Title: Petition of Maria Watterston, 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.00825
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 Maria Watterston of Washington City 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 labour against the following persons of African descent of the name of Virginia Clark and her five children Charles, Edmond, Jannet, Alexander and Washington Clark for and during the life of said Virginia Clark and her children Charles, Edmond, Jannet, Alexander & Washington Clark and that by said Act of Congress said Virginia Clark & her children Charles, Edmond, Jannet, Alexander & Washington Clark 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 Virginia Clark was of the age of 29 years Charles of the age of 9, Edmond of the age of 8, Jannet of the age of 5, Alexander of the age of 4 and Washington of the age of one year and of the personal description following:
- Virginia Clark a mulatto about five feet six inches in hight large frame and spare figure
- Charles Clark, light mulatto, short & round
- Edmond Clark, Mulatto
- Jannet Clark light mulatto
- Alexander Clark, Mulatto
- Washington Clark, dark Mulatto
That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid Service or labor of said Virginia Clark, Charles Clark, Edmond Clark, Jannet Clark, Alexander Clark and Washington Clark in manner following: the mother of Virginia Clark was purchased of the estate of Louisa Magruder of Prince Georges County Md and Virginia Clark was born during the term of Service or labor of her mother—The Children of Virginia Charles, Edmond, Jannet Alexander and Washington Clark were held to Service or labor by virtue of your petitioners claim to the service of their mother
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Virginia, Charles, Edmond, Jannet, Alexander and Washington Clark was, at the time of said discharge therefrom of the value of Five thousand dollars seven hundred dollars in money Virginia Clark is a valuable house servant—washes and irons well and is a good Cook, is honest, industrious and faithful and to your petitioner as a nurse & friend cannot be replaced by another. She is valued at $1200—Has no infirmities or defects Charles, Edmond, Jannet & Alexander are useful and capable They have no bodily infirmities or defects known to petitioner and are valued at $500. for Charles, $300 for Edmond $300 for Jannet and $300 for Alexander—Washington is healthy and is of the value of $100—
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 Virginia, Charles, Edmond, Jannet, Alexander and Washington Clark into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that at the time of the passage thereof said Virginia, Charles Edmond Jannet Alexander & Washington Clark were held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your petitioners claim to such service or labour.
Your petitioner further states and alleges that her said claim to the service or labor of said Virginia, Charles, Edmond Jannet Alexander & Washington Clark 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 services or labour of said Virginia, Charles, Edmond, Jannet, Alexander & Washington Clark 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—
Washington County, ss.
I Maria Watterston 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.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of June A.D. 1862
P. McKenna J. P.