Title: Petition of Mary D. G. Ringgold, 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.00450
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 D. G. Ringgold of District of Columbia 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 Louisa aged about forty years a woman of light mulatto colour her child Elizabeth aged about eighteen years of light colour as her mother— persons of African descent of the names of above described for and during the life of said above described persons and that by said act of Congress said persons have 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 Louisa was about forty years of age and Elizabeth of the age of eighteen years and of the personal description following:(1) Louisa is a bright Mulatto about 5 feet high straight black hair, dark eyes, small regular features and inclined to fullness; her daughter Elisabeth is not so bright in colour, taller and much more slender, with her hair shorter & more African in its character neither have any distinct marks or blemishes
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) the mother of Louisa, Betsy, was given to your petitioner by verbal gift & transfer of [possession?] by the late Governor Thomas S. Lee, the grand father of your petitioner about the year 1806 and she has ever since held & possessed the said Betsy until her death & her child & grand child
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said persons above described was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of two thousand dollars in money.(3) That these women have high character for honesty & integrity & [always?] command the highest wages and the most desirable & [illegible] situations—Louisa is an accomplished House Servant & Cook & seamstress as is also her daughter—they now hire for fourteen dollars per month—Louisa for eight & her child for six dollars they are and have always been perfectly health & free from any blemish and each of the said persons Louisa & Elizabeth are valued at $1000 each
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.
Mary D G. Ringgold
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
I, Mary D. G. Ringgold 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 27th day of May A.D. 1862.
Ezra L. Karn
Witnesses referred to in corroborating
Commodore Joseph Smith USN
Miss Sarah Thomas Peterson of Washington D. C.
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.