Title: Petition of Charles H. James, 10 June 1862
Date: June 10, 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.00649
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, Charles H. James,
as Trustee of the City of Washington 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 Priscilla Mason, Rachel Mason, and Lucinda Mason,—as Trustee persons of African descent of
of aforesaid respectively for and during the lives of said Persons, respectively and that by said act of Congress said Persons respectively were discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Persons respectively were of the ages and of the personal description following:(1)
- Priscilla Mason, about Thirty One years of age, about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, Brown Color, very fine and Capable House Servant, and Strictly honest—
- Rachel Mason, about Twenty Eight years of age, about 5 feet 6.—inches high dark brown color, very fine cook, washer and ironer, good House Servant, polite and kind in her deportment, and Strictly honest—
- Lucinda Mason, about Twenty-two years of age, about 5. feet 4—inches high Dark brown Color—very highly gifted; fine House Servant, very trusty, good humored, [sings?] very well, in fact, a very superior coloured woman.
That your petitioner acquired his claim as Trustee to the aforesaid service or labor of said Persons in manner following:(2) By deed of Trust from Sarah Holmead to Said Petitioner, Charles H James—which is hereto annexed.
That your petitioner's said claim to the service or labor of said Persons were was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of $3000 dollars in money.(3) To wit:
|Priscilla Mason, good House Servant, washer and ironer, Strictly honest and well behaved woman worth||$1000:|
|Rachel Mason, Very fine Cook, washer and ironer, good House Servant, polite and kind in the discharge of her duties & strictly Honest worth||$1000|
|Lucinda Mason—very highly gifted, fine House Servant, very trusty, good humored, [sings?] well, in fact a very superior Coloured woman in many respects, worth||$1000|
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 Persons or Either of them into the
District of Columbia since the passage of said act of
Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Persons respectively were
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 Persons or Either of them 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 as Trustee aforesaid to the service or labor of said Persons respectively 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.
Chas H James
Matilda S Holmead
Charles H James
W. Brent clk
This indenture made this thirteenth day of October in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight hundred and forty between Sarah Holmead of the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, of the one part and Charles H. James of the Same place of the other part, witnesseth that the said Sarah Holmead for and in Consideration of the Sum of Five dollars current money, to her in hand paid by the Said Charles H. James the receipt of which she doth hereby acknowledge Hath granted bargained and Sold, and by these presents doth grant bargain and Sell unto the said Chas. H. James his heirs Executors, administrators or assigns, the following named Slaves to wit: Lucy about Thirty five years of age, Frances about Fourteen years of age, Louisa, about Twelve years of age, Priscilla about Ten years of age, Rachel about Eight years of age and [Lacinda?] (Lucinda) about Three months old, and the future increase of each and every one of said female Slaves—To Have and To Hold the said negro Slaves and their increase as aforesaid, to and unto the said Charles H. James his executors administrators and assigns, for the following purposes and none other, to wit: In Trust, for the Sole, Separate and Exclusive use benefit and behoof of the said Sarah Holmead during her natural life, and immediately after her death, To Hold the same In Trust for the sole, Separate and Exclusive use benefit and behoof of Matilda S. Holmead, free from the Control or management of an future Husband or Husbands She may marry, and nor to be liable or responsible for his debts; and to convey the same to such person or persons as the said Matilda S. Holmead in her lifetime by writing executed in the presence of two or more witnesses, may direct, or by last will and testament executed so as to pass personal Estate, shall direct and appoint, and in default of such appointment, then to Hold the same, to and for the use and benefit of Emily V. James and Mary Ellen James, Share and Share alike—
In testimony whereof the said Sarah Holmead party of the first part hath hereto subscribed her name, and affixed her seal the day and year first within written.—
Sarah Holmead seal
Signed sealed & delivered in the presence of us
J Dawson James
Washington County, to wit.—
On this thirteenth day of October AD 1840, personally appears before the subscriber a Justice of the Peace, in and for the said County Sarah Holmead party to the aforegoing Instrument of writing, and acknowledges the same to be her free act and deed, for the purposes therein expressed and none other—
Hy Naylor J. Peace seal
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Charles H. James 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.
Chas H James
Matilda S Holmead
Sworn to and subscribed before me this ninth day of June A. D. 1862.
John D. Clark J Peace
Sworn to and Subscribed by Matilda S. Holmead this 28 July 1862. before
Wm. R. Woodward clk
Charles H. James as Trustee
J. Dawson James
Leonard J. Middleton
Note (2.)-- No 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.)-- No 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.