Title: Petition of Harriet Smith, 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.00210
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, Harriet Smith of Washington City 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 the following named persons of African descent of the name of Robert Tyler, Charles Matthews, Sarah Matthews, Hannah Grant, Richard Matthews, George Matthews, Maria Matthews, and Mary Matthews. for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress said persons 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 persons were of the age of 30, 22, 29, 19, 15, 13, 6, 3 1/2 years and of the personal description following:(1)
|Robert Tyler (male)||age 30 years||5 ft 10 in high||dark brown colour|
|Charles Matthews (")||" 22 "||5 " 9 " "||do do do|
|Sarah Matthews (Female)||29 "||5 " 3 " "||do Bright do|
|Hannah Grant (do)||19 "||5 " 7 " "||do dark colour|
|Richard Matthews (Male)||15 "||5 " 1 " "||do bright ditto|
|George Matthews "||13 "||5 " "||do ditto|
|Maria Matthews (female)||6 "||dark ditto|
|Mary Grant (do)||1 1/2 "||do do|
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) Willed to me by my mother Mary Brienley (she having been married a second time) as will more fully appear by reference to said will which has been duly recorded in the office of the Register of Wills for the District of Columbia
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 $6900 dollars in money.(3)
- Robert Tyler I value at $1500 he being honest faithful and industrious
- Charles Matthews " " 1500 " do do do do
- Sarah Matthews " " 1000 " do do do do
- Hannah Grant " " 1000 " do do do do
- Richard Matthews " " 800 " do do do do
- George Matthews " " 700 " do do do do
- Maria Matthews " " 300 " do do do do
- Mary Grant " " 100
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 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 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, Harriet Smith 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 14th day of May A. D. 1862.
J. M. Barneclo J P
Gustavus Waters L. St.
Benj. S. Bayly 5. B. H.& G.
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.