Title: Petition of Eliza B. Mills, 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 6. 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.00665
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 Eliza B Mills of the City of Washington, in said District of Columbia, 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 a certain person of African descent of the name of Eliza Waters for and during the life of said Eliza Waters, and that by said act of Congress said Eliza Waters 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 Eliza Waters was of the age of about sixty-two years, and of the personal description following:—of color somewhat darker than the ordinary mulatto color, with short hair, about the middle stature, and with more activity of movement than is usual with persons of her age, but having no distinctive marks about her. That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Eliza Waters in the manner following; by purchase from Dr John McHenry of the City of Baltimore, about forty-six years ago, for the price of Three hundred dollars, She then being only about sixteen years of age, and if there was any written bill of sale it has been long since lost or mislaid, and that said purchase was made for your petitioner by the late Robert Mills, her husband, who has since departed this life. That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Eliza Waters was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Three hundred dollars in money, which value arises from the fact that she is of indispensable use to your petitioner, and is of general good health and with faculties less impaired than is usual with persons of her age.
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 Eliza Waters into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Eliza Waters 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 Eliza Waters 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 Eliza Waters 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.
Eliza B. Mills
Washington County ss
I Eliza B Mills 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.
Eliza B. Mills
Sworn to and subscribed before me this Ninth day of June A. D. 1862.
B. W. Ferguson J.P.
for the county and District aforesaid.