Title: Petition of John R. Ashby and Ellen G. Ashby, 12 June 1862
Date: June 12, 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.00661
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, Ellen G. Ashby and John R.
Ashby of the
District of Columbia by this their petition in writing, represent
and state s, that they
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 one
(1) person of African descent of the name of Alice Harris for and during the life of said
Alice Harris and that by
said act of Congress said Alice
Harris 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 Harris was of the
age of seventeen (17) years and of the personal
description following:(1)Of a
chestnut or deep copper colored complexion; large nose and thick lips; about
five feet four inches high; and speaks slowly when interrogated; and having
no prominent marks of identification.
That your petitioners acquired their claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Alice Harris in manner following:(2)Said Alice Harris together with her mother Lucy were in 1851 the property of your petitioner John R. Ashby derived by inheritance from his father; and were in that year in consideration of the sum of $350 conveyed by him to his brother Saml. T. Ashby of Fauquier County, Virginia, a memorandum in writing of which transfer is herewith submitted marked Exhibit (A). On the 20th of September 1854, in consideration of the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars, said Alice was conveyed by the said Saml. T. Ashby to your petitioner Ellen G. Ashby, wife of the aforesaid John R. Ashby, who now holds the said Alice in her own right by virtue of articles of agreement entered into with the said John R. Ashby prior to their marriage, in the year 1848 Bill of sale is herewith filed marked Exhibit (B).
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Alice Harris was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Eight hundred dollars in money.(3) Said Alice Harris is an excellent nurse and house servant; is strong and healthy. She has never lost time on account of sickness and is not subject to any chronic disease. Your petitioners have no knowledge of any moral mental or physical infirmities in said Alice Harris and believe that none exist.
Your petitioners hereby declares that they bear
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 petitioners further state
allege s, that they
have not brought said Alice Harris into the District of Columbia
since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage
thereof, said Alice Harris
was held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your
petitioner's claim to such service or labor.
Your petitioners further state
allege s, that their said claim to
the service or labor of said Alice
Harris 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 petitioners pray
s the said
Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of their said claim to the service or labor of said
Alice Harris 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.
John R. Ashby
Ellen G. Ashby
I have this day bought of John R Ashby a negro woman Lucy & Child Alice for which I am to pay three hundred and fifty dollars to Wm F. Phillips on or before the 10th day of September 1851 given under my hand & seal this the 10th day of March 1851
Saml T. Ashby seal
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, John R. Ashby and
Ellen G. Ashby
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
our 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
we believe to be true in substance and in
John R. Ashby
Ellen G. Ashby
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 11th day of June A. D. 1862.
Chas Walter J.P. seal
Wm H. Baldwin
3rd St. E & F
Wm. B. Todd
C & 3rd St
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.