Title: Petition of Rebecca R. Darby, Ruth E. Darby, and James A. Darby, 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.00824
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, Rebecca R. Darby
& Ruth E. Darby, and James A.
Darby of Montgomery
County, Md by this their
petition in writing, represent
s and state s, that they are is a persons
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
Rachel Chambers a person
of African descent of the name of Rachel
Chambers for and during the life of said Rachel Chambers and that by
said act of Congress said Rachel
Chambers was discharged and freed of and from all claim
of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge
said Rachel Chambers was of
the age of and of the personal description following:(1)
She is about twenty six or seven years old: black: above
the medium height: her general health has always been good; she is a good
cook, can wash and iron well: is a good nurse in sickness watchful and
prudent: a first rate chambermaid and house servant, with intelligence and
practical experience which fit her for, and she is a good housekeeper: a
dairy woman, and can take charge of & superintend the planting and
management of a kitchen garden and knows how to raise and the management of
That your petitioners acquired their claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Rachel Chambers in manner following:(2) By gift from their father Aden Darby of Montgomery County Maryland about the year 1851 or 1852. (your petitioner Rebecca R, being the older of the two sisters & brother filed the claim in this case under the Statute in her own name, but intended it to be for the benefit of both herself & sister & brother) and they filed herewith the original bill of sale and stated further that her said brother is now & has been for a long time a cripple confined to his bed & incapable of transacting any business
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Rachel Chambers was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of one thousand dollars in money.(3)Your Petitioners further say that this girl Rachel ought to come up to the highest market value not only for the qualities they have already mentioned, but for her superior moral qualities her truthfulness, integrity, and devotedness to their interests, which led them to trust her without constraint, not only with the keys, but with access to all their moveables
Your petitioners hereby declare
s that they bear s true and faithful allegiance
to the Government of the United States, and that they has not borne arms against the
United States in the present rebellion, nor in any
way given aid or comfort thereto.
And your petitioners further states and alleges,
that they ha
s not brought said Rachel Chambers into the
District of Columbia since the passage of said act of
Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Rachel was held to service or
labor therein under and by virtue of your petitioner's claim to such service or
Your petitioners further state
allege s, that their said claim to
the service or labor of said Rachel
Chambers 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
And your petitioner prays the said Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of their said claim to the service or labor of said Rachel Chambers 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.
Rebecca. R. Darby
Rebecca R. Darby
Ruth E. Darby
James G. Hening Clk
Know all men by these presents that I Aden Darby of the County of Montgomery in the State of Maryland, for and in Consideration of the Natural love and affection which I have and bear to my daughters Rebecca R. Darby and Ruth R. Darby, and to my son James A. Darby, and for the further Consideration of the sum of fifty dollars current money to me in hand paid by the said Rebecca R. Darby and Ruth E. Darby before the execution and delivery hereof, have given bargained and sold, and I do hereby give bargain and sell to the said Rebecca R. Darby, & Ruth E. Darby, the following named negroes—slaves for life—to wit. Harriet aged about forty years, Thomas aged about twenty one years—Frank aged about nineteen years, Rachel aged about eighteen years, Robert Laura Janet and Maryella—To have and to hold the said negroes and their increase to the said Rebecca R. Darby and Ruth E. Darby and the survivor of them, and the executors administrators and assigns of such survivor, for and during the life of my son James E. Darby in trust, that the use hire and profit of the said negroes and their increase shall be applied to the support and maintenance of my said daughters and son equally and alike and from and after the death of my said son, should both my said daughters be then living, said negroes and their increase to be equally divided between them, but should either of them be then dead the survivor to have the whole.
In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal sixth day of May AD. 1852.
Aden Darby Seal
G S Etchison
Be it remembered and it is hereby certified that on this sixth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty two before me the subscriber a justice of the Peace of the State of Maryland in and for Montgomery County aforesaid, personally appears Aden Darby he being known to me to be the person who is named and described as and professing to be a party to the foregoing bill of sale or indenture, and doth acknowledge the said bill of sale or instrument of writing to be his act and deed. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name on the day and year aforesaid—
G S Etchison
Be it remembered that on this sixth day of May eighteen hundred and fifty two before me the subscriber a Justice of the Peace of the State of Maryland in and for said County personally appears Rebecca R. Darby, and Ruth E Darby and makes oath on the holy Evangely of Almighty God that the consideration mentioned in the above bill of sale is true and bona fide as therein set forth.
G S Etchison
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Rebecca R Darby 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.
Rebecca R Darby
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of June A. D. 1862.
H. Naylor J. Peace
Petition for a slave.
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.