Title: Petition of Eleanor B. M. Hilleary, 11 July 1862

Date: July 11, 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.00879

TEI/XML: cww.00879.xml



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, Eleanor B. M. Hilleary of Maryland 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 labor against four persons of African descent of the names of William West, George Allen, Isaac Hamilton, & Spencer Snowden for and during the life of said lives of said persons and that by said act of Congress said persons 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 and of the personal description following:(1) William West about forty two years of age, very black complexion, and has lost the end one of his middle fingers; the particular hand not recollected but believed to be the left. He is not accessible at this time so as to specify the hand being in the employ of the Government. He is about five feet ten inches high, stout, straight & well made. George Allen about twenty four years old, about five feet four inches high. Brown or copper complexion. Isaac Hamilton, about twenty three years old; about five feet seven inches high, brown or copper complexion Spencer Snowden, about Eighteen years of age; about five feet high; dark brown complexion. These persons were all, at the approval of said act, and at this time, as far as the petitioner is advised, sound in body and mind—except as to the defect in said William's hand above mentioned, and which she allege, has never affected his value or capacity for labor—and she knows of no moral, mental, or bodily infirmities or defects which   impair the value of her claim to such service or labor, and she believes none whatever to exist—

That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) William West, and the mothers of Isaac and Spencer—before they were born—came to this petitioner in exchange for a sum of money bequeathed to her by the will of her Grandmother Elleanor [Muelsir?], of record in the Orphans Court of Prince George County, Maryland, and she has owned them ever since—now more than thirty years—George Allen she derived under the will of her Grandfather Sieghman Hilleary, also of record in the said Orphans Court, and has had him for about nineteen years

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of forty six dollars hundred dollars in money.(3)$4600:00: (Three years ago they could have sold for $6000:00). William, George & Isaac were worth, on the 16 Apl. last, $1200—each, & Spencer $1000:00 The first three are first quality farm hands—for all kinds of work, especially as teamsters and drivers, and Spencer equally valuable regard being had to the difference in their ages. The three first have hired for ten & twelve dollars per month: that is to say—William at that rate for eight years past, & the others at same rates for four years past. Spencer was hired for five dollars per month, & his clothes. He would now command more

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 persons 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 was 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 alleges, that her said claim to the service or labor 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 the said Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of her said claim to the service or labor of said 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.

(Signed by)
Eleanor B M Hilleary

[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]

I, Eleanor B. M. Hilleary 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.

(Signed by)
Eleanor B M Hilleary

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23d. day of May A. D. 1862. before me a justice of the peace of the State of Maryland, in & for Prince George County

A. S. Taft J. P.

I hereby certify that A S Taft Esquire before whom the aforegoing Oath appears to have been made, and who has subscribed the same, was, at the date thereof, one of the Justices of the Peace of the said state, in and for said County, duly elected, commissioned and sworn and that his signature thereto is genuine

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed the seal of the Circuit Court for Prince Georges County this 17th day of June 1862

Frederick Sasscer
Eleanor B. M. Hilleary
Filed July 11, 1862

 Note (1.)-- Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately.

 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.

Transcription and encoding: Kenneth M. Price, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Janel Cayer.