Title: Petition of Florence Mechlin, 23 May 1862
Date: May 23, 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.00400
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, F Mechlin of the City of Washington 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 John Maddox, a person of African descent of the name, above stated, for and during the life of said John Maddox, and that by said act of Congress said John Maddox 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 John Maddox was about of the age of Six years, and was born in said city— and of the personal description following:(1) The said John Maddox is rather a a dark mulatto of the usual size of a boy of that age; has a slight cast or cross in one of his eyes, which, however, does not in the least impair his vision
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said John Maddox in manner following:(2) By purchase, as will appear by the accompanying original bill of sale, executed July 12th 1858—
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said John Maddox was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of three hundred & fifty dollars in money.(3) That sum being the value of said John Madox as she has been credibly informed, though your claimant never designed to sell him for any price—But to have him raised and educated as a House servant—and ultimately to send him to Liberia should he wish to go there—
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 John Maddox into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said John Maddox 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 John Maddox 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 John Maddox 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.
For the sum of One hundred dollars, current money of the United States, to me in hand paid, by Florence Mechlin, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, I hereby sell, assign, and make over to her, (the said Florence Mechlin) my negro slave named John Maddox, now nearly two years of age—the child of the slave Margaret Ann Maddox, now residing with my family, and whom I purchased on the 18" of December 1850—(from Sarah Ann L. Sasser as will be seen by reference to Liber J.A.S. No 21, folios 138 & 139, one one of Records for Washington County in the District of Columbia To have and to hold the said John Maddox, child as aforesaid, as her slave during his natural life—as the personal property and possession of said Florence Mechlin, her heirs and assigns—
Witness my hand and seal on this twelfth day of July A. D. 1858—
A. H. Mechlin seal
District of Columbia Ss.
Signed, sealed and acknowledged before me, a Justice of the Peace in & for the County aforesaid on the date above mentioned—
Saml Drury J. P.
Jno. Maddox to
A. H. Mechlin made
& executed 12th July 1858—
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, F 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.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 22 day of May 1862.
Geo. C. Thomas
for remuneration of servant John Maddox under the act of Congress of 16 April 1862
Col Manadier [ordinance of?]
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.