Title: Petition of William H. Simms, 14 May 1862
Date: May 14, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 3. 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.00206
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."
William H. Simms
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
Hannah Johnson, Alweysus Johnson
persons of African descent of the names of
Hannah Johnson, Alweysus Johnson for and during the life time of Said
Hannah Johnson up to the age of 35 years, and for
and during the life time of Said Alweysus Johnson
for and during the life of said and that by said act of Congress said
named persons 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 named Persons was of the age
of as follows and of the personal description
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said named Persons in manner following:(2) by purchase of Hannah Johnson from Thomas J Bowie of Montgomery County Maryland per Bill of Sale herewith filed dated December 4th 1849, for 200 dollars. Aleweysus Johnson has been born Since the purchase of his Mother
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said
was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value
dollars in money.(3)
Hannah Johnson 1000 dollars
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 named Persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said named 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said named 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said named 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.
W L Simms
Know all men by these presents that I Thomas J Bowie of Montgomery County and State of Maryland for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars current money to me in hand paid by William H. Simms of Georgetown and District of Columbia and before the sealing and Delivery of these presents the receipt whereof I the said Thomas J Bowie do hereby acknowledge, have granted bargained and sold and by these presents, do grant bargain and sell unto the said William H. Simms of Georgetown and District of Columbia his executors and ministers and assigns a certain negro girl called Hannah aged nine years last April to serve the said William H. Simms his heirs executors administrators and assigns a certain negro girl called Hannah aged nine year last April to serve the said William H. Simms his heirs executors Administrators & assigns for the term of twenty five years from the first day of next May, viz until the first day of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy five and not to be sold or removed out of this State in the meantime (except to the District of Columbia, but not beyond the limits of said District) but on the expiration of the said term of twenty five years viz on the first day of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy five to be discharged and released from servitude and allowed to enjoy her freedom.
And be it also know to all whom it may concern that I Thomas J Bowie aforesaid for divers good causes and considerations me thereunto moving do by these presents release from slavery, liberate manumit and set free the said negro girl called Hannah from and after
and after the said first day of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy five when the expiration of her said term of servitude, provided the said negro girl called Hannah shall then comply or is willing to comply with the Laws of this state relating to the liberation of slaves otherwise the said negro girl Hannah shall not be manumitted and set free, but after the expiration of said term the said Hannah shall be and continue my slave or the slave of my executor administrator or assigns and provided that nothing in this deed contained what extend to the issue of said Hannah born during the term of servitude
In testimony whereof we the parties have hereunto respectively set our hands and affixed our seals this fourth day of December in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty nine.
Thos H. Bowie seal
W. H. Simms seal
State of Maryland Montgomery County To wit Be it remembered and it is hereby certified that on this the fourth day of December in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty nine personally appeared before the subscriber a justice of the Peace in and for the county aforesaid Thomas J Bowie the party granter in the aforegoing instrument of writing and William H Simms of Georgetown & District of Columbia the party granted therein named the being known to me to be the persons named and described and supposing to be parties to the foregoing deed or indenture and did severally acknowledge the same to be their respective act and deed for the purposes therein mentioned according the act of assembly in this case made and provided
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, William H. Simms 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 12th day of May A.D. 1862
Petition of Wm H Simms
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.