Title: Petition of John A. Smith, 29 May 1862
Date: May 29, 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.00549
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, John A. Smith of Washington DC 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 fourteen persons of African descent of the names of Isaac Mason, Charlotte Betty. Henry, Anthony, Aldezina, Frank, Mary, Ellen Clark, Jane, Leonard, Caroline Emily & Bill Woodley for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress said 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 Isaac Mason was of the age of sixty years and of the personal description following:(1)
- black man about five feet eight inches in height
- Charlotte, black woman about five feet two inches in height fifty five years of age.
- Betty is a chestnut colored woman about five feet three or four inches in height. twenty seven years of age
- Henry is a black man over six feet in height twenty two years of age
- Anthony black man nearly six feet in height twenty one years of age
- Aldezina, black girl thirteen years of age
- Frank dark chestnut colored boy six years old
- Mary black girl three years old
- Ellen Clark black mulatto woman five feet six inches in height about forty two years of age
- Jane, mulatto woman about five feet one or two inches in height, eighteen years of age
- Leonard five feet eight inches in height is a dark mulatto boy seven years of age
- Caroline mulatto girl fourteen years of age
- Emily mulatto girl nine years of age
- Bill Woodley black man about five feet seven inches in height, twenty years of age
- Isaac Mason is a valuable farm hand, very steady and trusty valued at $500—
- Charlotte is a very active and industrious woman a good cook, ironer, washer and dairy woman valued at $500—
- Betty is a good house servant, nurse and cook slight in figure, but strong and healthy valued at $800
- Henry is honest and industrious, a very good farm hand strong and healthy valued at $1000—
- Anthony is honest, strong and healthy a good farm hand valued at $1000
- Aldezina is a smart active girl valued at $500—
- Frank is a smart and active boy valued at $400—
- Mary is a strong and healthy child valued at $200
- Ellen Clark is a stout and strong woman a good cook, washer, and dairy woman valued at $800—
- Jane is very strong and healthy a good house servant and nurse valued at $800
- Leonard is stout strong and healthy a good farm hand and house servant valued at $1000
- Caroline is a strong and healthy house servant valued at $600
- Emily is very smart and active, strong and healthy valued at $500
- Bill Woodley is a strong and healthy farm hand valued at $1000
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said fourteen persons in manner following:(2) Isaac Mason was bought by Petitioner from Mr. Thos. Peter of Lexington about the year 1830—
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said fourteen persons were
was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of nine thousand six hundred dollars in money.(3)
Ellen and her child Jane named in
this petition were given to me about seventeen years back by my sister
Mary who is now dead & at her request or by a
tacit understanding in the Family Ellen,
Jane & the children of
Ellen since born to wit
Leonard, Caroline &
Emily have been called & considered as
belonging to my following children to wit Rebecca,
Samuel & Mary who now join
in this Petition & take this oath set out & respectfully ask that
the compensation for said value be paid over to their Father the
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 persons 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
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 persons 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said 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.
Jno A. Smith
Saml P. Smith
R. M. Pheonix
Mary C. Smith
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
We John A. Smith
R. M. Pheonix
S. P. Smith & M. C. Smith
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
our 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
we believe to be true in substance and in
Jno A. Smith
Saml P. Smith
R. M. Pheonix
M. C. Smith
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 28 day of May A. D. 1862.
H. Naylor J. Peace
Petition of John A. Smith
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.