Title: Petition of Maria Miller, 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.00175
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, Maria Miller of the City of Washington D.C. 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 two persons of African descent of the names of Louisa Washington and Mary Teresa for and during the life of said Louisa Washington & Mary Teresa and that by said act of Congress said Louisa Washington and Mary Teresa were discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Louisa Washington and Mary Teresa were of the ages of forty-five years, and twenty years, respectively. and of the personal description following:(1)
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Louisa Washington & Mary Teresa in manner following:(2) The mother of Louisa & grand mother of Mary Teresa, who is the daughter of Louisa by name Cynthia was given to your Petitioner by her father in the year 1815 or thereabouts & he obtained Cynthia by gift from his mother in law. The ancestors of these Negroes have been in the possession and owned by the family of your Petitioner for more than a hundred years.
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 twenty six hundred dollars in money.(3) That said Louisa Washington is a first-rate house-servant, cook, worker and ironer, said Mary Teresa is a first-rate Ladies' Maid, seamstress and house-keeper; and your petitioner has no knowledge of any defect or infirmity in either of said persons which would impair the value of your petitioner's said claim.
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 persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons 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 her said claim to the service or labor of said persons 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 her 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.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Maria Miller 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 12 day of May A. D. 1862.
N. Callan J. Peace
Claim of Maria Miller
Thos H. Ferber
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.