Records of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Relating to Slaves, 1851-1863.


National Archives Microfilm Publication M433, Roll 3
“Manumission Papers, 1857-1863.”

Know all men by these presents that I, Mary Watts of Saint Mary’s County and State of Maryland for and in consideration of the sum of seven hundred dollars current money, to me in hand paid by Thomas Sumerville F. B. of the county and state aforesaid, at and before the sealing and delivery hereof, the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge; have granted, bargained and sold, and by these presents, do, grant, bargain and sell unto the said Thomas Sumerville F. B. his executors, administrators and assigns, one Negro woman Maria aged twenty five years, one Negro child named Sarah Ann ages six years, one Negro child named Thomas Randolph aged three years, and one other Negro child named Mary Ellen aged one year, all which Negroes are slaves for life. To have and hold the said described Negroes above bargained and sold to the said Thomas Somerville F. B. his executors, administrators and assigns, forever unto his and their only proper use and benefit, and I, the said Mary Watts for myself, my executors and administrators, shall and will warrant, and forever defend by these presents to the said Thomas Somerville F. B. his executors, administrators and assigns, the said described Negroes, against my executors and administrators, and against and all every other person or persons whomsoever I administer the same or any part thereof. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal the twenty sixth day of December Eighteen Hundred and Forty Nine.

Signed, sealed and delivered
in the presence of } Mary Watts {seal}
N. Furck

Received of Thomas Sumerville F. B. the sum of seven hundred dollars in the full of the consideration specified to be paid in the above Bill of sale.

26th December 1849 Mary Watts

State of Maryland, St. Mary’s County, J. P.

On this 26th day of December 1849 before one of the justices of the peace of the state of Maryland in and for said county, personally appeared Mary Watts and acknowledges the foregoing bill of sale or instrument of writing to be her act and deeds according to the purport true intent and meaning thereof-And at the same time and place also appeared before me Thomas Somerville F. B. the grantee oath that the consideration set forth in the said Bill of sale is true and bona fide as therein set forth.

Acknowledged & sworn before
N. Furck, J. P. {seal}

Jany. 3rd 1850. Recd. of Thomas Sumerville the sum of one dollar the stamp duty required by law on this Bill of sale.

Wm. T. Maddox
St. Mary’s Cnty.

Saint Marys County to wit

Thereby certify that the aforegoing is truly taken from the original field in my office on the 3rd Jany. 1850.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office this 12th day of March eighteen hundred and fifty.

Wm. Maddox
St. Mry’s. Cnty. Clk.

Deed of Manumission

District of Columbia
County of Washington

To all whom it may concern. Be it known that I, Thomas Sumerville of the city of Washington in the district of Columbia for divers good causes and considerations, me thereunto moving have released from slavery, liberated, manumitted and set free and by means presents do hereby release from slavery, liberate, manumit and set free my wife Maria being of the age of thirty four years and able to work and gain a sufficient livelihood and maintenance and she the said Negro slave named Maria Somerville I do declare to be henceforth free, manumitted, discharged from all manner of service or servitude to me, my executors and administrators forever.

In witness whereof I have this fourteenth day of December in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Seven set my hand and seal.

Thomas (X) Sumerville {seal}

Signed Sealed
and delivered in presence of
Witness Jas. Cull
?Alexander Cull

District of Columbia
Washington County

On this 14th day of December 1857 before me the subscriber a Justice of the Peace for the County aforesaid personally appeared Thomas Sumerville and acknowledged the above Deed of Manumission to be his act and deed for the purpose set forth.

Jas. Cull, J. P. {seal}