Title: Petition of Harriet R. Marshall, 17 June 1862

Date: June 17, 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.00697

TEI/XML: cww.00697.xml



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, Harriet R. Marshall of Prince Georges County in the State of Maryland 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 two persons one male the other a female person of African descent of the names of respectively of Rezin Gantt and Nancy Gantt, his wife for and during the life of said Rezin & Nancy 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 Rezin was about 52 years old and said Nancy about of the age of fifty years as nearly as your petitioner ascertains and of the personal description following:(1) Said Rezin is about 5 feet 9 inches high, very black, rather pleasant face, & slow of speech Said Nancy is copper coloured​, very thin face, long & rather straight hair for her race


That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said servants respectively in manner following:(2) from her mother Ellena A. H. Marshall late of the District of Columbia deceased in consideration of natural love and affection, by her last will & testament a true copy of which is herewith filed

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said servants was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Five Hundred & fifty dollars in money.(3)Said Rezin is a good farm hand and capable & trusty—and free from moral mental or bodily infirmities or defects impairing your petitioners claim to his Services. Your Petitioner avers she knows of no such infirmities or defects. Said Nancy was formerly a fruitful, worthy and excellent nurse, but in the month of July last sickened, and was struck with paralysis by which her value is greatly diminished. Your Petitioner knows of no other infirmity or defect mental, moral or physical impairing the value of her Services to your Petitioner

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 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 Servants respectively 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 persons respectively 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 Servants 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.

(Signed by)
Harriet R. Marshall

In the name of God, Amen, I Eleanor A. H. Marshall of the District of Columbia being sick and weak of body but of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof and being anxious to settle my worldly affairs and be thereby the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence do make and publish this my last will and testament in form following that is to say.

First and principally I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty God and my body to the earth to be deacently​ buried at the discretion of my executor hereinafter named and after my debts and funeral charges are paid I leave and bequeath as follows,

Item, I give unto my Daughter H. R. Marshall the following servants Rezin, Nancy, Hannah, Isreal, Frank, Mariah, & Easter one red chair provided she relinquishes a note held by her guardian against me for $225, this property to be paid to her when she arrives at the age of eighteen years.—

Item, I give to my son Geo R. H. Marshall the following servants Jim, Daniel, Martha, Nelly, Becky, Lucy & Minty King, Silver can gold watch beds furniture & china. This property to be paid over by my Executor on the first day of January 1854 but to be held and used by my Executor as well as the property named in first Item until the days therein named for payment to raise the sums necessary to pay my debts funeral charges small legacies &c

Item, I give and bequeath unto my neiceElizabeth H Clagett, the sum of one hundred dollars & one carpet.

Item I give to my Grandson Thomas H. Marshall, Negro boy Dora & one dozen tea spoons.

Item I give one hundred dollars to Ackkuck church for the purpose of erecting a pulpit therein to be paid over by my Executor whenever he may find it convenient within two years from my death

None of my servants named in the will are to be sold out of the D. C.


Item, All the rest and residue of my property of every description I give to my son Thomas Marshall & lastly I hereby constitute & appoint my son Thomas Marshall Executor of this my last will & testament.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 15th day of October 1852

Eleanor A. H. Marshall seal

Signed sealed published and declared by Eleanor A. H. Marshall the above named testatrix as and for her last will & testament in the presence of us who at her request and in her presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto

John H. Hardesty
Ann C. Hardesty.

This day appeared John H. Hardesty one of the subscribing witnesses to the aforegoing last will and testament of Eleanor A. H. Marshall late of Washington County aforesaid deceased, and made oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God that he did see the testatrix therein named sign and seal this will that she published pronounced and declared the same to be her last will and testament that at the time of so doing she was to the best of his apprehension of sound and disposing mind, memory & understanding and that he together with Ann C. Hardesty the other subscribing witness respectively subscribed their names as witnesses to this will in the presence & at the request of the testatrix & in the presence of each other

And at the same time appeared Thomas Marshall the Executor named and made oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, that the aforegoing instrument of writing is the true whole & last will & testament of Eleanor A. H. Marshall deceased that hath come to his hands or knowledge & that he doth not know of any other

Test. Ed. N. Roach Regr​ Wills.

I certify that the foregoing is a true copy from the Original filed and recorded in the office of the Register of Wills for Washington County aforesaid

Witness my hand and seal of Office this 30th day of May in the year 1862

Moses Kelly
Register of Wills.

[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]

I, Harriet R. Marshall 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.

(Signed by)
Harriet R Marshall

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
F. I. Murphey J. P.
Marshall 1 Ex
Harriet R. Marshall
Filed June 17, 1862
B & B

 Note (1.)-- Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately.

 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.

Transcription and encoding: Nima Najafi Kianfar, Janel Cayer, and Kenneth J. Winkle.