Valley Southern Claims Commission Papers

Southern Claims Commission: Claim of Thomas and Nancy Jefferson, 1877, Claim No. 15,385

Summary: Thomas and Nancy Jefferson filed this claim in 1877 for $117, claiming Union forces under General Sheridan required Nancy's nursing services as well as appropriated 3 barrels of flour and a hog in 1865. Nancy was a 35 year old African American housekeeper married to Thomas, also of African American descent. The commission allowed $42.

Items Claimed:

Item Claimed: Amount Claimed: Amount Allowed: Amount Disallowed:
To services for the space of 7 1/2 weeks nursing Adjt. Ast. Genl. Fry who was wounded near Waynesboro at $10 per week $75.00 $0.00 $75.00
3 barrels of flour $24.00 $24.00 $0.00
1 Hog $18.00 $18.00 $0.00

Claims Summary:

The claimants are respectable colored people. The services charged in item No. 1 were rendered by them, and we regret that they can not be allowed not being within our jurisdiction.

The other items were taken in March 1865 by the soldiers of Genl. Sheridan's command for Army use.

We allow for the items as charged. The hog was estimated at 180 lbs, & pork was then high.

Claimants' loyalty fully proved. We allow $42.00

A.O. Aldis, JB Howell, O. FerrisCommrs of Claims

Testimony: Nancy Jefferson

United States of America, State of Virginia SS

J.W.G. Riley a commissioner selected and designated by the Commissioners of Claims appointed under the act of Congress of March 3rd 1871 to take and record testimony Do hereby certify that the reason for taking the following depositions is and the fact is the matter of claim of Thomas Jefferson and wife vs. the United States of America and the witnesses herein named being first duly sworn answereth as follows.

1 Witness says-I resided in the County of Augusta six months prior to the 1st of April 1861. I have resided there for 14 years two years ago I moved into Waynesboro.

4 Witness says-I never took any oath of allegiance to the Confederate States.

5 Witness says-I have never taken any amnesty oath. I never was in any manner connected with the Confederate States.

7 Witness says-I never held any office of profit under the Confederate Government I never aided the Confederate Government in any manner

14 Witness says-I never was engaged in blockade running or any thing else that would benefit the Confederate States

15 Witness says-Between the 19th of April 1861 and the 19th of April 1865 I did not leave the Confederate States

16 Witness says-I never was interested in any vessel engaged in navigating the ocean to or from the Confederacy

17 Witness says-I never was arrested by the Confederate Government. I never was arrested by the United States Government

18 Witness says-I had provisions taken by the Confederate authorities sometimes they would pay and sometimes they would not

20 Witness says-I never was injured on account of my union sentiments

21 Witness says-I never contributed any money or property to aid the United States Government

23 Witness says-I had a brother in the Confederate Army he was forced in to wait on an officer

24 Witness says-I never owned any Confederate bonds or done anything to support the credit of the Confederate States

33 Witness says-At the beginning of the war I sympathized with the Union and not with the rebellion. I had no vote I am a colored woman but my sympathies were all the time with the Union.

34 Witness says-I solemnly declare from the beginning of hostilities to the end thereof my sympathies were constantly with the cause of the United States and I was ready at all times to do anything for the United States in my power.

Questions by the Commissioner

1 How old are you where do you reside and what is your occupation. Answer I am thirty five years old I reside in Augusta County Virginia by occupation a house keeper I am a married colored woman.

Further the deponent saith not. Aug the 16th 1871

Nancy Jefferson Her mark

Testimony: Fannie Sheppard

Fannie Sheppard a witness introduced by the Claimant to prove the taking of the property being first duly sworn answereth as follows

1 Witness says-I was present when the articles mentioned in the Claimants petition were taken I also know that the Claimant nursed acting Assistant Adjutant Genl Fry belonging to Genl Talbot's command wounded through both thies and in the body between Waynesboro and the Blue ridge at ten dollars per week for seven weeks and a half.

4 Witness says-The articles that I saw taken that are mentioned in the Claimant's petition were taken in 1865 from the premises of the Claimants by officers and soldiers under Genl Sheridans command

8 Witness says-The property was removed by soldiers some of it was eaten on the spot

11 Witness says-No complaint was made on account of such taking

12 Witness says-There was no receipt give except a piece of paper by the wounded man Genl Fry to show what command he belonged to

13 Witness says-The property was taken in the daytime in the afternoon none of it was taken secretly

14 Witness says-They were encamped near the house of the Claimant. They had been skirmishing during the day.

15 Witness says-The condition of the property was good when taken they took three barrels of flour at eight dollars a barrel and one hog weighing one hundred and eighty pounds at ten dollars per hundred.

