Title: Petition of Elsey Curtis, 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.00587
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, Elsey Curtis, (colored) of Georgetown, 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 one female person of African descent of the name of Madaline Curtis, for and during the life of said Madaline Curtis, and that by said act of Congress said Madaline Curtis 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 Madaline Curtis was was of the age of about five years, and of the personal description following:(1) Dark brown color, usual size for her age, stout and well made, and in good health.
|I paid on the day of purchase, July 9. 1860||$50.00|
|I paid Sept. 1, 1860, $37.87, Aug. 19. 1861. $10.—||47.87|
|I have paid in work, per Bill herewith||11.25|
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Madaline Curtis in manner following:(2) Mary Curtis, the Wife of your Petitioner, and the mother of Madaline, being the slave of Henry C. Matthews (now deceased) of Georgetown, your Petitioner purchased said Madaline of said Matthews on the 9th of July 1860, for one hundred and twenty five dollars.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Madaline Curtis was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of three hundred dollars in money.(3)She is in good health, and is as useful as most children of her age. He has no knowledge of any infirmity or defect to impair her value, and does not believe that any such exists.
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 Madaline Curtis into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Madaline 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 Madaline Curtis 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 Madaline Curtis 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.
his X mark. Elsey Curtis
Robt. W. Fenwick
Edm. F. Brown
|Mr henry Mathis Debtor to [Curtis?] for hawling and [foure?] loads of leaves at 37 cents a load||$1.50|
|for sawing and spliting Wood||$1.100|
|for puting away [salry?]||.50|
|for hawling three loads from the Church of brush at 25 a load||-.75|
|five load of brush from the Country||$7.50|
Received 19 August 1861. of Elsey Curtis the sum of Ten Dollars—in part payment of a sum remaining due to me from him.
H. C. Matthews
Received Geo: Town D.C Sept 17, 1860 of Elsey Curtis colored thirty-seven & 87 ½/100 dollars, on a/c of agreement to liberate negro child "Madeline" daughter of said Elsey & Mary Curtis, said agreement being made July 9th 1860—
Henry C. Matthews
by Charles M. Matthews
Received George Town D. C. July 9th 1860 of Elsey Curtis, fifty Dollars, it being in part payment of the sum for which I agree to liberate Madeline a slave negro daughter of said Elsey Curtis & Mary Curtis; said Child being now about Three—years of age, and this agreement is upon the express condition that the balance due, to wit, the sum of seventy five Dollars be paid within one year from this date, with Interest from date & when said payment is made, I bind myself to make execute & deliver full & perfect emancipation papers to said Child.
H. C. Matthews
37 87 ½
97 87 ½
|July 9. 1860—||50.00|
|Sept. 1. 1860—||$37.87|
|Aug. 19. 1861—||10.00|
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Elsey Curtis 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.
his X mark Elsey Curtis
Robt. W. Fenwick
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of May A. D. 1862.
Edm. F. Brown
Claims 1 Slave.
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.