Title: Petition of Margaret C. Barber, 22 May 1862

Date: May 22, 1862

Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 3. 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.00366

TEI/XML: cww.00366.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, Margaret C. Barber of Washington County in said District 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 thirty three persons of African descent of the names of Peter Jenkins, Mary Jenkins, Ellen Jenkins, Susan Carroll, Dennis Carroll, Anmaria Carroll, Wm. Carroll, Richd. Williams, Chapman Toyer, Sarah Toyer, Mary Young, Kitty Silass, Gilbert Silass, Wm. Silass, Philip Silass, Saml. Yates, Judah Yates, John Thomas, Henry Toyer, Josh. Toyer, Louisa Toyer, Danl. Toyer, Eliza Toyer, Jane Yates, Mary Brown, Betty Briscoe, Milly Briscoe, Margt. Briscoe, John Chapman, Mortimer Briscoe, Townley Yates, Resin Yates and Andrew Yates for and during the lives life of said persons, except as to Susan Carroll, who was to serve for a term of years, viz—until she should attain forty four years of age, eight years of which she had to serve at the passage of said act, she being then thirty six years of age 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) as specified in the statement or schedule hereto annexed, and marked with her initials M. C. B., being a copy, with the values added thereto, of the statement or schedule filed by her in the Clerk's office of this District, pursuant to the ninth section of said act, to wit:


Statement or Schedule M. C. B.

No. Name Sex Age Color Height Value Particular description.
1. Peter Jenkins Male 65 Black 5.8 ½ $250. Slave for life. A number one farm hand. Hired for 70$ a year.
2. Mary Jenkins Female 58. " 5.2 200. No. 1 Cook. For life. Wages 72$ a year.
3. Ellen Jenkins " 60 " 5.7 250. For life. Wages 82$ a year. Good Cook
4 Susan Carroll " 36. dark mulatto 4.11 ⅞ 400. At home. Seamstress and house servt​. To serve till 44 years of age. 8 years to serve.
5. Dennis Carroll Male 7 light mulatto 3.10 300.
6. Ann Maria Carroll Female 3. " 150
7 Wm. Carroll Male 2 " 100.
8 Richd. Williams " 25 dark mulatto 5.10 ½ 1500. For life. Shoemaker. Carpenter and a first rate farm hand. At home.
9. Chapn. Toyer Male 45. Black 6— 1000. " A good farm hand. Wages $100 a year.
10. Sarah Toyer Female 51 " 5.1 600. " Good Laundress. Wages 72$ a year
11. Mary Young " 59 " 5.— 400. " Good Cook. 60$ a year
12. Kitty Silass " 37 light mulatto 5.2 ½ 1200. " At Home. a No. 1 Cook & Laundress.
13 Gilbert Silass Male 8. " 4.2 ½ 300. " At home.
14. Wm. Silass " 5. " 3.10 300. " "
15 Philip Silass " 8 mos 25. " "
16 Saml Yates " 24 dark mulo 5.2 ½ 100. " House servant
17 Judah Yates Female 31 " 5.3 ½ 600. " House servant Wages 72$
18 John Thomas Male 41 Black 5.8 ¾ 1200. " Wages 120$ Coach-man.
19 Henry Toyer " 25. dark mulo 5.10 ½ 1400. " Farm hand: $120. wages
20 Jos. Toyer " 24 Black 5.8 ½ 1400. " " Wages 120$.
21. Louisa Toyer Female 23 " 5.7 1200. " Good Cook. Wages 72$
22 Danl Toyer Male 4 mos 25. "
23 Eliza Toyer Female 18. dark mulo 5.1 1000— " Good house servant. Wages
24 Jane Yates " 36. " 5.1 ¼ 1200. A number one Cook.
25 Mary Brown " 20. light mulo 5.7 ⅛ 800. " At home house servant
26 Betty Briscoe " 16. dark mulo 5.2 1000. " House servant
27 Milly Briscoe " 11. " 4.6 400. " "
28 Margt Briscoe " 2 Black 100. "
Name Age Sex Color Height Value Particular description
29. Jno. Chapman 34 Male Black 5.9 ½ 1200— First rate farm hand. A slave for life. Wages 120$
30. Mortm. Briscoe 39. " " 5.10 1000.— For life. Good farm hand Wages 120$
31. Townley Yates 24 " dark mulo 6. 1400.— " Good farm hand. Wages 120$
32. Resin Yates 33 " " 5.9 1200— " Good hostler & farm hand. 120$ wages
33 Andw Yates 20 " " 5.8 ¾ 1200— " Good Currier
34 Wm. Cyrass 14 " "

