Title: Petition of Rachel Harrison, 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.00517

TEI/XML: cww.00517.xml



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, Rachel Harrison 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 the following described persons of African descent of the names of Edward WelshMary Ellen Bowman and Stanislaus Bowman for and during the life of said several named negroes or African people of colour​—who were her chief support and that by said act of Congress said several 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 Edward Welsh is about of the age of forty five and of the personal description following:(1) about five feet eight or ten inches in high, dark colour, not very robust; earned as a waiter of a public restaurant twenty dollars a month, recollects of no particular mark or scar about said Edward WalshMary Ellen Bowman is about five feet six inches high, dark colour, of delicate frame, no defect or infirmity known to your Petitioner, has been accustomed to wait on Petitioner, would earn sixteen dollars a month. Stanislaus Bowman is of dark colour. twenty five years old—about five feet ten or eleven inches high, very stout athlete and healthy, and is worth twenty dollars a month being a first rate waiter faithful and honest. The age of Mary Ellen Bowman is twenty five years. Hired Stanislaus for $16 a month when under age.


That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said in manner following:(2) that is to say Edward Welsh and Mary Ellen Bowman by descent from her father's estate who was at the time of his death a citizen and resident of Washington D. C. Stanislaus Bowman was born since the death of her father and became her property by birth. Her title to the same was acquired many years ago and she was then, has been since and is now a resident of Washington City D C

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said several named persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Twenty two hundred dollars in money.(3) She estamatesEdward Welsh as worth Five hundred dollars—Mary Ellen Bowman as of the value of Five hundred dollars and Stanislaus Bowman of the value of Twelve hundred dollars. She has already stated the wages earned by such persons to which she begs to refer. Has no knowledge of any defects or infirmities that will depreciate their value

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 Edward Mary were Slanislaus 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 negroes 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 several named 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.

(Signed by)
Rachal Harrison

[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]

I, Rachel Harrison 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.

(Signed by)
Rachel Harrison

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27th day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
John S Hollinghead
Notary Public
Petition of
Rachel Harrison
for compensation
for 3 negroes
Filed May 28, 1862
Wm Cox
Geo Mattingly
Your petitioner respectfully refers to Wm Cox Geo Matthigly of Washington City DC as a competent witness to prove the value of the said negroes named in this petition

 Note (1.)-- Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately.

 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.

Transcription and encoding: Kenneth J. Winkle, Janel Cayer, Rhiannon Root, and Brittany Jones.