Title: Petition of Eliza A. Gallaher, 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.00180

TEI/XML: cww.00180.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, Eliza A. Gallaher of Washington City 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 four persons of African descent of the names of Beverly Pullison, Lucy Alexander, Harriet Cross & Lucy Cross for and during the life of said Slaves and that by said act of Congress said Slaves 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 Slaves was of the age of [sett​?] opposite to their names and of the personal description following:(1)

  • Beverly Pullison, Mulatto aged 23 years
  • Lucy Alexander, Black aged 38 "
  • Harriett Cross, Mulatto aged 24 "
  • Lucy Cross, Nearly white & child of
  • Harriet Cross aged 1 year


That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Slaves in manner following:(2) Beverly Pullison by a division of my fathers estate in 1856 & the said Beverly was then 17 years old & valued by the Commissioners at $1200. Lucy Alexander was given in exchange to me by my brother for a servant man named Randall who was given to me in division of my fathers estate & valued at $1200. Harriet Cross was purchased by me from a Mr. Cross of Bloomsbury Md. for $480. for the term of 13 years. was bought in 1859. Lucy Cross is the child of Harriett & titled secured by said fact.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Slaves was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of $3.300 dollars in money.(3) Beverly Pullison in good health & have been offered frequently $1.500 for him. first class dining room servant Lucy Alexander [Num​?] with temporary swelling of the ancle​ at time of passage of bill, a family servant & as such considered very valuable to owner $800. Harriet Cross first class cook &c valued at $1700. Her child valued at $300. and to the Best of my Knowledge they have no moral defect

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 slaves into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said slaves 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 slaves 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 slaves 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.

(Signed by)
Eliza A. Gallaher.

*When I bought Harriet Cross it was to save her from being sent South by her former Master

copy 180
Paid $1
Thos. H. Cross to
Bill of Sale
John S. Gallaher Jr.
Received 15th Oct 1838

To be recorded, and the same day was Recorded in Liber J.A.S. 163 folios No 374 & 375 one of the Land Records for Washington County in the District of Columbia, and Examined by—

John A Smith

For and in consideration of the sum of Four Hundred and Seventy seven Dollars and fifty cents, in hand paid, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged I have this day sold and conveyed to John S. Gallaher Junior Trustee for Mrs. Eliza A. Gallaher, of the City of Washington all my right and titled to Harriet Cross, a negro woman aged 22 years on the [no handwritten text supplied here] day of March 1858, for the full and complete term of thirteen years, from the twenty eight day of June 1858, to the twenty eight day of June 1871, at the end of which term, the said Harriet Cross is to be furnished with the necessary emancipation papers. It is also understood that the said Harriet Cross is to be held in trust, by the said John S. Gallaher Junior for the full term aforesaid, for the sole use and benefit of the said Eliza A Gallaher and her heirs,

Witness my hand and seal this first day of July, 1858

Thomas H. Cross [T?] S
Jno. S. Gallaher
Ed. A. Gallaher

I undertake as trustee in the premises, to carry out the provisions of the above sale and transfer so far as the same depend upon me, by causing to be furnished to the above named Harriet Cross, such emancipation papers at the end of her term above specified, as will ensure her freedom, from, and after the 28th day of June 1871, and in case of my death before the period aforesaid, it is to be understood, that my legal representatives are to carry out the objects of this trust in all respects

John S. Gallaher, Junior

The within named negro woman Harriet Cross, being a slave for life, and to me belonging as sole, exclusive, and unencumbered property: has this day been sold and disposed of by me, to Thomas H. Cross of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia; and I do hereby guarantee and confirm his full right to dispose of the services of the said Harriet Cross, according to the terms of the within agreement, bargain and sale, for the full period of thirteen years, upon a compliance with the obligations within set forth. Witness my hand and seal this first day of July, 1858.

H. Cross seal

This day personally appeared before me, a justice of the peace, in and for the County & District aforesaid. Thomas H. Cross and Howerton Cross named in the foregoing instrument of writing, and acknowledged them to be respectively their acts and deeds. Given under my hand this first day of July 1858

John S. Hollingshead
Justice of the Peace

[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]

I, Eliza A. Gallaher 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.

(Signed by)
Eliza A. Gallaher

Sworn to and subscribed before me this thirteenth day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Thomas C. Donn
Justice of the Peace for Washington County District of Columbia
Petition of
Eliza A. Gallaher
Filed May 13, 1860
John L. Gallaher
Dr Thomas Miller.

 Note (1.)-- Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately.

 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.

Transcription and encoding: Kenneth J. Winkle, Kathryn Kruger, Janel Cayer, and Nima Najafi Kianfar.