Title: Petition of William H. Morrison, 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.00220
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, William H. Morrison of of the City of Washington 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 a female person of African descent of the name of Maria Lee for and during the life of said Maria Lee and that by said act of Congress said Maria Lee 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 Maria Lee was of the age of about fourteen years and of the personal description following:(1) dark mulatto about four feet four inches high, rather slender made no particular marks or defects about her
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Maria Lee in manner following:(2) That he purchased the said Maria Lee on the seventh day of November 1859 from one James D. Triplett per Smith H. Rixey his agent in the City of Washington for the sum of six hundred and seventy dollars as the bill of sale here unto annexed will more fully show.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Maria Lee was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of seven hundred dollars in money.(3) Your petitioner's claim to said services was undisputed, she was a good house servant, of moral disposition sound in body and mind having no defects to the knowledge of your petitioner.
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 Maria Lee into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Maria Lee 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 Maria Lee 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 Maria Lee 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.
Wm H Morrison
Know all men by these presents that I James D Triplett have this day bargained and sold to Wm H Morrison and by these presents do bargain and sell a negro girl Maria Lee for and in consideration of the sum of six hundred and seventy dollars and hereby warrant the said girl to be sound in body and mind and slave for life. This 7th day of September 1859.
James D. Triplett
per Smith H. Rixey
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, William H. Morrison 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.
Wm H Morrison
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 13th day of May A. D. 1862.
J. H. Goddard
Justice of the Peace
Wm H Morrison
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.