Title: Petition of Martha D. Duncanson, 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.00378
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, Martha D.
Duncanson of Washington
City 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 female person of African descent of the name
of Mary Caroline Lee for and
during the life of said Mary Caroline
Lee and that by said act of Congress said Mary 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 Mary Caroline
of the age of
in the 8th year of her age and of the personal
Dark brown complection—large full eyes—and 3 feet 9 inches high.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said [no handwritten text supplied here] in manner following:(2) By gift from her late husband, John A. M. Duncanson, at the birth of said Mary Caroline Lee, as will appear from the settlement made with the heirs of said Duncanson about two years since. The papers connected with said settlement are filed in the Orphan's Court for Washington County D. C.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Mary Caroline Lee was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of four hundred dollars in money.(3) The said Mary C. Lee is a good house servant; a very likely, active and intelligent girl, in perfect health, without a blemish or deformity of any kind. And your petitioner knows of no infirmity or defects of said Mary C. Lee, which would impair the value of your petitioner's claim to such service or labor, and she believes none exist.
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 Mary Caroline Lee into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Mary C. Lee 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 Mary C. Lee 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 value of her said claim to the service or labor of said Mary Caroline Lee 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.
Martha D. Duncanson,
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Martha D. Duncanson 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.
Martha D Duncanson
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 22nd day of May A.D. 1862.
Thomas C Donn Justice of the Peace for Washington County District of Columbia
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.