Title: Petition of Maria Clark, 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.00561
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, Maria Clark, of Montgomery County, State of Maryland 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 Jacob Stephens a person of African descent of the name of Jacob Stephens for and during the life of said Jacob Stephens and that by said act of Congress said Jacob Stephens 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 Jacob Stephens was of the age of about Forty five years— and of the personal description following:(1) Dark complexion about 5 feet 3 or 4 inches high rather stout well made
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Jacob Stephens in manner following:(2) Upon the settlement of her fathers estate, between Baley L Clark, and Mason E Clark, the property acquired by your petitioner at the time of said settlement was conveyed to Hanson Clark, as trust for your petitioner. All have departed this life
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Jacob Stephens was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of $800. dollars or more in money.(3)Jacob Stephens. Is a faithful and competent servant, and was to be exempt from service, as per manumission hereto annexed, he is now the principal means of support of your petitioner I know of no defect or infirmity which would impair his 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 Jacob Stephens into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Jacob Stephens 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 Jacob Stephens 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 her said claim to the service or labor of said Jacob Stephens 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, Maria Clark 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 29th day of May A. D. 1862.
H. Naylor J. Peace
Jno. A. Smith Clk
Know all men by these presents That I Maria Clark at present in the city of Washington in the District of Columbia for divers good causes and considerations [me?] thereunto moving have manumitted and set Free from slavery from and after my death and do hereby manumit and set free from slavery from and after my death as aforesaid my male Slave named Jacob Stephens the said Jacob Stephen being now about Forty three years of age and in good health—Witness my hand and seal this 20th day of April in the year Eighteen hundred and sixty
Maria Clark L.S.
Washington County to Wit
Be it known that on this 20th day of April 1860 before me the Subscriber a Justice of the Peace in and for Said county Personally appeared Mrs Maria Clark to me well known and acknowledged the foregoing Deed of Manumission to be her acknowledged deed
Given under my hand the say and year aforesaid
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.