Title: Petition of Mary E. Watts, 23 June 1862
Date: June 23, 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.00767
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 E. Watts of Saint Marys Co MD by this [no handwritten text supplied here] 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 this person of African descent of the name of Margaret Statesman for and during the life of said Margaret Statesman and that by said act of Congress said Margaret Statesman 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 Margaret Statesman worth six to eighteen dollars per month being of the age of Margaret Statesman is Forty six years old and of the personal description following:(1) Margaret is what would be called Black, about five feet four inches high. General health good. She is a resident of Washington for many years. She is a resident of Washington for many years. She is a good house servant.
That your petitioner acquired the claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Margaret Statesman in manner following:(2) My Father Richard H. Wattes of Saint Mary's County Maryland gave said Margaret to me a Slave for life. She has been Hired in Washington City D.C. Maney years She was & Has been my property for Maney years
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Margaret Statesman was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of said Margaret dollars $700.00 in money.(3) The reason I considered she was worth Five Hundred dollars is because she is a good house servant and worth from six to eight dollars per month here and is a woman of good character disposition. I state she has no blemish or settled disease that I am aware of.
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 person 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 person 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. Watts
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Mary E. Watts 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. Watts
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23rd day of June A. D. 1862.
H. Naylor J. Peace
Miss Mary E. Watts
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,jc, 2012-10-31 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.