148 Additional Petitions Published

Since November 2012, we have published 148 additional petitions to Civil War Washington. These petitions were filed following the April 1862 DC Emancipation Act.

This batch of new documents includes a petition which features two counter claims for one slave. On May 28, 1862, William L. Hoyle submitted a petition claiming compensation for three female slaves: Mary, Margaret, and Matilda Dyson. In the following July, John C. McKelden and trustee, William R. Woodward, submitted a counter petition, claiming that Hoyle was indebted to Woodward. McKelden and Woodward’s petition includes an indenture, which suggests that Hoyle had used Mary Dyson as collateral, should he not be able to repay this debt. The documents pertaining to these claims can be found in this petition. According to the final report submitted by the emancipation commissioners, Hoyle received compensation for his claim to both Margaret and Matilda Dyson; McKelden received compensation for his claim to Mary Dyson.

Also included in this group is the petition of George W. Riggs, in which Riggs requested that compensation for his claim to the service of Anthony Bell be paid directly to Bell. According to the commissioners’ final report, however, the commissioners did not, for reasons unknown, honor Riggs’s request.

~Janel Cayer

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