Title: Petition of John McDermott, 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.00225
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."
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 two negro slaves:
that is to say—a male slave, of the name of George,
aged about 26 years and a female slave named Elsey,
aged about 27 years— persons of African
of the name of
[no handwritten text supplied here] for and during the life of said
George, and the life of the said
Elsey respectively and that by said act of
George and the slave Elsey were in
fact discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to
such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said
George was of the age of
aforesaid, in they behalf stated and of the
personal description following:(1)
to wit. dark brown or black stout built and about five
feet four inches in height
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said George in manner following:(2) That is to say by Marriage and in right of his wife—and by an arrangement of interests between him an his now deceased father, he considers himself bound to account to his estate for the sum which may be awarded on this petition for the said slave; your petitioner being one of the distributors and the administrator of said estate and he purchased the said slave Elsey from O. C. Harris of the County of Prince George, State of Maryland on or about the 21st Decr 1855
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said George was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of one thousand dollars $1000 in money.(3) and to the service or labor of the said Elsey of the value of seven hundred dollars ($700) The said George is able-bodied—has been employed for a long time about the Coach Factory of M McDermott (carried on still by his representatives since his death) He is near sighted—but this does not impair his value materially. He is also ruptured partially
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 slaves or either of them into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said slaves George & Elsey 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 George & Elsey 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.
Your petitioner in filing this claim and receiving what may be awarded in the premises, respectfully reserves his court honored right to have just compensation for his property aforesaid notwithstanding that the whole indemnity provided by the act aforesaid may not suffice thereto; looking to Congress to supply such deficiency
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, John McDermott 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.
Wm R Woodward clk &c
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.