Title: Petition of Alexander McD. Davis and Martha A. Davis, 9 July 1862
Date: July 9, 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.00878
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 Petitioners, Alexander McD Davis & Martha A
of Washington City D. C. 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 four persons of African descent of the names of Harriet
Louisa McLane and her
three children, Julia,
Fanny for and during the life of said
Eugene and Fanny and
that by said act of Congress said four persons above named 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 persons were of the ages of viz: Harriet twenty five years,
Julia ten years,
Eugene seven years and Fanny
five years and of the personal description following:(1)
- Harriet Louisa is black; about five feet one or two inches high, compact, strong and healthy and about twenty five (25) years old.
- Julia is bright yellow; about four feet six or seven inches high, in perfect health and is about ten years old.
- Eugene is bright yellow, about three feet ten or eleven inches high, in perfect health and is about seven or eight years old.
- Fanny is very black, about three feet one or two inches high, very healthy and is five years old
That your petitioners acquired their claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said four persons in manner following:(2) At the birth Harriet, her mother was held to service for life by the father of Mrs. M. A Davis who is now one of your petitioners and wife of the other petitioner. The parents of Martha A Davis in Harriet's infancy gave her to said M. A. Davis and that the said Harriet has had three children since and that the three mentioned in this petition are the children of said Harriet
That your petitioner
's' claim to the
service or labor of said four persons was, at the
time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of three
thousand dollars in money.(3)The
above described persons are the descendants of persons held to service in
the family of your petitioners for many years. The mother
(Harriet) is a first class servant, kind, honest, industrious, and her three children are of the
most promising character, of perfect health and
Fanny who is somewhat knock-kneed but which defect can be remedied
Your petitioners hereby declare
s that they
bear s true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the
United States, and that they have not borne arms
against the United States in the present rebellion, nor
in any way given aid or comfort thereto.
And your petitioners further state
allege s, that they
have not brought said four persons or either of them into the District
of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that,
at the time of the passage thereof, said four persons
w asre held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your
petitioner 's' claim to such service
Your petitioner further states and alleges, that their said claim to the service or labor of said four 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 the said Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of our said claim to the service or labor of said four persons 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.
A. McD. Davis
Martha A Davis.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
We Alexr. McD Davis and
Martha A Davis 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
myour 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, Iwe believe to be true in substance and in
A. McD. Davis
Martha A. Davis.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 9th day of July A. D. 1862.
Wm. R. Woodward clk—
Martha A. Davis
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.