Title: Petition of Mary Eliza Read, 20 June 1862
Date: June 20, 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.00739
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 Eliza Read of Montgomery County 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 one negro man a person of African descent of the name of Julius Cesar Skinner for and during the life of said Julius Cesar Skinner and that by said act of Congress said Julius Cesar Skinner is discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Julius Cesar Skinner was of the age of about fifty years and of the personal description following:(1) Julius Cesar Skinner is about 5 feet 5 inches high, very black complexion, & black eyes broad nose, and short woolly hair.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Julius Cesar Skinner in manner following:(2) Julius Cesar Skinner was purchased for (four hundred dollars) by my mother Mrs. Emily Beale living near Washington D. C from J. D. Hammack of Washington DC. Your petitioner purchased said Julius Cesar Skinner from her mother Mrs Emily Beale aforesaid for the sum of four hundred dollars, as shown by the accompanying bill of sale.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Julius Cesar Skinner was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of six hundred dollars in money.(3) as I was deriving an income of one hundred and twenty dollars per year for his hire at the U.S. Lunatic Asylum near Washington D.C where he had been employed for some time as a servant. I also received the same wages for his services, for many months previous at the U.S. Navy yard in this city. His board also was given in or formed a part of his wages. Your petitioner further avers that said Julius Cesar Skinner has no defect of a moral mental or bodily character to the best of her knowledge or belief.
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 Julius Cesar Skinner into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Julius Cesar Skinner 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 Julius Cesar Skinner 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 Julius Cesar Skinner 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. Read
I transfer all my wright Title and interest to Mrs. Emily Beale
J. D. Hammack
May 14th 1854. I transfer, all right & title & interest to M. E. Read for value—Received
Received of A Nailor two hundred dollars for [illegible] Caezar a slave for life and I do hereby warrant and defend against all claims whatsoever.
[illegible] Kent May 3d 1853
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Mary Eliza Reed 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.
M E Read
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 20 day of June A.D. 1862
Wm R. Woodward
1. Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately. [back]
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. [back]
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. [back]