Title: Petition of Mary Peter, 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.00311
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."
Mary Peter, administratrix of
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 four
persons persons of African descent of the name of
Cristena Dorsey & Mary Dorsey, Levi Dorsey&
Osborn Dorsey, children of
for and during the life of said four persons were
was and that by said
act of Congress said four persons 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 four persons
were was of the ages of and of the personal
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said four persons in manner following:(2) That is to say by letters of administration, granted to your petitioner by the Hon: The Orphan Court of the District of Columbia on the 16th day of March 1861 on the estate of Mrs. Ann J. Washington, who received them as a bequest under the will of her husband, George C. Washington; the said Osbourn having been born of a slave mother since the death of Mrs. Washington & the said Mary & Levi, having been born of a slave mother in the life of Mrs. Washington but after the death of her said husband
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said four persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of thirteen hundred and fifty ($1350) dollars in money.(3) viz Cristena was of the value of $800 Mary was of the value of $300 Levi was of the value of $200 and Osbourn was of the value of $50.00 Your petitioner would also allege that the said Cristena was a well trained cook, washer & ironer and house servant, industrious in habits and honest & upright in character. Your petitioner knows of no moral mental or bodily infirmity or defect of either of said persons which would tend to impair the value of her claim to said service or labor
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 slaves or any of them into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said four persons 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 four slaves 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 four slaves 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, Mary Peter of Georgetown D of C 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 19th day of May A.D. 1862
Joseph N. Pearson Justice of the peace for the county of Washington D.C.
Petition of Miss Mary Peter Administratrix
Wm. D. Cassin
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.