Title: Petition of Hope Thomas, 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.00593
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, Hope Thomas of the City of Washington DC by this my 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 a Slave person of African descent of the name of Ann Smoot for and during the life of said Ann Smoot and that by said act of Congress said Ann Smoot 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 Ann Smoot was of the age of Forty five years, and of the personal description following:(1) very dark brown, about five feet, five inches in height, quite stout, and lost her front upper teeth.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Ann Smoot in manner following:(2) She was purchased from Reuben Collins, of Washington City D.C. on the 31st day of August 1858. for the sum of Five hundred and twelve dollars, see bill and receipt hereunto attached.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Ann Smoot was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Four hundred dollars in money.(3)the said Ann Smoot, is a first rate servant good moral character, very obedient and good worker, perfectly healthy and has not been sick one day since I own her, and that I know of no infirmity or defect whatever.
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 Ann Smoot into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Ann Smoot 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 Ann Smoot 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 Ann Smoot 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.
Received of Hope Thomas Five Hundred and Twelve Dollars, ($512) being payment in full for the purchase of a negro-woman named Ann Smoot.—
The right and title to the said negro woman, I warrant and defend against the claims, of all persons whatsoever, and likewise warrant her sound and healthy in body and mind, and slave for life.
Given under my hand and seal in the City of Washington, D.C. this 31st day of August 1858.—
Reuben Collins Seal
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Hope Thomas 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 31st day of May A. D. 1862.
F. I. Murphey J. P.
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.