Title: Petition of Eliza Duvall, 28 May 1862
Date: May 28, 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.00510
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, Eliza Duvall 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 three persons of African descent of the name of Amanda Augusta Harris,—Charles Asbury Harris,—and Cornelius Hunt Harris, for and during the life of said Amanda Augusta Harris, —Charles Asbury Harris,—and Cornelius Hunt Harris, and that by said act of Congress said Amanda Augusta Harris,—Charles Asbury Harris,—and Cornelius Hunt Harris 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
- No. I. Amanda Augusta Harris was of the age of sixteen years and of the personal description following:(1) A girl, dark brown color, about five feet two inches in height. very stout and healthy.
- No. 2. That at the time of said discharge said, Charles Asbury Harris was of the age of Fourteen years, and of the personal description following: A boy—Light brown color—about Four feet high—slim make and not very strong.—
- No. 3. That at the time of said discharge said Cornelius Hunt Harris was of the age of Twelve years—of the personal description following—A boy, light brown color—about Four feet in height—strong and healthy.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons and each of them in manner following:(2) That your Petitioner purchased Kitty Harris the mother of said persons above mentioned about the year 1832 from one Hanson Clarke of Montgomery County state of Maryland, and since said time, and during the servitude due by the said Kitty to your Petitioner the said Amanda, Charles, & Cornelius were born of the body of said Kitty as slaves for life the property of your Petitioner, and have been held as such to the date of said act of Congress. and your Petitioner avers that no other person or persons have any claim whatsoever to them or either of them.
- No. I. That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Amanda Augustus Harris was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of One Thousand dollars in money.(3) The said Amanda is a fine chamber maid-house servant dining room servant—a very bright and intelligent girl. She has a very fine disposition.
- No. 2. That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Charles Asbury Harris was at the time of said discharge therefrom of the value of One Thousand dollars in money. The said Charles is a fine dining room servant—very handy & useful—a very bright intelligent boy—
- No. 3. That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Cornelius Hunt Harris was at the time of said discharge therefrom the value of eight Hundred Dollars in money. The said Cornelius is a very healthy strong boy. He is too young to be very useful now—but gives every indication of being a very valuable man. Your your Petitioner that she does not know of a single defect moral mental or bodily of either of said persons and believes that none such exist.
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 or either of
them 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 each
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 or either of them 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 value of her said claim to the service or labor of said persons or either of them 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.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Eliza Duvall, the within named petitioner 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 28th day of May A. D. 1862.
H. Naylor 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.