
Washington D. C.
by this their petition in writing,
s and state s, that they are persons 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 female person of African descent of the name of
Mary Gutrick, (designated in the
Will of Ignatius Ratcliffe hereinafter mentioned as
the "Girl called Mary.") for and during the
life of said
Gutrick and that by said act of Congress said
was discharged and freed of and from all claim of your
petitioners to such service or labor; that
at the time of said discharge said
Gutrick was of the age of Forty seven (47) years and of the personal description
that is to say: of a copper color, about five feet
high, wooly hair, well formed—a little scar under one ear, and
That your petitioners acquired said claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Mary Gutrick, in manner following:(2) That is to say: that the said Ann F Sisson, acquired the said claims—through the Last Will & Testament of her father, Ignatius Ratcliffe, who died in Charles County Maryland A. D. 1834. that at the time of her father's death, she was the widow of John Hall, dec.—and that since, she has married the said Jessee Sisson—and is now his lawful wife—and that the said Mary Gutrick has been in his service since her father death.
That your petitioner
's claim to the service or labor of said
was, at the
time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of five hundred dollars in money.(3)
that the said
Mary Gutrick is usually healthy—of a
sound mind, and amiable disposition—and your petitioners have no
knowledge of any infirmity, or defect in the said
Gutrick—and as such, they further say,
they they have been residents of the said City of
Washington for the last 16 years.
Your petitioners hereby declare
that they bear s true and faithful
allegiance to the Government of the United States,
and that they have not borne arms against the United
States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid or
comfort thereto.Nor either of them.
And your petitioners further state
and allege s, that they
have not brought said
Mary Gutrick into
the District of Columbia since the passage of said
act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said
was held to
service or labor therein under and by virtue of your petitioner 's claim to
such service or labor.
Your petitioners further states and
s, that their said claim
to the service or labor of said
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
And your petitioners pray
s the said
Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of their said claim to the service or labor of
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 Petitioners file herewith a copy of said Will above refered to under and by virtue of which said service was acquired; as aforesaid (the original will being on file in the Court of Charles County, Maryland.—)—and they pray that the same may be read & considered as a part of this their petition.—
Ann F Sisson
In the name of God, Amen, I, Ignatius Ratcliffe of Charles County in the State of Maryland, being sick and weake of body but of Sound mind memory, and understanding and knowing the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence do make and publish this as and for my last will and testament satifying and confirming the same and revoking and annuling all former wills by me heretofore made, do constitute this and none other to be my Last will & Testament—
First and principally I commit my soul into the hands of almighty God who gave it, and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executor herein after named, and after my Just debts and funeral expences are paid, I gave and bequeath as follows to wit—
Item I gave and bequeath to my son Richard B Ratcliffe his heirs or assigns one negro man called Daniel one man called Ben & one girl called Ann and I constitute and appoint my son Richard B Ratcliffe Executor of this will—
Item I gave and bequeath unto my son James S Ratcliffe his heirs or assigns one negro Boy called Henry and one negro Boy called Richard—
Item I gave and bequeath unto my son John P Ratcliffe his heirs or assigns one negro boy called William but in case he the said John P Ratcliffe does not come in these parts in the course of five years (he is in the United States Service) the above names negro Boy William shall be equally divided between my other children namely Richard, James & Ann Hall—
Item I gave and bequeath unto my daughter Ann F Hall one negro Boy called Bob one Girl called Mary and one old woman called also Mary, two feather Beds and furniture for each, with stands, two tables, one small chest, and one dutch oven and one safe to her and her heirs or assigns—
In witness whereof of the within will or instrument of writing I have subscribed my name and affixed my seal this fifteenth day of April one thousand Eight Hundred and thirty four—1834
Ignatius Ratcliffe seal
Signed, Sealed, published and declared by the above named testator for his Last will and Testament in our presence and in the presence of each other we have subscribed our names as witness thereto
Francis E Dunnington
William E Thompson
At the foot of the aforegoing will it is thus written Charles County Sct. May 12th. 1834 then came Richard B Ratcliffe Executor of Ignatius Ratcliffe late of Charles County deceased, and made Oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God that the aforegoing instrument of writing is the true and whole Last will and testament of said deceased that hath come to his hands and possession and that he doth not know of any other
H. Brawner Regr. of wills
Charles County Sct. May 12th 1834 then came Francis E Dunnington one of the subscribing witnesses to the aforegoing last will and testament of Ignatius Ratcliffe deceased and made Oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God that he did see the Testator therein named sign and seal this will and that he heard him publish pronounce and declare the same to be his Last will and testament, that at the time of his so doing he was to the best of his apprehension of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding and that he together with William E Thompson respectively subscribed their names as witness to this will in the presence and at the request of the testator and in the presence of each other
H BrawnerRegr of wills
I hereby Certify that the aforegoing instrument of writing is truly copied from One of the Records of the Orphan's Court of Charles County—
In testimony whereof I have hereunto Subscribed my name and affixed the seal of said court this 17th day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and thirty nine—
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
We, Jessee Sisson & Ann F Sisson (his wife) 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 our 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, We believe to be true in substance and in fact.
Ann F Sisson
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 8th day of May A. D. 1862.
Jno. H. Johnson, J. P. Seal
Ann F Sisson
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.