Title: Petition of Hester A. Wheeler, 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.00303
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, Hester A. Wheeler of George Town D. C. 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 a person of African descent of the name of Emily Herbert for and during the life of said Emily Herbert and that by said act of Congress said Emily Herbert is discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Emily Herbert of the age of fifty three and of the personal description following:(1) She is a tall fine looking woman unusually [stout?], straight black hair, black eyes, light colored, rather pleasing appearance.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Emily Herbert in manner following:(2) The right and title to said Emily Herbert is in lieu of your petitioner's interest in the real estate of her late husband, sanctioned by the Chancellor of the State of Maryland.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Emily Herbert was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Twelve hundred dollars in money.(3)Your petitioner considers her claim to the amount named, enhanced on account of the unexceptionable moral character of said Emily Herbert, rendering her invaluable to your petitioner, also there being no mental or bodily infirmities to impair said claim.
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 Emily Herbert into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Emily Herbert 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 Emily Herbert 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 Emily Herbert 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.
Hester A. Wheeler
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Hester A. Wheeler 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.
Hester A. Wheeler
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 17th day of May A. D. 1862.
Henry Reaver J Peace
H. M. [illegible]
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.