Title: Petition of Susanna Hughes, 16 May 1862
Date: May 16, 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.00263
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."
Susanna Hughes of District
Columbia 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 one servant woman, a person of African descent of the name of
for and during the life of said until the said
Anna should become of the age of thirty
and that by said act of Congress said
Anna has been discharged
and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor;
that at the time of said discharge said
was of the age of nearly twenty two years
being born on July 8th 1840
. and of
the personal description following:(1)
A bright mulatto of good appearance;
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Anna in manner following: (2) that is to say from the bequest of her aunt, Margaret Waters, of Anne Arundel County, Md., (her will being on Record in said Grand state): who left to the said Susanna, the mother of the said Anna, and her issue and provided as follows: "I do hereby will and direct that the issue of all the said slaves" (i.e. all bequeathed by the will) & their issue & their increase forever be free at the age of 35 years."
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said
was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of say about
dollars in money.
6$/per mo = about 72$ per year, which
would amount to $936 or thereabout for 13 years.
Anna being of good moral and religious character, a
member for some time of St. John's Pr. Epis. Church;
able to read and write; and having been brought up from earliest infancy
with most scrupulous attention to morals & to household duties befitting
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 Anna into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Anna 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 her said claim to the service or labor of said servant 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 Anna 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, Susanna Hughes 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 15th day of May A.D. 1862
Henry Reaver JPeace
Ellis Hughes Geo Town
1. Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately. [back]
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. [back]
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. [back]