Title: Petition of Margaret Taylor, 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.00597
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, Margaret Taylor 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 slave, a person of African descent of the name of Hester Solomon for and during the life of said Hester Solomon, and that by said act of Congress said Hester Solomon, 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 Hester Solomon was of the age of about sixty years, and of the personal description following:(1) Dark copper, five feet two and one half inches high, without any distinguishing marks, and a female;
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Hester Solomon, in manner following:(2)
Know all me by these Presents that I Benjamin M. Brooke of the County of Fairfax and State of Virginia for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred Dollars in hand paid to me by Vincent Taylor of the said County and State the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, confessing myself fully paid and satisfyed, have given, granted, sold and delivered to said Vincent Taylor one Female Slave of a dark complection aged about fifteen years. The said female Slave I do by these presents oblige and bind myself, my heirs, executors and assigns in the penal sum of Four hundred Dollars, to the said Vincent Taylor, his heirs and assigns to warrant and defend the said female Slave to him them and all or any of them, against myself, my heirs and assigns, and against the claims and demands of all and every Person or Persons whatever to the said Vincent Taylor, his heirs and assigns
Witness my hand and seal this 1st day of April, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and twelve.
Benjn M. Brooke seal
Signed, Sealed and delivered in presence of
One Negro female Slave
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Hester Solomon, was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value to me of six hundred dollars in money.(3)she has been in my household, near fifty years; had nursed nearly all my children, and is endeared to all of them. She is in good health, and very active and capable of doing, in the best manner, all kinds of housework; is truthful, honest, and trustworthy, and to me is worth as much as two servants usually would be, having been accustomed to my household arrangements for the above time. Hence, she is to me invaluable. She is intelligent, religious, and I know of no infirmity or defect in her
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 Hester Solomon into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Hester Solomon 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 Hester Solomon 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 Hester Solomon 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, Margaret Taylor, of Georgetown, D.C. 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 20th day of May A. D. 1862.
Georgetown, D. C.
For value of Hester Solomon
Female slave emancipated.
Mrs. Mary Smoot,
Noble D. Larned.
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.