Document 1:

Title: Petition of Charlotte Becket and Children, 29 July 1862

Date: July 29, 1862

Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 433, Reel 3. The original document is held in the Records of the District Courts of the United States, 1685–2004, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 21. Within the National Archives' Archival Description Catalog, see ARC Identifier 4314547 / MLR Number NC-2 33 (

Document 2:

Title: Evidence Relating to the Petition of Charlotte Beckett and Children, 1 October 1862

Date: October 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 (

Civil War Washington ID: cww.00967

TEI/XML: cww.00967.xml

To John A Smith Esq.​ Clerk of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia

Mary R Bibb having claim to the service or labor of Charlotte Becket the undersigned & to her children George Becket, Xavier Becket, Marianne Becket & Boromea Becket and having neglected to file her schedule or statement in writing as provided in the 9th section of an act of Congress entitled to an act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia approved April 16, 1862 you will please file this schedule or petition in pursuance of an act supplementary thereto approved July 12, 1862 The Petitioner files this her Petition for herself & her said Children & shows that she & all her said Children have resided in said District for more than three years last past & still resides in said District by the consent of said Mrs Bibb


Name Age Sex Remarks
Charlotte Becket 36 female Dark Brown
George Beckett 8 male 4 ft 5 inches Brown
Xavier Becket 6 male Brown
Marianne do 4 female Brown
Boromea do 2 male Brown

Charlotte Beckett

The commissioners, satisfied on testimony of Jesse Johnson and Harriet Williams (colored) Edward Swan, and Elizabeth Leonard of the truth of the within statement, order the same to be so reported to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the Dist. of Columbia.

Wm R Woodward
Clerk EmnComrs
29th July 1862

October 1st 1862. On a rehearsing of this case at the instance of the former Owner the Commissioners decide (Mr. King dissenting) that it was in evidence that the woman and her children have been in the District of Columbia from the latter part of April last to the present time; and that their alleged owner has made no legal effort to reclaim them except that a Warrant was taken out for their arrest as fugitives which has never been served. Nor an effort to serve it, proved. The Slaves are therefore entitled to their free papers under the 4th Section of the amended act approved July 12th 1862, but under the circumstances of the case the Commissioners agree to recommend that Compensation shall be made to Mrs Bibb for the persons thus emancipated.

Wm R Woodward
Mr. King dissenting
Charlotte Becket for herself & for her children
George Becket
Xavier Becket
Marianne Becket
Bormea Becket
Filed July 29th 1862
Recorded in Manumission Record No. 2 folios 102 & 103
Certificate given to all Identified by Day.
Charlotte Beckett and George, Zavier, Mary Ann and Bohemia Beckett
Servants of Mary Bibb

Jesse Johnson. I know these servants. Mother and children. They belonged to Mrs Bibb and have for the last 4 or 5 years lived here Mrs Bibb lived here in this district. I have known servants from children.

Harriet Williams. I know this woman. These are her children. I was raised with them. They with me belonged to Mrs Bibb.

Edward Swan. I know Charlotte. Have seen her at the house of Judge Bibb before his death and since his death at Mrs Bibbs I supposed she belonged to some member of the family, but to whom, Mr or Mrs Bibb or Mrs Dyer

Certificate withheld for further testimony

Mrs Elizabeth Leonard Know servant as servant of Mrs Bibb for 7 or 8 years as property of Mrs Bibb. She was living in Georgetown as Mrs Bibb. Mrs Bibb had her hired with Capt Whipple. I know these as her children. I live close to them. I know the whole family

Certificate ordered and sent.

Sept 19. Mrs Bibb represents that certificate erroneously ordered & asked for witnesses to be sum.

Benjamin Cooley. I do not know that servants belonged to Mrs Bibb. I know Mrs Bibb employed me to carry them up to country. Could tell time by referring to my waybill. Cant say when, was this year just before Emancipation Bill passed. I know it was before because I carried good many before and never any after. I carried none up after law passed. I carried them up to Mr Stokes the nearest point on road to Mrs Bibb. I didnt drive but attend to waybills & collected fare and saw negroes. Cant identify them if I was   to see them.

