Title: Petition of Mary Stevenson, 31 October 1862

Date: October 31, 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.01094

TEI/XML: cww.01094.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, Mary Stevenson of Georgetown D.C. 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 three persons persons of African descent of the names of Thomas Page, Polly Taylor & child two years old & Lucy Cary for and during the life 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, respectively of the ages of and of the personal description following:(1) Thomas Page, about 30 yrs of age, about medium height light coloured​, stout & healthy, Polly Taylor, about 20 yrs old, dark, under common size, healthy & very capable; Lucy Cary, about 50 yrs old, very light, about the usual height and excellent cook & washerwoman; Polly's child, aged about 2 years,


That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) as widow, of the late Andrew Stevenson, who died intestate.

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 twenty nine hundred dollars in money,(3) i.e., Thomas$1500, Pollie, $800, Lucy $500 & Pollie's child, $100—

Your Petitioner was absent from the District when the time for filing her petition expired, being detained by the illness of her sister who subsequently died, and previously by the difficulty of returning to the District from Virginia, that such detention was much against her will & inclination & she availed herself of her first opportunity of returning home.

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)
Mary Stevenson

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

I, Mary Stevenson 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)
Mary Stevenson

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of October A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Henry Reaver
Petition of
Mrs Stevenson
Oct 31, 1862
Mary Stevenson
Thomas 30 on 10 last March. any kind of work driving. [illegible] to house. gardener & driving $17 & board. first rate health. splendid teeth strong 5 ft 10 ½ 175 lbs. Common carpentry work or mason work.
Lucy 52 (Pet​ says 50) Cook any thing about house never hired out—as good health as any one of my age. suffered some [little?] from Rheumatism. manages house for mistress. [drew her and her maid?]. as good bread baker as any one. Cook for a family company—bright mulatto
Polly. 22. housework. wash & iron. can cook but dont do much. $5 with my baby health & teeth good. no [illegible]. sound
Edward 9 mos​ 16 October (3 months on 16 April. very healthy.
Judson Mitchell I know servant belonged to Pet​ came through husband. Mrs S has one child [damage] years old—I should say petr​ is loyal lady in favor of Union & agt​ rebellion. have no doubt of it have talked with her. went from home to Virginia & could not get back. I know she made repeated applications to get back through lines. only got back recently & that is [illegible]
Edward Chapman always understood servants Have not conversed with her Believe her loyal
P. T. Berry Have never conversed with Pet​ shes been about some 15 or 18 years. Since then I know not [illegible] I have no doubt of her loyalty
out of time
Mary Stevenson

 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: Janel Cayer, Elizabeth Lorang, and Kenneth J. Winkle.