Title: Petition of Alexander H. Mechlin, 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.00399

TEI/XML: cww.00399.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, A. H. Mechlin of the City of Washington D.C by this his petition in writing, represents and states, that he 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 Margaret Ann Maddox, a person of African descent of the name of above stated. for and during the life of said Margaret Ann, until she becomes thirty years of age, which will occur on the 1st of January 1868 and that by said act of Congress said Margaret Ann has been discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Margaret Ann was about of the age of twenty five years & was about twelve years of age when purchased by your petitioner and of the personal description following:(1) She is a negress of pure African blood. below the medium height of females of her age—strong healthy and active. African features, a remarkably good tempered, industrious and well disciplined house servant.


That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Margaret Ann Maddox in manner following:(2) viz: By purchase, for a term of 18 years when she was twelve years of age, as will appear by the accompanying bill of sale, recorded, as shown by its endorsement—thought such record was not necessary by law

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Margaret Ann Maddox was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of four hundred & fifty dollars in money.(3)On the grounds, that she is a very capable, reliable and honest house servant, brought up carefully in the family of your petitioner—free from any physical or other defects which would injuriously affect her value, that she could be readily hired out as a house servant for seven dollars per month, and has been for eight dollars per month Having upwards of five years and seven months (from the date of the Act) to serve, which at $7 per mo​ is $476

Your petitioner hereby declares that he bears true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that he 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 he has not brought said Margaret Ann into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Margaret Ann 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Margaret Ann 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Margaret Ann 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)
A. H. Mechlin
Emancipation Commission
Petition of Columbus Alexander in the matter of the claim of A. H. Mechlin
Notice of Law
Filed December 13, 1862

To the Hon​ the Commissioners appointed under the Act of Congress entitled An Act for the release of Certain persons held to service and labor in the District of Columbia:—

The Petition of Columbus Alexander of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia humbly represents that on, or about, the 16th day of January A.D. 1860. he obtained in the Circuit Court of the said District a Judgment against A. H. Mechlin for $100. with interest on the same from 27th May 1858 is paid &. cash $11.83. as by reference to a short copy of said Judgment hereto annexed, will more fully and at Large appear.

Your petitioner further represents that the said Mechlin has filed with the Clerk of Your Board a claim under the Act in question, which is now pending.—and he begs leave to refer to the Petition filed by the said Mechlin and proceedings there on—for full and particular information.

Your petitioner further represents  to [require?]. And as in duty &—

Columbus Alexander
by his Attorney
A Lloyd
C Alexander
Columbus Alexander 465. Trial
Jany Term 1860.
Alexr. H. Mechlin 16th Jany 1860. Judgment.
Damages $1000 o/o Dam.​ to be Released on payt​. of $100. with Int.​ from 27th May 1858 til paid.
[Costs?] $10.92 [wo/" "?] 91
52 cts—
Jno. A. Smith, Clk
Paid $.75
Bill of Sale of Servant Slave. Margaret Ann Maddox
from Sarah A. L. Sasser
to Alexr. H. Mechlin
Received Feby 6th 1857 to be recorded & the same day was recorded in Liber J A S No 21 folios 138 139 out of the land records for Washington County in the District of Columbia & Examined by

John A Smith
To be sent for mail to A. H. Mechlin

Know all men by these presents, that I, Sarah Ann L. Sasser of Fauquier County, Virginia unmarried, for, and in consideration of the sum of One hundred and fifty dollars ($150) current money of the United States, to me in hand paid by Alexander H. Mechlin of the City of Washington District of Columbia, (the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged) have bargained, sold and delivered, and by these presents do bargain, sell and deliver unto the said Alexander H. Mechlin my female negro slave named, Margaret Ann Maddox, owned by me for the term of her natural life, to have and to hold the said slave, unto the said Alexander H. Mechlin, his executor, Administrators and assigns for his and their proper use and benefit until she the said Margaret Ann Maddox shall attain the age of thirty years, that is to say, until the first day of January in the year Anno Domini Eighteen hundred and Sixty eight—when the said Alexander H. Mechlin his heirs or assigns is to manumit and set free in proper legal form the said Margaret Ann Maddox—And I, the said Sarah Ann L. Sasser for myself, my executors, administrators, heirs and assigns will forever warrant and defend the said bargained and sold slave (Margaret Ann Maddox) unto the said Alexander H. Mechlin, his heirs and assigns, from and against all persons whomsoever—

In witness whereof, I hereunto, at the said City of Washington, set my hand and seal on this eighteenth day of December A.D. eighteen hundred and fifty (1850)—

Sarah Ann L. Sasser

Subscribed and acknowledged before me on the day and year above written

William Waters J Peace

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

I, A. H. Mechlin, of said District & County 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)
A. H. Mechlin

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 22 day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Jno. C. Thomas
Notary Public
Memorial of
A. H. Mechlin
for remuneration of his female Servant
Margaret Ann Maddox
under the Act of Cong​ of 16 Apl 1862
Col [Manadin?]
James Evelett 19th st

 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, and Susan C. Lawrence.