Title: Petition of Louisa M. Wright, 27 May 1862
Date: May 27, 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.00485
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, Louisa M Wright 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 the following servants, viz: Polly, Minnie Ann, Nora, & Fanny Nelson person of African descent of the name of Polly, Minnie Ann, Nora, and Fanny Nelson for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress saidabove mentioned persons were discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said persons were of the ages of 50, 18, 15 and 10 years respectively and of the personal description following:(1)
- Polly Nelson, aged 50 years, brown complexion, black hair & eyes, & 5 feet 6 inches high. Is in excellent health—is strong, good house servant, excellent cook, and a good laundress and nurse.
- Minnie Ann Nelson, aged between 18 & 19, brown complexion, black hair & eyes, 5 feet 4 inches high, good health—good house servant, tolerable cook, good dining room servant, laundress & nurse.
- Nora Nelson, aged 15 years, brown complexion, black eyes & hair, 5 feet 3 inches high, healthy & strong, good house servant, seamstress, and nurse.
- Fanny Nelson, aged 10 years, brown complexion black hair & eyes, about 4 feet high, & is a good errand girl & for waiting in the house.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) viz: By inheritance upon the division of her father's estate in 1853 or '54 When they were appraised at about $3000. The records of the clerk's office of Culpepper Co Va will probably exhibit these facts in regard to the estate of her father Samuel R. Bradford dec'd.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said servants was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of three thousand dollars in money.(3)
- Polly is strong, healthy, a good house servant excellent cook & nurse & good laundress & worth $800.
- Minnie Ann is strong & Healthy, good house servant & cook, dining room servant laundress & nurse & is worth $1000.
- Nora is strong & healthy & is an efficient house servant, seamstress & nurse & worth $800.
- Fanny is strong, sprightly & healthy & a good errand girl & girl house waiter & worth $400.
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 Columbiasince the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons were 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 personsdoes 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 personsherein 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.
Louisa M Wright
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Louisa M Wright 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.
Louisa M Wright
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27th day of May A. D. 1862.
Louisa M Wright
Jno C. Thomas
as atty for Mrs. Wright
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.