Title: Petition of Mary Ann Clark, 22 May 1862

Date: May 22, 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.00367

TEI/XML: cww.00367.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 Petitioner, Mary Ann Clark of Washington County in said District 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 sixteen persons of African descent of the names of Edmond Stewart, Nace Foster, Susan Hutchins, Lucy Clark, Clara Ridgely, Mary Hutchins, Rachael Hutchins, David Hutchens, Tobias Hutchens, George Hutchens, Eliza Hutchens, Louisa Hutchens, Jack Clark, Jim Ridgely, Wm Ridgely, Rachael Jackson for and during the life lives of said persons and that by said act of Congress said 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 persons were of the ages of and of the personal description following;(1) as specified in the statement or schedule hereto annexed, and marked with her initials M. A. C., being a copy, with the value added thereto, of the statement or schedule filed by her in the Clerk's office of this District, pursuant to the ninth section of said act; to wit;


Statement or Schedule, marked M. A. C.

No. Name Age Sex Color Height Value Particular description
1. Edmd Stewart 47 Male Black 6. 1000$ Hostler & Teamster. Wages 120$ a year
2. Nace Foster 34. " " 5.8 1200— Carpenter. Wages 120$
3. Susan Hutchens 36. Female Brown 5.6 900:— Good cook. at home.
4. Lucy Clark 32. " Black 5.6 900:— Seamstress & Lady's maid. Wages 72$ a year
5. Clara Ridgely 27. " Yellow. 5. 900— House servant. Wages 60$
6. Mary Hutchins 19. " Black 5.3 800$ " at home.
7. Rachael Hutchins 16 " " 5.— 600$ " Wages 36$
8 David Hutchens 15 Male " 5.4 800$ " Wages 48$
9 Tobias Hutchins 13 " ". 5:— 500$ " 12$ wages & [board?]
10. Geo. Hutchens 12. " Brown child 400$ At house
11. Eliza Hutchens 9. Female " " 300$ "
12. Louisa Hutchens 5. " " " 200$ "
13 Jack Clark 7. Male Black " 200$ "
14 Jim Ridgley 7 " Mulatto " 200$ "
15 Wm Ridgley 3 " Brown " 50. "
16. Rachael Jackson. 65. Female . . . 200 Good cook.

That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following;(2) to wit; under the Will of her late father David Clark formerly of Prince George's County Maryland, dated the 3d. May 1792, recorded in said County, and who died in the said year. The negroes claimed for in said list are descendants of those she obtained from her father as aforesaid; all those being now dead. She never obtained any by purchase. Those named in her list have been brought up by her, under her own eye and care. They have all been in her possession for a great many years, indeed from the time they came to her and from their birth. The woman Rachel Jackson is the mother and grandmother of all the rest, except Edmd Stewart. Her mother came to petitioner under her father's will.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of nine thousand one hundred and fifty dollars in money,(3) or thereabouts, according to the prices which had been paid in cash for similar negroes by those dealing in them, as she is informed and believes; but being family servants, and brought up by herself, she preferred keeping them. Their value is stated respectively in the said schedule M. A. C. They are healthy, capable and good servants; their morals are good, and they have no mental or bodily infirmity or defect, except Rachael Hutchens: (No 7.) She had her arm hurt by the pulling of a cellar door upon it, which has incapacitated her for heavy work, such as washing &c; but she is quite able to attend to house work, and hires out for that purpose. Except the very young ones, and such as she has kept at home for her own use, they have all been regularly hired out, and have kept in their places. Edmond and Nace have hired themselves out and paid her wages. She knows of no defect, and believes none to exist, except as above. They are valuable servants; and the wages derived from them have been for many years her only means of support. She is now seventy years of age; and unless remunerated for them she would be entirely destitute of the means of living.

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 persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons were 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 persons 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 persons 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)
Mary Ann Clark

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

I, Mary Ann Clark 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)
Mary Ann Clark

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 21st day of May 1862 A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Hamilton Loughborough
Justice of the Peace in and for said District & County
Petition of Mary Ann Clark.
Filed May 22, 1862
Wm D. C. Murdoch
Hamilton Loughborough
Margaret A. Barber

 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: Kathryn Kruger, Janel Cayer, Courtney Rebecca Lawton, and Kenneth J. Winkle.