Title: Petition of Catherine S. Lyons, 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.00769
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, Catherine S. Lyons of Washington City 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 Lucretia Bembrage, Issaac Bembrage, Maria Bembrage and Charles Bembrage persons of African descent of the names of Lucretia Bembrage, Issaac Bembrage, Maria Bembrage & Charles Bembrage. for and during the life of said persons as aforesaid and that by said act of Congress said persons as aforesaid 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 Lucretia Bembrage Issaac Bembrage, Mariah Bembrage and Charles Bembrage were of the ages of Lucretia 35 years, Issaac 10 years, Mariah 8 years and Charles 5 years. and of the personal description following:(1)
- Lucretia Black color about 5 feet 7 inches in height
- Issaac mulatto about feet inches in height
- Mariah Bright Mulatto about feet inches in height
- Charles" " " " " "
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons as aforesaid in manner following:(2) By gift from her aunt Miss Serena Simmons of Frederick County Maryland in March 1859 when she was placed in the full possession & where they have been held to service until the passage of the act of Congress by which they have been emancipated.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said persons as aforesaid was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Twenty Eight Hundred dollars in money.(3) viz.
|Lucretia||One thousand Dollars|
|Issaac||Eight Hundred "|
|Mariah||Six " "|
|Four " "|
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 as aforesaid 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 aforesaid were 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 as aforesaid 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 aforesaid 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.
Catherine S. Lyons
July 21st, 1862
This is to certify that I Serena Simmons of Frederick County and State of Maryland did prior to the month of March 1860 give to my niece Catherine S. Lyons of the City of Washington District of Columbia, as her own absolute property my negro slaves Lucretia and her three children, who were then and had for some years previous been in the possession of the said Catherine S. Lyons.
Witness my hand on the day and year about written
Annie M. Dade
Wm. J. Ross—
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Catherine S. Lyons 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.
Catherine S. Lyons
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23rd day of June A. D. 1862.
John S. Hollingshead Notary Public
Subscribed and Sworn to by Joseph Lyons before me this 16th day of July 1862
Wm R. Woodward clk
Catherine S. Lyons
E. M. Chapin
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.