Title: Petition of George W. Wren and Catherine A. Wren, 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 5. 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.00607
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 Petitioners residents of Washington City D. C. by this their petition in writing, represents and states, that they are persons 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 the following persons persons of African descent of the name of Alice Lewis, Oscar Lewis, Helen Lewis, Mashack Lewis, Cora Lewis, Sarah Curtis, Watlis Curtis, Henry Curtis, and George Cane for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress said persons 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 Alice Lewis was of the age of 42 years and of the personal description following:(1)
- 5 feet 1 inches high dark color, joint of little finger of the right hand off
- Oscar Lewis was of the age of 29 years 5 feet 8 inches high, dark color, scar under the chin
- Helen Lewis, 24 years 5 feet 1 inches high copper color, scar on her right wrist
- Mashack Lewis, 4 years, bright mulatto
- Cora Lewis, 2 years bright mulatto
- Sarah Curtis 32 years 5 feet 3 inches high copper color, scar in her forehead
- Watlis Curtis 11 years, [no handwritten text supplied here] feet [no handwritten text supplied here] inches high copper color, a very likely Boy
- Henry Curtis 6 months, copper color
- George Cane, 42 year 5 feet 8 inches high black
That your petitioner acquired their claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) by wills from Sarah S. Wren made in the year 1842 conveying George Cane to Catherine Ann Wren to have and to hold for her separate use and benefit said Catherine Ann Wren being the wife of George W. Wren. By will from Sinah E. Lee made in the year 1851 devising Alice Lewis Oscar Lewis Helen Lewis, Sarah Curtis with their increase, the remainder of the children in petition mentioned being the increase from said persons, to Catherine Ann Wren wife of George W. Wren to have and to hold to her separate use and benefit which said wills are of Record at Fairfax Court House Fairfax County Virginia
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of five thousand dollars in money.(3)That all of said persons are sound and healthy and free from any moral, mental, or bodily infirmity or defect That the adults are first rate servants and the children promising and likely
Your petitioner hereby declares that they
s true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the
United States, and that they have 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 they have not brought said persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons were 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 their said claim to the service or labor of said persons 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 their said claim to the service or labor of said persons 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.
Geo. W. Wren
Catharine A Wren
Extract from the Will of Sinah Lee, on record among the records of Fairfax County Court—
Seventh, my son in law George W. Wrenn to secure the payment of a debt due to me from him, having heretofore conveyed by deed dated the 19th day of November 1842 and duly recorded, to Richard K. Lee in trust, negro woman Alice and her two children Oscar and Helen, and I now desiring to give to my daughter Catherine Ann Wrenn, wife of the said George W. Wrenn, a sole and seperate estate in the said debt and security, for her seperate and exclusive use during her life, remainder to her children surviving at the time of her death and the children of such as may be dead, do hereby give and bequeath to my said daughter Catharine Ann Wren, the said debt and security for her sole and seperate use during her life, remainder to her children surviving at the time of her death, and the children of such as may be then dead, to take per stipes—I also give to my said daughter Catharine Ann Wrenn for her seperate and exclusive use free from the control of her husband, for and during her life, the following negroes and the increase of the females from the date hereof, to wit Sarah and her two children, James and an infant not named or name unknown, and at the death of my said daughter, I direct that the said negroes and the increase as aforesaid be equally divided amongst the children of my said daughter her surviving and the children of such as may be dead, to take per stipes;—But if my said daughter shall have no children or child, nor the descendants of such children or child her surviving, then she may by last will or letter of appointment in the nature thereof give the property and interest herein bequeathed to her use as aforesaid, to any of her blood kin that she may choose And the legal title to the property and interest herein given and bequeathed for the seperate use of my said daughter for life remainder over as aforesaid, I give to and vest in William S. Edwards, to be held by him in trust for the purposes of bequest and none other
By Tho: Moore D. C.
In the name of God amen, I Sarah S. Wren of the County of Fairfax & State of Virginia, being weak in body, but of sound and perfect mind and memory, do make and publish my last will and testament—in manner and form following—First—I give and bequeath to my beloved daughters Susan Wren and Elizabeth Wren, my woman Lucy (a slave for life) also to each of them one Bed with the quilts, Blankets &c. and all the furniture belonging to said Bed. I also give and bequeath to my daughter Susan Wren my large Brass andirons, my large table & one half of my large silver spoons. I also give and bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth Wren my Clock and one half of my large Silver spoons it is also my will and desire that my earthenware be equally divided between my daughters Susan Wren, Elizabeth Wren & my son Charles B Wren. I also give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Jane Davis my large bell mettal Kettle
I also give and bequeath to my beloved son Charles B. Wren, all my cows, sheep and hogs, also three beds & furniture (being the residue of my beds after the two above disposed of are selected) one Safe, half dozen chairs (first choice) also my small Kettle, my silver Ladle and german Silver spoons, and all my farming utensils including Cart & [illegible]; It is also my (will &) desire that my son Charles B. Wren be permitted to occupy my farm without charge until claimed by the heirs, and that he have, and I hereby give and bequeath to him all the Crops, either made, or making which may be on the place at my death—It is also my will and desire that the negro boy Alfred serve the balance of his time with my son Charles B. Wren.
And whereas George W. Wren is indebted to me (by note) in the sum of five hundred Dollars, which debt is secured by deed of Trust on negro man slave named George, and bearing date 21st day of October 1842, now it is my will and desire and I do hereby will and bequeath the said note of five hundred dollars; together with all my right title and interest in and to said Slave George to my daughter in Law Catharine A. Wren (wife of G W. Wren)) and her Child or Children for her or their only use & benefit. It is also my will and desire, and I hereby direct that all the rest residue & remainder of my property, not disposed of by this will, be sold as soon as possible after my death, and that the proceeds of said sale after the payment of my just debts & funeral expenses, be equally divided between (my daughters Susan Wren & Elizabeth Wren and my son Charles B. Wren.
Lastly I hereby appoint my son Albert Wren Executor of this my Last will and Testament; hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the fifteenth day of April in the Year of or Lord eighteen hundred & forty two.
Sarah S. Wren seal
Signed Sealed & published in presence of
This last will and Testament of Sarah S. Wren decd. was this day presented to the Court—and the same being proved by the oaths of James Thrift and John Crump subscribing Witnesses thereto,—is submitted to probate
S M Ball C. C.
S. M. Ball C. C.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, George W. Wren &
Catherine A. Wren 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 their
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 they believe to be true in substance and in
Geo. W. Wren
Catharine A Wren
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27th day of May A. D. 1862.
Thomas C Donn
Justice of the Peace for Washington County District of Columbia
George W. Wren &
Catherine A. Wren
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.