Title: Petition of Cornelius S. Wildman, 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.00887

TEI/XML: cww.00887.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, Cornelius S Wildman Guardian of Washington City DC. by this his petition in writing, represents 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 as said Guardian for his Children, against Four persons of African descent of the names of Cely Hill, Eliza Brown, & Annie, her Daughter & Thomas Scifas, or Cephas. for and during the lives of said Four named Persons and that by said act of Congress said Four named 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 Cely Hill was of the age of Fifty five—Eliza Brown of the age of Twenty Years—Annie, one year & a half, & Thomas Sifas of the age of Ten or Eleven Years or thereabouts and of the personal description following:(1) Cely Hill—of a Black complexion—about 5 Feet 6 Inches in height—Eliza Brown, Same color, about F 5, 4 Inches—Annie—Black—Thomas Black—F 4, 3 I. in height or thereabouts


That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Four named Persons in manner following:(2) As Guardian of his Seven Children, by appointment of Orphans' Court of this District to which reference is hereby made,—Cely Hill has been [so?] held by your Petr.​ since 1834—Eliza Brown was purchased from Brian E Hill, as will be seen by reference to accompany Bill of Sale—Anna her Daughter at the time of the passage of said Emancipation act was held to such service & labor to Petr.​ as Guardian—Thomas Scifas—is not named in the Guardian Recd​, but was brought to this District & held by Petitioner as such Guardian as the Separate & distinct Estate of his late Deceased Wife, Mother of the said Children—In relation to [these?] Boys your Petr​ would state that in 1856 he was conveyed in trust by Your Petr​ to Dr. [P H Heiskell?] of Prince George County Md—who has filed the required schedule—But as it is very doubtful whether Dr Heiskell can file his Petition [illegible] the time [illegible] in the interest of his said Children [having?] [illegible] included said [illegible] in his Petrs​ Schedule [illegible] [His?] Claim.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Four named Persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of three thousand three hundred dollars in money.(3)He values Cely Hill at Six hundred Dollars, in money—Eliza Brown at one thousand five hundred—Her daughter Anna, at Two hundred & Thomas Scifas at One thousand Dollars—in money—Cely Hill has been in the family & under the particular charge of your Petr.​ is a good cook, washer & Ironer is faithful, & a good Servant in Every respect—She has hired out with Petrs​ consent, for the last fourteen months at $10 per month or 50 cents per day—She is sound & healthy Eliza Brown is a good nurse, & house Servant & in Every respect a faithful & valuable Servant—She is also a wash woman & Ironer & a good seamstress & cutter—She enjoys good health & is sound in every particular—Both these women were of peculiar value to Petr.​ & Family & no money would have induced him to part with them—Anna—Daughter of Eliza is a sprightly, healthy child—Thomas Scifas is healthy & active, & as a house Servant & for general purposes was of great value & comfort to your Petitioner & his Children

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 alleges, that he has not brought said Four named 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Four named 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Four named 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)
G S Wildman

Mary E Wildman
Anne Nettie Wildman
Dorothy E Wildman
James G. Wildman
Mary A Wildman
Filed Dec 22, 1862

personally appeared Before the undersigned Presiding Judge in and for the County of Washington and State aforesaid Mary Anetta Wildman of said County and made Oath in due form of law that she is a person Loyal to the United States and that she has not born arms against the United States in the present Rebellion not in any way given aid or comfort thereto given under my hand this 10th day of december 1862

Mary Annetta Wildman

Subscribed and sworn to By, Mary Annetta Wildman Before me this the 10th December 1862

John McIntire P. J. M. C.

I R S Peters Clerk of the County Court for the County aforesaid certify that John McIntire whose genuine signature appears to the foregoing certificate is now and was at the date thereof Presiding Judge of the Washington County Court duly commissioned and Sworn, and he is by law authorized to administer oaths—

In testimony whereof I hereto set my hand and affix the official seal of said Court this 12th day of December 1862—

R. S. Peters Clk

I have taken Wildman's Petition as allowed by Commissioner to be sent for Signature of absent children—

J C Brent

Received of C G Wildman Four hundred & twenty five dollars, being payment in full for the purchase of a negro named Eliza for Mrs Wildman The right and title of said negro we warrant and defend against the claims of all persons whatsoever; and likewise warrant her sound and healthy in body and mind, and slave for life. Given under our hand and seal, this 2nd day of May 1848.


Bruin & Hill SEAL
Bruin & Hill

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

I, Cornelius G Wildman & Mary E. Wildman 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)
C. G. Wildman

Mary E Wildman
J G Wildman
Ann Nettie Wildman
Dorothy E Wildman
Mary A Wildman

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 11th day of July A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Gilbert L. Giberson JP
Petition of
Cornelius G Wildman Guardian—
Claim to Service or labor, under Emancipation Act of April 16 1862, of
Cely Hill
Eliza Brown,
Anna Brown,
Thomas Scifas or Cephas
John Carroll Brent
Atty​ for Petr
Filed July 11, 1862
Refer as Witnesses &c to Edward F Queen & Samuel Bacon

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