Title: Petition of Ann Maria Biscoe and Emma Biscoe, 26 May 1862
Date: May 26, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 4. 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.00430
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, Ann Maria Biscoe and Emma
of George Town in said
District by this their petition in writing, represent s and
state s, that they are
is apersons 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 six negroes or persons of African descent of the names of Mary Ayres, Caroline Jenifer,
Charlotte Jenifer, Richard
Jenifer, Louisa Jenifer and
Nunah Jenifer for and during the
lives of said persons and that by said act of Congress said persons were discharged and freed of and from all claim of your
petitioners to such service or labor; that at
the time of said discharge said persons were of
of and of the personal description following:(1)
to wit: said Mary Ayers is about
fifty two years, of chestnut color, medium height, and has hired out as a
cook, washer and ironer; Caroline Jenifer is her
daughter, about thirty two years of age, light brown color, and has been
occupied as a house servant; the four others are the children of
Caroline, named, Charlotte
Jenifer, light brown, ten years of age; Richd.
Jenifer, light brown, eight years of age; Louisa
Jenifer, light brown, five years of age; and Nunah
Jenifer, chestnut, also five years old, twin sister with the
That your petitioners acquired their said claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) viz: Mary Ayers came to your petitioner, Ann M. Biscoe, many years ago, from her late father James Hopewell of St. Mary's County, Maryland, deceased, on the distribution of his estate; Caroline Jenifer is her daughter, and she and her four children (the others named in sd. petition) were born in the family of petitioner, and have been brought up and instructed by her. On the death of her husband Genl George Biscoe late of George Town aforesaid, he devised said six negroes to your petitioner Ann M. Biscoe, in trust for the sole and separate use absolutely of your other petitioner Emma Biscoe his daughter, as by said Will dated 19th July 1859, and recorded in the Orphans' Court of said District may appear. The said six negroes have always been in the possession and under the control of the family—of said Genl Biscoe during his life and of your petitioner Ann M. Biscoe since his death, up to the approval of said act, under his said 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 Three
thousand dollars in money.(3)
viz; said Mary Ayers, who is a good
cook, washer and ironer, $600; said Caroline Jenifer,
an experienced house-servant, $1000; Charlotte, 10
years old, $400:—Richard, $400:—;
Louisa, $300— &
Nunah, $300:—They are all healthy;
Mary and Caroline, are
well-behaved and good servants, experienced in their respective occupations.
They and the four children are free from any defect or infirmity, mental or
bodily; she knows of none, and believes none to exist.
Your petitioners hereby declare
they bear s true and faithful
allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that they have
has not borne arms against the United States in the present
rebellion, nor in any way given aid or comfort thereto.
And your petitioners further state
allege s, that they have
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 petitioners further state
allege s, that their 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 petitioners pray
s the said
Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of their 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.
Ann M. Biscoe Adminix of Geo Biscoe, & trustee under his will for
Emma Biscoe Legatee under said will.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
Ann M. Biscoe and
Emma Biscoe being duly sworn, do respectively depose and say, that all the
several matters and things which are set forth and stated in the foregoing
petition, as of my
our 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
we believe to be true in substance and in
Ann M. Biscoe
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 24th day of May A. D. 1862.
Dr. G. Tyler
W Redin for Petrs.
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.