Title: Petition of Nelson Conrad, 15 May 1862
Date: May 15, 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.00240
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, Nelson Conrad, Trustee for his infant Children Mary L & Eliza D. Corrage aged fourteen & Sixteen years of Georgetown 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 said act of Congress, held a claim to Service or labor against three female Servants persons of African descent of the following names and ages, namely, Lucy Bowls, Hanah Beson, and May Lucy Beson.
- No. 1 Lucy Bowls, is a woman 49 years of age, five foot four inches high, not very dark color, front teeth out, of rather pleasant Countenance dark Eyes
- No 2 Hanah Beson is a woman 22 years of age five feet two & half inch high. Not Very dark Color with a skar on each Side of her mouth, and on her forehead caused by a burn She recvd when a child, has a slight defect in her left Eye, has dark round Eyes.
- No. 3 May Lucy Beson, is a daughter of Hanah Beson
- four years old. color, bright mulatto, large keen Black Eyes. Uncommonly sprightly & handsome, Very large for one of her age, three feet high
That your petitioner acquired his claim as trustee to the aforesaid Services or labor of said Slaves in Manner following,
- No 1. Lucy Bowls, by a deed of Conveyance from one May E Waugh of Birkley County Virginia dated 23rd of April 1858. and of record in the city of Baltimore, the amt paid for the Said Lucy a Short time previous to her Conveyance was two hundred dollars ($200—)
- No 2. Hanah Beson, is a daughter of Lucy Bowls aged 22 years, that your petitioner acquired his claim as trustee to the aforesaid Services or labor of Said Slave by a deed of Conveyance from Martha A Conrad of Birkley County Virginia bearing date July Eighteen hundred & fifty Eight, & of record in said County, the said Hanah was purchased by the said Martha A Conrad of one Geo W. Hunter Jr Trustee for the Sum of Seven hundred & twenty five dolls ($725) and Conveyed to your petitioner as trustee
- No 3. May Lucy Beson is a daughter of Hanah Beson, aged four years was born since the deed of Conveyance of her Mother Hanah Beson and by law is the property of your petitioner or was at the time of the aforesaid act of Congress
- emancipating Slavery in the District of Columbia
That your petitioner's claim to the services or labor of the said Lucy Bowls was, at the time of said discharge of the Value of Three hundred dollars in Money. Your petitioner thinks that notwithstanding the said Lucy Bowls was bought for the sum of two hundred ($200) from the fact that at that time She was greatly complaining and at a very criticle time of life with her, now she having passed that period of life & her health much improved indeed your petitioner may say well, now he thinks therefore she is greatly enhanced in Value. She is a woman of strict moral character, strictly honest and one of the best cooks, in Short she combines all nessary qualifications for a no one house servants, consequently she is very valuable.
Your petitioner would state that he knows of no mental, moral or bodily infirmaties so as to impair the value of your petitioners claims to such service or labor, except that the said Lucy is occasionally troubles with something of the rheumatism tho which seldom prevents her from attending to her daily labors, indeed never has with one exception.
Hanah Beson, is a daughter of Lucy Bowls aged 22 years, well and harty, is a woman of good moral character, strictly honest, a first rate house servant in short your petitioner consider the said Hanah like her mother a no one house Servant, and a woman of the best temper & disposition ever met with.
That your petitioner's claim to the Services or labor of said Hanah Beson was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the Value of Seven Hundred dollars in money.
Your petitioner would state that he is aware of one defect in the said Hanah which would render her less value, and that existed at the time she was purchased but which renders her no less servisible and that is a slight defect in her left eye.
May Lucy Benson, daughter of Hanah Benson, is a child four years old, well & lovely, never has had a days sickness in her life, she is the child of uncommon promise.
that Your petitioner claims to the service or labor of said May Lucy Benson was, at the time of said discharge therefrom of the value of Two hundred & fifty dollars in money.
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 to comfort thereto. And your petitioner further states and alledges that he has not brought said slaves above mentioned into the District of Columbia Since the passage of said act of congress: and that, at the time of the said passage thereof said servants, namely Lucy Bowls, Hanah Beson and May Lucy Beson 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 Lucy Bowls, Hanah Benson and May Lucy Benson 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 Lucy Bowl, Hanah Beson & May Lucy Beson 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.
Rev. J. H. Ryland
Wm H. Edees
Washington County, to wit,
I, Nelson Conrad, Trustee of Georgetown D.C. 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.
Nelson Conrad Trustee
[intentioned?] before signed
Wm R Woodward
Sworn to and subscribed before me this [no handwritten text supplied here]day of May A. D. 1862
Wm R. Woodward clk &c
Sworn to and subscribed by Mary Conrad this 20th day of May A. D. 1862.
Wm R. Woodward [clerk?]
Nelson Conrad Trustee
Wm H. Edes