Title: Petition of Eliza Ott, 19 May 1862
Date: May 19, 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.00293
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 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
Celia Coleman, Harry Coleman,
Frances Coleman, Ellen Coleman
& Anna Coleman
persons of African descent
of the name of
Celia Coleman, Henry Coleman,
Frances Coleman, Ellen
Coleman, Anna Coleman
for and during the life of said persons, so above
named and that by said act of Congress said five persons above named were discharged and freed of and from all
claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said
discharge said Five persons were of the ages
of & descriptions following to wit, and of
the personal description following:
The said Celia Coleman of the age
of Fifty Two (52) years Five feet eight inches high a female of yellow complexion.
The said Harry Coleman of the age of twenty five years,
five feet eight inches high, a male of yellow complexion. The said
Frances Coleman of the age of twenty years five
feet five inches high a female of yellow complexion & having a mark of a burn
on her left breast & a small scar near her left eye; Ellen
Coleman of the age of eighteen years, five feet nine inches
high, a female of yellow complexion & Anna
Coleman of the age of thirteen years, four feet two inches
high, a female of yellow complexion
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said five persons above named in manner following:(2) They were bequeathed or derived to me in the will of my father Jacob Ott of Woodstock Virginia—this will is now recorded in the office either of the County or Circuit Court of Sherman County, state of Virginia & in said will your petitioner thinks all said persons are named
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said five persons upon named was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of thirty seven hundred dollars in money.(3) The said Celia is an intelligent Christian woman a good cook well versed in all domestic services. Her health however is impaired & I have estimated her at $400. The said Harry is sound in health, able bodied, honest & correct in his habits, of good character & well trained as a dining room & household servant—I estimated him at $1200. Frances & Ellen are also sound in health & I believe of good character & trained in domestic service I am valued them at $800 each. Anna the youngest was the handsomest servant & can sew; very likely I have valued her at $500.
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 said has not brought said servants into
the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of
Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said five persons were
washeld 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 servants 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 five persons above named 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.]
City of Washington
I, Eliza Ott 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 Andrew Sweeny, Mayor of said City this 16th day of May A.D. 1862
Testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name & affixed the seal of said city this 16th day of May 1862
A. J. Sweeny Mayor
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.