Title: Petition of Nancy W. Balmain, 18 June 1862
Date: June 18, 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.00733
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, Nancy W
Balmain of Washington,
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 Four persons of African descent of the names of
Mary Jane Turley, &
Fanny & Martha Turley, her
children, and Charlotte Erving for and during the
feves of said Four named Persons and that by said act of Congress
said Four Persons 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 Mary Jane
Turley was of the age of 32 years or
thereabouts—Fanny Turley, of about 14 years,
Martha Turley of 12 years or thereabouts &
Charlotte Erving of the age of 50 years or thereabouts and of the personal
Mary Jane Turley is of a black
complexion, about 5 Feet high—erect in her carriage & slender. Her
Daughter Fanny is a light mulatto, about Four Feet
& a half in height, & her other Daughter Martha
is of the same complexion & near her height—and
Charlotte Erving is about Six Feet in height of a
black Color of a spare figure & erect carriage.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Four Persons in manner following:(2) Mary Jane Turley was inherited upon the [illegible] of her Father [illegible] Andrew Balmain, late of Virginia, & has been in the Petitioners possession & ownership for the last Thirty Years. Her children, Fanny & Martha were born while the said Mother was so held to service & labor by your Petitioner, & the said Charlotte Erving was purchased from the late Major W B Scott, in this city & John Cryer in & about the year 1842, as since will be seen by reference to the Records of the County Court.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Two thousand [nine?] hundred dollars in money.(3) She values Mary Jane Turley at $900. She is a good plain cook & washer woman & ironer & house servant in all its branches. Her health is good. Fanny, her daughter, is a tractable, intelligent girl, sews & knits, does house work generally—Martha, the other Daughter is smart & intelligent & does the same work as her Sister. Charlotte Erving, is a good cook & an Excellent Washerwoman & Ironer. Her health is fair. Your petitioner knows of no other infirmities or defects of said persons which impair the Value of her claim to such service or labor, & she believes none other to exist.
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 said Four named
Persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of
Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Four named Persons w
asere 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 Four named Persons 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 Four named Persons 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.
Nancy W. Balmain
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Nancy W Balmain 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.
Nancy W. Balmain
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 18th day of June A. D. 1862.
Saml Drury JP
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.