Title: Petition of Sarah A. Landreth, 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.00319
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, Sarah A. Landreth of 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 four persons of African descent of the names of Maria or Maria Maddox; and Charles; Thomas; and Elizabeth, children of said Maria for and during the life of said Maria; Charles; Thomas; and Elizabeth and that by said act of Congress said Maria; Charles; Thomas and Elizabeth 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 Maria Maddox was of the age of forty six (46) years and of the personal description following:(1) female of a chestnut complexion with loose full suit of hair; and speaks in a slow drawling manner.
- 2nd Charles Maddox male, child of the aforesaid Maria aged about thirteen (13) years; very dark complexioned; short, knotty hair and dull heavy countenance; slender in stature and lisps slightly in talking.
- 3rd Thomas Maddox male, child of the aforesaid Maria; aged about ten (10) years; of a chestnut complexion; thick suit of knotty hair; prompt and intelligent in speech and of a slender body.
- 4th Elizabeth Maddox, Female, child of the aforesaid Maria; aged about 6 1/2 years; of a chestnut color; short knotty hair; and has a bright countenances and very diffident manner.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Maria, Charles, Thomas and Elizabeth in manner following:(2)said Maria or Maria Maddox was conveyed to me by will of my mother Mrs Sarah Landreth of Somerset County in the state of Maryland about the year 1844. Said will is not at this time accessible to your petitioner, but is duly preserved in the records of said County. Said Maria was brought by your petitioner into the District of Columbia about the year 1845; where said Maria has ever since remained. Said Charles; Thomas; and Elizabeth are children of the aforesaid Maria, born after her arrival in said District and during the time when said Maria was held by your petitioner to service and labor for life as aforesaid.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Maria, Charles, Thomas and Elizabeth was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of fourteen hundred dollars ($1400) in money.(3) respectively as follows:
- 1st said Maria is an elegant washer and ironer; and good cook. About three years ago she was afflicted with slight lameness from rheumatism, but is now recovered Her value is four hundred (400) dollars.
- 2nd Said Charles is a good servant and has lived for $4 per month. He has no infirmities. His value is five hundred ($500) dollars.
- 3rd Said Thomas is a good servant good at any domestic work. About six years his collar bone was injured by a fall; but all traces of injury have now disappeared. His value is three hundred (300.) dollars.
- 4th Said Elizabeth is a hearty, healthy, well-grown child; is a promising servant; has no infirmity or defect and is worth two hundred ($200) dollars—
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 Maria, Charles, Thomas & Elizabeth into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Maria,Charles, Thomas & Elizabeth were 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 her said claim to the service or labor of said Maria; Charles; Thomas; & Elizabeth; 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 her said claim to the service or labor of said Maria, Charles; Thomas; & Elizabeth 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.
Sarah Ann Landreth
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Sarah Ann Landreth 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 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.
Sarah Ann Landreth
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 20th day of May A. D. 1862.
Wm R. Woodward clk &
Sarah A. Landreth
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.