Title: Petition of Betsy Roberson, 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.00460
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, Betsy Roberson 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 John Roberson a person of African descent of the name of John Roberson for and during the life of said John Roberson and that by said act of Congress said John Roberson 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 John Roberson was of the age of Twenty six years and of the personal description following:(1) Five feet eight inches in heighth of a dark colour and a polite well behaved man
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said John Roberson in manner following:(2) Your Petitioner being the Mother of said Roberson and said Roberson being in the year 1847 then a little boy of about ten years of age, and your Petitioner being then Free, purchased said Roberson for the sum of one Hundred and Fifty Dollars and now holds receipt for the same
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said John Roberson was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of One Thousand dollars in money.(3) The said Roberson has supported your Petitioner materially and your Petitioner has never surrendered her claim of service or labour from said Robinson previously to the passage of the Act of Congress of the present sessions. Copy of Receipts from John Shaver of Hagerstown Md. "This is to certify that any time within two years" "from this date, a servant boy John, which I own as a" "slave for life, his Mother to have him by paying me one Hundred" "and fifty dollars. July 24th 1847 (signed) John Shaver."
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 Roberson into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Roberson 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 Roberson 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 Roberson 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.
X her mark Betsy Roberson
Jane R. Godwise
J D. Clark
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Betsey Roberson 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.
X her mark Betsey Roberson
Test J D Clark
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day of May A. D. 1862.
John D. Clark J. Peace
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.