22 Witness says-I believe the property of the Claimant was taken for some purpose so necessary and useful that the Government ought to pay for it and also for the services rendered by the Claimants to Genl Fry while wounded at their house and Further the deponent saith not August the 16th 1871

Fannie Sheppard her mark

Testimony: Nelson Taylor

Nelson Taylor a witness introduced by the Claimants to proove loyalty being first duly sworn answereth as follows-

1 How old are you where do you reside and what is your occupation. Answer I am sixty seven years old I reside in Waynesboro Augusta County Virginia by trade a Cooper

2 How long have you known the claimants? Answer I have known the claimants for many years I knew them all the war they are both colored people. They were true to the United States Government during the war they were so regarded by their neighbors. I have never known either one of them to do any thing against the Union cause. They were always ready and willing to help the Union cause and to aid it to the extent of their power and ability they were too loyal to the United States Government to have been loyal to the Confederacy if it had been maintained as a separate Government.

Further the witness saith not Aug the 16th 1871

Nelson Taylor his mark

Testimony: John James

John James a witness introduced by the Claimants for proof as to loyalty being first duly sworn answereth as follows

1 How old are you where do you reside and what is your occupation? Answer I am thirty six years old I live in Waynesboro Augusta County Virginia by occupation a laborer

2 How long have you known the Claimants Answer I have known the claimants mentioned in the petition twelve or thirteen years they were both loyal to the United States Government during the war and so regarded by their neighbors they are both colored people and they were ready at all times to aid the United States when called upon and

Further the deponent saith not August the 16th 1871

John James his mark

Sworn to & subscribed before me this 16th day of August 1871

WG Riley United States Commissioner and special Comr for State of Va

Testimony: Thomas and Nancy Jefferson

May 21st 77

Waynesboro Augusta Co Va.

CF Benjamin Esq

Sir, Your Postal Crard, under date of May 16th Inviting of our attention to the provision of an act of Congress section 2., Alledgeing that it is for the benefits of the parties interested in a claim of Thomas Jefferson & wife, against the U States No. 15385.

This claim we had sent to Washington City, in 1872, or early 1873. We were informed it was not acted on by the court for Southern claims. This statement must have been correct, although the impression was that the court did not adjudicate ascs of that kind. We would very Respectfully beg leave to ask your advise in regard to how we shall act in the premises & also if you think the court will allow & pay a Just claim of that kind. Our Loyalty is indisputable, as we are colored persons, and only suffered our House to be used as a Hospital, and furnished sustainance and the attendance upon the sick soldier, because he was wouned at our door, and the Confederates would have striped and murdered him after he was wouned he was shot down, had he not been cared for by us. It would only be an act of Justice to pay us. Be Kind enough to advise as requested and allow us to subscribe our selves

Your Obtservts

Thos Jefferson and Nancy Jefferson

Testimony: Charles F. Benjamin

Office of the Commissioners of Claims, Washington, D.C., July 9, 1872

Memorandum: Depositions are on file in this office in support of the claim of Thomas Jefferson and Wife, but no petition appears to have been presented as required by paragraph 1 of the accompanying rules and regulations. Please return this card with the petition when forwarded.

Chas F. Benjamin Clerk

A. H. Fulz Esq. Staunton, Va.

Testimony: A. H. Fultz

Staunton, Va. June 11 1877

Hon Charles F. Benjamin

Dear Sir:

I recd from you a few days ago, the Enclosed letter of Thomas Jefferson and from the endorsement it seems that there has been no testimony taken in support of the Claim. I am surprised at this, because immediately upon the filing of the claim, we took, before Judge Riley, the then Commissioner, the testimony of a large number of witnesses, proving beyond all question, the loyalty of the petitioners and the justice of their Claim. This testimony was, of course left with Judge Riley to be forwarded to your office, and I suppose he must have neglected to do so. Will you please inform me what course to pursue in order to get in this testimony. I am very anxious to have the claim allowed, not only because I believe it to be just but because the petitioner is one of our most worthy coloured men and if any one in the south is entitled to compensation he is. Hoping to hear from you soon I remain

Very Respectfully Your ObtServt

A.H. Fultz

Bibliographic Information : Southern Claims Commission: Claim of Thomas and Nancy Jefferson, 1877, Claim No. 15,385, Source copy consulted: National Archives, College Park, RG 217, claim #15385.

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