James Lydon. I know servants. First knowledge I had of them, my sister was living with Mrs Bibb while Judge Bibb was living they lived in Maryland in Summer & Georgetown in winter rented one of her houses. woman used to be at house He and servants were gone away to Maryland. servant woman told me she had run away from Mrs Bibb. This was sometime after Bill passed

Postponed until Thursday Sep 25. 11 O'Clock.

Elizabeth Leonard. Servant always admitted that she was owned by Mrs Bibb as her mistress. These are her children lived in Georgetown some years. dont know how many years. I do not know whether they were here 16th April. Cant say when they went away. I only know except what I heard afterwards. I dont know where she was at time of passage of act. Dont recollect when act passed. Dont trouble myself about such matters.

I saw her (woman three or four times) cant say whether before or act.

Exd​ by Mr. Mattingly. How long since the act that she saw her.
By Commns​.

I afterwards heared​ that Mrs Bibb had taken her up in Country, but I do not know Did not say on former examination that servt​ was here on 16th April. When I was before examined I did not know Mrs Bibb whether Mrs Bibb had taken servant up or not.

H. Key Hunter. I know servants about 12 years. I do not remember when Emancipation law passed but know that it was passed. When President signed Bill servants were in Montgomery Co Md. Dont recollect time but act created considerable excitement [illegible] [living?] before act passed servants were in Georgetown. left County after President signed Bill or at least womans husband came and took her off.


[torn]ex. Have lived in Montg Co for a year. Was there at time of passage of act. I was not at Mrs Bibbs on day of passage of act. I did not see these servants any where in state of Maryland on that day. I did see them in Maryland before act was signed by President two or three days in Montgomery County. They were on [Clappers?] Mill road. road to Pooleville where Mrs Bibb was boarding them. two or three days before Act was signed by President perhaps longer. Have known them [for years?]. I am a distant connection of Mrs Bibbs.

Three were in District some time before Presidents signing act. dont know how long. and also in Maryland Mrs Bibb has a farm in Maryland. I think it was about 8 weeks before Bill was signed that woman ran away. woman had children dont know how many heared​ she had 4. know 2 of them. Did not see her husband brought her away heared​ so. I reside just above Rockville in Montgomery County. Mrs Bibb at that time, unless I am very much mistaken was in Washington on business, at time servants left. She was here as near as I recollect about week. I do not think she knew while here that servants had left not until she returned to county. a day after she got back. I suppose she knew they had left for the District. I think she came down shortly after to District to see about servants. I know she came down but how soon after or how long she remained I dont remember. I know Mrs Bibb reside in Georgetown at one time. I think it has bee about 18 months since she resided in Georgetown. No I dont think it has been so long. When in Georgetown she resided in her own house. When she first left Georgetown she went to Montgomery County. She did not keep house when she first went to county. She went up with intention of going on her own farm but couldnt get possession. She might have known that she could not get possession. She [to one?] did there and had these servants with her. When she first went there these servants were hired out in District. She has not been house keeping on account of the servants leaving her   she has been keeping house about 4 months. I do not remember what month she [commencing?] keeping house. I think it was in May. While so working she was frequently in District.

Re. Ex.

I know the fact that prior to passage of act, Mrs Bibb was a bona fide resident of Maryland, and her coming to District was mainly temporary, was boarding, now in possession of her farm.

Leonard L. Clements. I know Charlotte dont know children. Mrs Bibb made an application to me to carry these servants to Maryland she asked me if I could take them up for her. That was the day Bill passed the Senate. I had one of my fathers to go up and she thought they could go too. I said I could not. She said she would have to send take them up by stage nest day. I did not see them go. I reside in Georgetown. I was an acquaintance and friend of Mrs Bibbs & she had no one to attend to her business. and she knew I supposed I had a servant of fathers to to take up. I did not see the servants go up Mrs Bibb was boarding at my fathers in county at time.

