Title: Petition of Mary Eleanor Tolson, 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.00670
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, Mary Eleanor Tolson of the County of Washn Dist. of Cola 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 person of African descent of the name of Henry MacKenry for and during the life of said Person and that by said act of Congress said Person 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 Henry MacKenry was of the age of Eleven years and of the personal description following:(1) Very Black, four feet One inch and a half high, Spare, and well made
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Henry MacKenry in manner following:(2) By purchase or Gift from John Tolsen & Geo Semmes of the Grand Mother of said Henry To wit: Polly was the mother of Sally, and Sally was the Mother of Henry MacKenry—the Boy claimed by your petitioner—which boy Henry your petitioner has raised—
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Henry MacKenry was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of $5 or 600 dollars in money.(3) Said Henry MacKenry is an honest and industrious Boy, and accustomed to House duties—perfectly healthy and free from any infirmity, Either bodily, mental, or moral, to the best of petitioners Knowledge—
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 Person into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Henry MacKenry 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 Person 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 Henry MacKenry 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.
Mary E Tolson
Know all men by these present that we John Tolson and George Semmes of Prince Georges County and State of Maryland, for the consideration of the Sum of five hundred Dollars current money, to us in hand paid by Mary E. Tolson of the County and State aforesaid the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge, have granted, bargained, sold and delivered and by these presents do grant, bargain sell and deliver unto the Said Mary E. Tolson the following named negro Slaves that is to say, Polly, and her three children Crissy, Henry and George which said negro slaves we will warrant and defend to the Said Mary E. Tolson her Executors administrators and assigns against us our Executors and administrators. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our names and affixed our Seals this nineteenth day of June Anno Domini Eighteen hundred and twenty two .
John Tolson seal
George Semmes seal
In presence of
Rezin B. Lock
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Mary Eleanor Tolson 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.
Mary E Tolson
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12th day of June A. D. 1862.
H. Naylor J. Peace
Watkins Tolson &
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.