Title: Petition of Elenora Knott, 2 June 1862
Date: June 2, 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.00566
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. Ellenora Knott, late of Georgetown, D. C. now of Baltimore, Md. 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 Betsey Wood, for and during the life of said Betsey Wood, and that by said act of Congress said Betsey Wood, 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 Betsey Wood was of the age of about thirty years and of the personal description following:(1) Dark Mullatto, fair looking, stout and well made, about five feet five inches high. She is in good health, and a valuable house servant.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the
aforesaid service or labor of said
Betsey Wood, in manner following:(2)
By purchase from George W. Biscoe
of Georgetown, D.C. on the 9th day of October 1858, for the sum of seven hundred and fifty
dollars, as per Bill of Sale hereunto annexed. Your Petitioner then
determined that when she should be repaid that amount, the said
Betsey should be freed. Betsey
has paid her $176:—therefore
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said
was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of five hundred & seventy four dollars ($574:) in money,(3)
being the balance after deducting the $176 from the
above $750. Your petitioner considers her worth more than that sum. She is a
valuable house servant, and your Petitioner knows of no moral, mental, or
bodily infirmities to impair her value, and does not believe that any such
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 Betsey Wood into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Betsey Wood 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 Betsey Wood, 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 Betsey Wood, 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.
Residence, 210, Madison St.
Know all men by these presents that I, George W. Biscoe of George Town and District of Columbia, for and in consideration of the sum of Seven Hundred and fifty dollars current money, to me in hand paid by Elenora Knott of George Town and District of Columbia aforesaid the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, have granted, bargained, sold and delivered, and by these presents do grant, bargain sell and deliver unto the said Elenora Knott a negro, woman named Betsey Wood aged about twenty six years.
I will warrant and defend the said slave to the said Elenora Knott her heirs, executors, and administrators and assigns, and against me, my heirs, Executors, and administrators and against every other person or persons whomsoever.
In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and affixed my seal this ninth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight.
George W. Biscoe seal
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Elenora Knott 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 30th day of May A.D. 1862.
Edwd. F. Brown
Claims 1 slave.
Georgetown, D. C.
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.