That your petitioner acquired her claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following; (2) to wit: said Peter Jenkins, Mary Jenkins Ellen Jenkins, Susan Carroll, Dennis Carroll, Anmaria Carroll, Wm. Carroll and Richard Williams, the eight negroes first entered on said statement or schedule, from her late Father, Major John Adlum, and her mother, Margaret Adlum, both deceased, under their respective Wills, dated the 29th February 1836 and 14th August 1850, and on the settlement and distribution of their estates; and all the other persons mentioned in said schedule from her late husband, Cornelius Barber, by his Will, dated 23d August 1853; all which Wills are recorded in the Orphan's Court of this County, where all said parties resided and died. Said persons were always held by, and in the possession of her said father, mother and husband respectively in their lives, and have been held by your petitioner, and been in her possession since their respective deaths as slaves as above stated.

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 three thousand & four hundred dollars in money, (3) or thereabouts, according to the prices which had been paid in cash for similar negroes by those dealing in them, as she is informed and believes; but as many of them were old family servants, or the descendants of such, and had been brought up in her and her husband's and parent's families, and her own since their deaths, and were well-behaved and orderly servants, she was averse to making such a disposition of them. The value of each, according to her estimate and belief, is stated in said schedule hereto annexed. Leaving out for the present those on said list, marked Nos. 4, 9, 12, 16, 18, 21, 25 and 30, to be spoken of hereafter, all the others, named in said list, are strong, healthy, and honest negroes, and free from any moral, mental or bodily infirmity or defect. As to the others, and their infirmities and defects, she states, that Susan Carroll (No. 4) and Mary Brown (No. 25) are delicate and cannot bear outdoor work and exposure. Chapman Toyer (No. 9) broke his leg, but is entirely recovered, and can work as well as before the accident. Kitty Silass (No. 12) is rather deaf. Saml Yates (No. 16) is deformed, having a curved spine. John Thomas (No. 18) had three fingers of his left hand injured by a corn sheller, and lost two joints of his little finger, one joint of his third finger, and his second finger stiffened; but he can drive the Carriage and work as well as before. Louisa Toyer (No. 21) was sickly about nine months ago, but is well and healthy now. Mortimer Briscoe (No. 30) had one of his toes frost bitten, but is otherwise sound. Richd. Williams (No. 8) John Thomas (No. 18) and Resin Yates (No. 32) on two occasions were concerned in taking some meat from the meat house and some chickens. These three are remarkably strong healthy, and capable negroes. And as to them, and all the others, your petitioner knows of no other infirmity or defect, moral, mental or bodily, except such as are named, and believes no other to exist. Some of these defects are slight, and do not materially impair the value or usefulness of the negro. Some of them have been employed in her own family as servants, as marked on the list, and for these wages could not be stated. The others have been hired out, and have usually stayed at their places, and have brought good wages, the rate being stated in said list. They were valuable servants. The occurrence as to the meat and chickens was about nine years ago. Since then they have been quite correct; but she deemed it right to name every thing.

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)
M C Barber

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

I, Margaret C. Barber 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)
M. C. Barber

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 21st day of May, 1862 A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Hamilton Loughborough
Justice of the Peace in & for said District & County
Petition of Margt. C. Barber.
Filed May 22, 1862
Oceola Green
George Green
Dennis Lyles
James Nourse

 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, Kathryn Kruger, and Kenneth M. Price.