Title: Petition of Robert W. Smoot, 18 July 1862
Date: July 18, 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.00289
To the Honorable the Commissioners under the act entitled An Act for the release of certain persons, held to service or labor in the District of Columbia
The petition of Margaret A. Smoot, by Robert W. Smoot her husband and best friend both of Montgomery County and State of Maryland shews:
That your petitioner and her said husband are loyal citizens of the United States: and at the time of the passage of said act to wit, the 16th day of April 1862, the said Margaret A. in her own right, had in the District of Columbia, residing there and for a number of years hired there a negro man slave named Frank Herbert, about forty five years of age, who by reason of his African descent and acquired title was a slave for life to the said Margaret A.; and by the operation of the said Act of Congress hath been liberated from slavery, He is about five feet ten or eleven inches high well made very [erect?], black, active, perfectly healthy, in the prime and vigor of life, honest, industrious capable and faithful. He was [bred?] a farm hand and was a very efficient hand: his wife living in this District the said Margaret A. permitted the said Frank to come to the District to live there for a number of years last past she has hired him out as her slave and received his wages
The said Margaret A acquired her title to the said servant in the distribution of the personal estate of Dr. Stephen N. C. White late of Montgomery County deceased, and by the laws of Maryland she is advised, she is entitled to the property of the said slave in her own right; and as of course to the proceeds of his sale, or compensation for his liberation. The value of the said slave in money, it would be difficult to fix, but your petitioner is advised he is not less than fifteen hundred dollars, as neither she nor her said husband is aware of any fact tending to diminish it below the highest market for a first quality hand of his description
Neither she nor her said husband have at any time borne arms against the United States, nor in any way directly or indirectly given aid or comfort to the present rebellion. The fact has been stated that the said slave was residing in this District with the permission of his owner at the time of the passage of the said act under and by virtue of the claim hereinbefore stated; which claim does not originate in or by virtue of any transfer heretofore made by any person who has in any wise aided or sustained the present rebellion against the United States
She further states that her petition in this case was heretofore filed on or about the day of [no handwritten text supplied here] last past by her brother as her [next friend but?] the same has been in some way mislaid and therefore she prays leave to file this her additional petition in lieu and by way of supplying the said mislaid paper, and that she may be allowed compensation for the said servant according to law.
Rob. W. Smoot
Margaret A. Smoot
I Joseph H. Bradley of the City of Washington do on my oath say that, according to the best of my knowledge and belief. I did on or about the 15 day of May last prepare for Mrs. Margaret A. Smoot her brother either Daniel or Benjamin White (I am not sure which) acting as her next friend, her petition to the Commissioners named in the foregoing petition for compensation for her negro man slave Frank Herbert named therein, and that it was sworn to by her in my office before a Justice of the Peace, and signed by her and her brother, and carried by myself, & filed or deposited by me with Mr Woodward the clerk of said Commission on the same day
Sworn to and subscribed by
Jos. H. Bradley
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Robert W Smoot 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.
Rob. W. Smoot for
Margaret A. Smoot
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 17th day of July A. D. 1862.
F. I. Murphey J. P.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of William Sprigg in manner following:(2)
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said [no handwritten text supplied here] was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of [no handwritten text supplied here] [dollars?] in money.(3)