Mary Long. I know Charlotte and all children. I know George well Charlotte and children were hired in Georgetown. George was hired at our house. Mrs Bibb sent for George and took him away with her to the country about 1st of last October. I do not know when Charlotte and other children went up to country. They were hired at GenlWhipples. Seen them frequently in Spring but know noting about them going to Country.

Harriet Williams Re Ex​. Servants were here when Bill was passed but not when Bill was signed. They were in Montgomery Co Md. They were in Montgomery 3 or 4 weeks after Bill was signed. George was carried up when my children were carried up. It was some time before last spring. It was when GenWhipple rented house last spring a year ago.


Cross by W T M. I saw Charlotte & children day after they came down. Cant remember when that was. what month. Mrs Bibb endeavored to persuade me to leave at same time Charlotte left. She told us that if we went up quietly that when the President vetoed the Bill she would send us right back. She did not say if the law set us free but she said if the President allowed her anything for us she would send us back. Mrs Bibb said she wanted us to go quietly and make no noise and if the President allowed her anything for us she would send us right back that we might as well go quietly as she could get us any how if we run away. She did also say that if the President vetoed the bill (I did not know what she meant) or allowed her anything for us she would send us right back. This was to me and Charlotte. no body else in the room but us three.

Adjourned until Monday 29th.

Jane E. Dennis (affirmed) am acquainted with Mrs Bibb Is a cousin of mine. Know her servant Charlotte. I know from Charlottes statement, she was at my house. It was some time after Bill was law, much after. Mrs Bibb knew that servant had run away and was searching for her. in the city she called at my house. I advised her to take children home. were in want from Charlottes showing. week perhaps dont recollect, after Charlotte was at my house that Mrs Bibb came.

X Exd.

I know not of my own knowledge where sert​ was 16 Apl. Have seen Charlotte since passage of act. Some time I saw her at my house complained most of Mrs Bibb taking her away from town. that if she had thought it had become a law she would not have gone up. said she was in Montgomery at passage of act. that her husband went [illegible] and brought her down. do not know of any promise was held to her to get her to go up. only heard her say that her mistress said she [illegible] not become a law or she would not have gone. I know Mrs Bibb placed a high regard on servant. They thought a good deal of each other.

Mary M. Dyer. Mrs Bibb is an aunt of mine by marriage. Charlotte she was a sister of the woman belonging to my mother. Mrs Bibb was at our house to see our woman to know where Charlotte had gone about a week or ten days after Mrs Bibb said Charlotte had run away. Have not seen Charlotte since that. Dont think she has been to our house.

X by Swan.

Did not know where servants were at time of passage of act


Benj Cooley. Charlotte is the servant sent up by Mrs Bibb Charlotte admits 1/2 an hour ago that her children were also carried up. It was a short

Postponed until tomorrow
Charlotte Beckett & children
Oct​ 1, 1862
District of Columbia, To wit:

Whereas, a certain Mary R. Bibb, a citizen of, and residing in Montgomery County, in the State of Maryland, having made oath according to the law that she is the lawful owner and possessor of certain negro slaves named Charlotte (Jackson or Becket) & her four children, George, Zavier, Marry Ann and Frances Borromeo, about years of age, slaves for life, owing service and labor under the laws of the said State as such slaves for life within the said State, and that said negroes have absconded and are fugitives from the service and labor so due and owing, and are now within your bailiwick the District of Columbia

Therefore, you are hereby commanded to arrest the bodies of the said alleged fugitives and have them before me, a Commissioner duly appointed by the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, forthwith to do and receive whatever may be considered by the Court me in the premises.

Hereof fail not at your peril, and have you then and this writ.

Witness the Hon. Jas. Dunlap, Chief Judge of said Court. my hand & seal

Issued this 29th day of June AD, 1862.

Walter S. Cod Seal

To John Gross
Re. Mrs Bibb claiming negress Charlotte & four children
Transcription and encoding: Janel Cayer, Elizabeth Lorang, and Kenneth J. Winkle.