Title: Petition of Samuel Byington, 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.00528
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, Samuel Byington of the City of Washington D. C. by this His petition in writing, represents and states, that he 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 Catherine person of African descent of the name of Catherine for and during the life of said Catherine and that by said act of Congress said Catherine 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 Catherine was of the age of thirty two years and of the personal description following:(1) Height about five feet. Complexion, dark Brown, Features regular, and of good bodily proportion
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Catherine in manner following:(2) By purchase, the 24 day of October 1849, from J. Ann Smoot of the City of Washington District of Columbia, for the sum of five hundred dollars in money. And held under written evidence, and title herewith exhibited.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Catherine was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of one thousand dollars in money.(3)The said Catherine being of good moral character, and strictly honest, a superior seamstress, good cook, Washer and ironer, and good housekeeper, of sound constitution and healthy, your petition avers that he knows of no infirmities or defect which impair the value of his claim, and believe none to exist.
Your petitioner hereby declares that he bears true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that he 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 he has not brought said Catherine into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Catherine 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Catherine 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Catherine 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.
Bill of Sale
Know all men by these presents, that I, Ann Smoot, of the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia for and in consideration of the sum of Five Hundred dollars, current money, to me in hand paid by Samuel Byington of the same place, at and before the Ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, Have bargained, Sold and delivered, and by these presents, Do bargain sell and deliver unto the said Samuel Byington my negro woman named Catherine about Nineteen years of age, and a slave for life—To Have and To Hold the said negro woman named Catherine unto the said Samuel Byington his Executors, administrators and assigns, to his and their own proper use and benefit, forever. And I, the said Ann Smoot for myself and my heirs, Executors and administrators, will warrant and defend the said negro woman unto the said Samuel Byington his Executors, administrators and assigns, from and against all persons and claims whatsoever and whomsoever—
In Testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name and affix my seal this 24th Oct.—day of October in the year 1849.—
Ann Smoot Seal
Signed, Sealed & deled In the presence of us
Martha A. Mitchell
On this 24th day of October 1849, personally appears Ann Smoot before the subscriber a Justice of the Peace in & for the said County, and acknowledges the within and foregoing Bill of Sale, to Samuel Byington, to be her free act and deed for the purposes therein Expressed, and the negro woman therein named to be the right and Estate of Saml Byington his Executors administrators and assigns forever.—
H. Naylor JP. J. Peace
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Samuel Byington 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.