Title: Petition of Samuel Higgins, 1 July 1862
Date: July 1, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 6. 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.00821
To the Commissioners under the Act of Congress approved April 16: 1862, entitled "An Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia."
Your petitioner, Samuel Higgins of Montgomery County State of Maryland, by this his petition in writing shows and states, that he 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 two persons of African descent of the names of Lucy and (her daughter) Lucinda, for and during the life of said Lucy and said Lucinda; and that by said Act of Congress said Lucy and said Lucinda were discharged and made free of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Lucy was of or about the age of forty eight years, of a dark color, about five feet six inches high, thick set, and of a sprightly appearance; said Lucinda was of or about the age of eight years, of light color about three feet six inches tall, and well built.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of the said Lucy and the said Lucinda under and by virtue of a deed of conveyance from John T. Vincent of Montgomery County Maryland to and in favor of your petitioner bearing date [no handwritten text supplied here] 1855, and duly recorded among the Land Records of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County Maryland.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Lucy and said Lucinda was at the time of said discharge therefrom of the value of Six hundred dollars in money for said Lucy, and of the value of Four hundred dollars in money for said Lucinda.
Your petitioner avers, that said Lucy is a strong, active, industrious and very valuable person capable of performing and who has performed the most efficient and valuable service and labor as a domestic in several households in Geo. Town in said District during the five years she has been hired therein, and that said Lucinda is a smart active well built child, and valuable as any one of her age of eight years can be.
And your petitioner avers that he knows of no moral mental or bodily infirmities or defects which can impair the value of your petitioner's claim to said service of labor.
Your petitioner hereby declares that he bears true and faithful allegiance to the government of the United States, and that he 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 avers that he has not brought said Lucy or said Lucinda into the District of Columbia since the passage of said Act of Congress; and that at the time of the passage thereof, said Lucy and said Lucinda 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 avers that his said claim to the service or labor of said Lucy and said Lucinda 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Lucy and said Lucinda herein above 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.
Wm. L. Dunlop
Atty. for Petitioner.
Washington County Sct.
I Samuel Higgins being duly sworn do depose and say that all the several matters & 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 other the several matters & things therein set forth and stated, as from the information of others I believe to be true in substance & in fact.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 1st day of July A. D. 1862.
Atty. for petitioner