Title: Petition of Joseph Libbey, 19 May 1862

Date: May 19, 1861

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.00300

TEI/XML: cww.00300.xml



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 Petitioners, Joseph Libby of Georgetown D.C. 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 one person of African descent of the name of Rosa Payne for and during the life of said Rosa Payne and that by said act of Congress said Rosa Payne was discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Rosa Payne was of the age of fifty years and descriptions following:(1) about five feet high tolerably dark skin and has a remarkably youthful appearance for all of her age and is very active and sprightly


That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Rosa Payne in manner following:(2) by purchase from John James about about sixteen years ago the bill of sale he cannot now find it.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Rosa Payne was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of five hundred dollars ($500) in money.(3) She is a first class servant, being an excellent cook and can perform all kinds of house work she has enjoyed excellent health and perfectly sound in mind and body

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 Rosa Payne into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Rosa Payne was held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your petitioner's claim to such service or labor.

Your petitioners further state and allege, that his said claim to the service or labor of said Rosa Payne 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 petitioners pray the said Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of his said claim to the service or labor of said Rosa Payne 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.

(Signed by)
Joseph Libbey

[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]

I, Joseph Libby 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.

(Signed by)
Joseph Libbey

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 19th day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
H. Naylor J Peace
Petition of Joseph Libby
Witness for Petitioner
John James
Joseph Libby Jr
M. W. Jeremy

I the undersigned John S. James of the City of Washington in consideration of the sum of Three hundred and fifty dollars paid to me by Joseph Libbey of George Town in the District of Columbia (the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged) do hereby assign transfer bargain and sell unto the said Joseph Libbey his Executors administrators and assigns, the following Negroes slaves for life; to wit: a negro woman called Rosy or Rose Payne, aged about forty four years; and her son William aged about four years, now in the possession of said Joseph Libbey: And I do warrant the said Negroes to be slaves for life to said Libbey against all persons whomsoever. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Sixteenth day of March 1847.

John S. James seal
Signed sealed and subscribed in the presence of
Jno Ero Adams

 Note (1.)-- Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately.

 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.

Transcription and encoding: Susan C. Lawrence, Janel Cayer, Brittany Jones, Rhiannon Root, and Robert Voss.