Title: Petition of Leonora M. Williams, 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.00708
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, Leonora M. Williams of Washington D.C. 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 three persons of African descent of the names of Charlotte, Nancy and John for and during the life of said Charlotte, Nancy and John and that by said act of Congress said Charlotte, Nancy and John 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 Charlotte, Nancy and John were of the ages of sixty six years, thirty years, and nine years, respectively in the order named. and of the personal descriptions following:(1)
- Charlotte Jones about 66 years old—a [illegible], hearty female servant an excellent cook, and quite healthy—Black
- Nancy Carter about 30 years old, about five feet five inches of copper color—healthy
- John Hawkins about 9 years old, a very fine well-grown boy, useful and handy as a house-servant
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Charlotte, Nancy & John in manner following:(2) Her husband John Williams before their intermarriage was possessed of them, and by deed to that end duly made & recorded in the Land Records for Washington County District of Columbia, in Liber J. A. S. No. 211 fol. 154 conveyed the said slaves, to Frederick W. [Jones?] upon trusts, among others, that he shared slaves possessed of them to and for the sole and separate use of the petitioner as by reference thereto will appear, and she makes this petition, and her Trustee joins therein only nominally, he having no interest therein.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Charlotte, Nancy & John was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Eighteen Hundred dollars in money.(3) Inasmuch as she is not aware of any mental, moral or bodily defect in either of them, that they are Excellent house-servants, very healthy, and are assessed for taxes and the assessment paid, at the valuation of fourteen hundred dollars.
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 before named into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons as before named 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 before named 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 persons as before named 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.
Leonora M. Williams
F. W. Jones Trustee for Leonora M. Williams
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Leonora M. Williams 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.
Leonora M. Williams
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 17th day of June A. D. 1862.
Saml Drury JP
Record of 1855 1856 of slaves.
J. Johnson Smith Pension office.
Mrs Mary E. Dyer.
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.