Title: Petition of Sarah T. Simpson, 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.00564

TEI/XML: cww.00564.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, Mrs. Sarah T. Simpson, of Georgetown, 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 one female person of African descent of the name of Ellen Worthy for and during the life of said Ellen Worthy and that by said act of Congress said Ellen Worthy 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 Ellen Worthy was of the age of about forty years, and of the personal description following:(1) Bright chesnut​ color, about five feet six inches high, well proportioned, healthy except a slight tumor in the side; and of extraordinary abilities as a house servant.


That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Ellen Worthy in manner following:(2) By purchase from Thomas Bayne on the 20th day of May 1853, for three hundred and fifty dollars, as appears from a Bill of Sale to her late Husband Richard Gibson deceased which is herewith presented. Said Ellen Worthy is now held under a Marriage Contract in Trust for her, by William B. Todd and William H. Ward, Trustees.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Ellen Worthy was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of five hundred dollars in money.(3)She believes her worth that amount because one person expressed a willingness to buy her at that price before the Act passed, and many have pronounced her a valuable servant and been anxious to buy her. She believed that no mental, moral, or bodily infirmities exist to impair her value, except the slight tumor in her side, before referred to.

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 Ellen Worthy into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Ellen Worthy 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 Ellen Worthy 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 Ellen Worthy 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)
Sarah T. Simpson
No. 59, Congress St. Georgetown, D. C.
Bill of Sale
from Thos Bayne
Richard Gibson
Ellen Worthy
Slave for life.

Know all men by these presents that I Thomas Bayne of the City of Washington District of Columbia for and in consideration of the Sum of Three hundred and fifteen dollars current money to me in hand paid by Richard Gibson of the City and District aforesaid, at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof I the said Thomas Bayne, do hereby acknowledge—have granted, bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain and sell unto the said Richard Gibson his heirs and assigns, one Negro woman named Ellen Worthy, aged about thirty one years, a Slave for life. To Have and to Hold the said Ellen Worthy unto the said Richard Gibson, his heirs executors, and assigns—but not to be sold out of the District of Columbia In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Twentieth day of May one thousand eight hundred and fifty three—

Thos. Bayne seal
Signed sealed and delivered in presence of
John D. Clark
W A Barnaclo
In 1853— 31 years
1862— 9

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

I, Sarah T. Simpson 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)
Sarah T. Simpson>

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

(Signed by)
Edm. F. Brown
Notary Public.
Mrs. Sarah T. Simpson,
Claims one Slave.
59, Congress St. Georgetown, D.C.
Filed May 29, 1862
Refer to
Wm. H. Ward Esq​.
and Wm. B. Todd Esq​.
Pa. Av. betw​. 6 & 7th. Sts.
Also, to
Edmund F. Brown,
Notary Public.

 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: Courtney Rebecca Lawton, Janel Cayer, and Susan C. Lawrence.