Title: Petition of Lucinda S. Matthews, 30 June 1862
Date: June 30, 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.00799
To the Commissioners under the act of Congress approved the Apr 16, 1862, entitled an act for the release of certain persons held to service or labour in the District of Columbia."
Your petitioner, Lucinda S. Matthews of George Town District of Columbia, Executrix of Henry C. Matthews late of said District deceased, by this her petition in writing states that she's a person loyal to the United States, whose said testator at the time of the passage of said act of Congress held a claim to service and labour against seven persons of African descent, of the names of Dennis Berry, William Sybolt, Lucinda Ross, Eliza Jane Somers, Mary Curtis, Madeline Curtis, & Agnes Curtis, for and during the lives of the said seven named persons respectively, and that by said act of Congress said seven persons were discharged and freed from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labour; that at the time of said discharge, said Dennis was 54 years old, stout made very black and of a medium height. William was 21 years old, well made, copper coloured, & of a medium height. Lucinda Ross, was 51 years old, well made, dark copper coloured & of a medium size. Eliza Jane Somers was 22 years old, very stout, dark colour, and of medium height. Mary Curtis was 39 years old, well made, & stout—Madeline Curtis was 5 years old very black and of ordinary height. Agnes Curtis was 2 years old black and of usual size.
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labour, of said seven persons, in manner following: The said Henry C. Matthews acquired Dennis Berry, the mother of William Sybolt, Lucinda Ross, & Eliza Jane Somers, under the last will and testament of Alexander Matthews dated April 15, 1842 and admitted to probate in the Orphans Court of Charles County Maryland, about two years afterwards. William Sybolt was born of a woman while said woman was owned by the said Henry C. Matthews—Mary Curtis (Jackson) was born of Susan Jackson while Susan was owned by the said H. C. Matthews, and Madeline & Agnes were born of said Mary Curtis while said Mary was owned by said H. C. Matthews. These persons were all bequeathed to his children by the will of said H. C. Matthews admitted to probate May 10, 1862 by the Orphans Court of Washington County in the District of Columbia, and your said petitioner received letters Testamentary upon the estate of said H. C. Mattews deceased, on the 15th day of May 1862.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labour of seven persons was of the value of Two thousand five hundred and fifty Dollars in money. Dennis Berry is a fine, No 1. farm hand, has been the foreman upon the said H. C. Matthews' farm in Maryland, and at the time of discharge was hired as cook at the Washington Navy Yard for one Hundred and Twenty Dollars. Is strong and healthy, and a really fine servant. William Sybolt is a fine horse servant and hostler, was hired at the Washington Navy Yard as horse servant at $120 per annum. Is a fine looking man, and free from all defects. Lucinda Ross is a first class cook & washerwoman & has been hired for six Dollars a month. Is sound and healthy. Eliza Jane Somers, is a young, strong, and healthy woman of fine character, a first class cook & washer woman has been hired as such for six dollars a month. She is a valuable and faithful girl. Mary Curtis is a fine house servant & splendid washer woman and has been your petitioner's house servant & washerwoman the usual rate for services is six Dollars a month. Madeline Curtis is Mary's child and worth Two Hundred Dollars. Agnes Curtis has died since the filing of the schedule, under this Act of Congress. Dennis Berry is worth, $1000. William Sybolt is worth $1400. Lucinda Ross is worth $700. Eliza Jane Somers is worth $1200. Mary Curtis is worth $1000. And your petitioner knows of no defect, moral, mental or physical, in any of said persons which does at all impair their said values.
Your petitioner hereby declares & states that she bears true and faithful allegiance to the government of the United States & that she hath not borne arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any manner given aid or comfort thereto.
And your petitioner further states and alleges that these seven persons before named, have not been brought into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that at the time of the passage thereof, said persons were held to service or labour therein under and by virtue of your petitioner's testators claim to such service or labour.
Your petitioner further states and alleges that her said claim to the service or labour of said 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 said Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of this said claim to the service or labour of said persons herein before set forth; and if the same be found 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.
Lucinda S Matthews Executrix of
Henry C. Matthews deceased
Lucinda S Matthews
Anne E Matthews
Mary C Matthews
William L Matthews
Charles M. Matthews
District of Columbia to wit
I, Lucinda S. Matthews being duly sworn do depose and say that all the several matters and things which are set forth & stated in the aforegoing petition, as of my own knowledge are true in substance and in fact; and that all the several matters and things therein set forth stated as from the information of others, I believe to be true in substance and in fact.
Lucinda S Matthews
Executrix of Henry C. Matthews deceased
Lucinda S Matthews
Anna E. Matthews
Mary C. Matthews
W L Matthews
Charles M. Matthews
The above oath was [illegible] & subscribed before me by Lucinda S. Matthews, Mary C. Matthews, Anne E. Matthews this third day of November 1862.
J. Peace seal
Sworn to by Charles M & William L Matthews before me this fourth day of November A.D. 1862.
Wm R. Woodward clerk
Lucinda S. Matthews
Henry C. Matthews
Philip J. Berry
Alex Beall at [illegible] office