Compensation Claim of Dr. Charles H. Liebermann, June 28, 1862

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Compensation Claim of Dr. Charles H. Liebermann, June 28, 1862


Slaves--Emancipation--Washington (D.C.)


In 1862, Dr. Charles H. Liebermann, Professor of Institutes and Practice of Surgery in the Medical Department at Georgetown College, submitted a claim of compensation for the emancipation of Daniel Jones, an enslaved man he had owned since 1849 and who was freed by the 1862 DC Compensated Emancipation Act. Dr. Liebermann purchased Daniel Jones for 200 dollars from Anne Payne for a term of 15 years of labor. He claimed 225 dollars for compensation and received 65.70 from the federal government.

A native of Russia, Liebermann arrived in the District of Columbia via Germany in 1840. By 1850, Dr. Liebermann owned three enslaved persons, Daniel Jones, who was around 13 years old at the time, a 15-year-old boy, and a 29 year-old woman. Liebermann was a resident of Ward 2 in the District of Columbia and was the "chief planner and treasurer of the medical school" in its early years.  Besides his post at Georgetown, he was the leading oculist in the city, a physician to the Convent of Visitation, and a member of the Board of Managers of the Children's Hospital. He was one of the physicians called to attend President Lincoln at his deathbed and was the President of the Medical Society of DC from 1865 to 1867.

Additional research is ongoing to learn more about Daniel Jones and to investigate other links between the Medical Department and slavery. Anybody with information on either of these topics is encouraged to contact the Georgetown Slavery Archive

For more on Charles H. Liebermann, the founding of the Georgetown's Medical Department, and his role in Washington's medical community, see Curran, Bicentennial History of Georgetown University, vol. 1, pp. 145-157; Holland, Samuel H. "Charles H. Liebermann, M.D.: an early Russian-born physician of Washington, D.C." Medical Annals of the District of Columbia. XXXVIII (1969). Washington, D.C.: pp. 499-504. 


Petitions Filed under the Act of April 16, 1862 Numbers 601-800, Washington, D.C., Slave Owner Petitions, 1862-1863 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. From Records of the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862–1863. NARA Microfilm Publication M520, 6 rolls. Records of the United States General Accounting, Record Group 217. National Archives, Washington, D.C. See also Civil War Washington for a transcription of Lieberman's petition.


Georgetown Slavery Archive




Elsa Barraza Mendoza, Adam Rothman. Transcribed by Civil War Washington










Text Item Type Metadata



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, Charles H. Liebermann of Washington D.C. by this his petition in writing, represents and states, that he 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 a certain negro man being a person of African descent of the name of Daniel Jones for and during the life of said a term of years and that by said act of Congress said Daniel Jones was discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Daniel Jones was of the age of Twenty five years and nine monthsand of the personal description following:(1) About five feet four inches high, stout built, black complexion, with a considerable and quite distinct scar under his right eye.

That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Daniel Jones in manner following:(2)By purchase from Ann Payne of the District of Columbia, on the 6th day of July A. D. 1849, for a term of years, namely, fifteen years, for the sum of two hundred dollars, as will now fully appear by the instrument of writing herewith.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Daniel Jones was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Two hundred twenty five dollars ($225.) in money.(3) A few weeks before the passage of the Emancipation Law, I was offered Two hundred dollars in cash for the remainder of Jones' term of service, which I declined regarding his said service for two and a quarter years as worth Two hundred and twenty five dollars.

Your petitioner hereby declares that he bears true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that hehas 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 he has not brought said Daniel Jones into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Daniel Jones 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Daniel Jones 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 his said claim to the service or labor of said Daniel Jones 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) 
Charles H. Lierbermann
Paid $75
Ann Payne
Charles H. Lierbermann
Bill of Sale
Recd​ 9th July 1849 to be recorded & the sum was recorded in Liber JAS No 5 folios 169, 170 one of the land records forWashington County in the District of Columbia, & examined by

Jno A Smith clk

Know all men by these presents, that I, Ann Payne, widow of Jacob Payne deceased of the County of Washington in the District of Columbia, in virtue of the power and authority granted to me in the last will and testament of the said Jacob Payne, as will be found recorded in the office of the Registrar of Wills for said County, and also as administrator on the said deceased estate, for the consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars current money, to me on hand paid by Charles H. Lieberman of the City of Washington in said County, the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, have granted bargained, sold, and delivered, and by these presents do hereby grant, bargain, sell and deliver unto the said Charles H. Lieberman my servant boy, Daniel Jones, aged thirteen years, the first day of July instant, for a terms of years, to wit until he the said Daniel arrives at the age of twenty eight years and it being, hereby well understood that in case the said Charles H. Lieberman may hereafter determine to sell the time of the said Daniel, he shall not sell him at a greater distance from the District of Columbia than fifteen miles, yet if the said Charles Lieberman shall within the time for which the said Daniel is sold, remove from the District of Columbia, there is nothing herein to be understood as prohibiting him from taking the said Daniel with him. Which said servant Daniel, I will warrant and defend to the said Charles Lieberman, his executors, administrators, and assigns, (for the aforesaid period of time and under the aforesaid restrictions) against me, my executors and administrators and against ever other person or persons whatsoever or whomsoever.

In witness whereof, I have herewith set my hand and affixed my seal, this sixth day of July in the year of our lord eighteen hundred and forty nine (1849).

her X mark Ann Payne seal
In presence of, 
Lewis Carberry 
B Sewalt

On this sixth day of July, eighteen hundred and forty nine, before me on of the Justices of the Peace in and for said County, appears Ann Payne, the widow of Jacob Payne deceased, and acknowledges the foregoing instrument of writing, hereunto annexed to be her act and deed, according to the true intent and meaning thereof, and the act of Assembly in such case made and provided.

Witness my hand,

Lewis Carbery, J. Peace

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

I, Charles H. Liebermann 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) 
Charles H. Lieberman

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 17th day of June A. D. 1862.

(Signed by) 
J. F. Brown (L. S.)
Alderman & ex officio J.P.
Charles H. Liebermann
Filed June 28, 1862

 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.



Civil War Washington, “Compensation Claim of Dr. Charles H. Liebermann, June 28, 1862,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed June 24, 2024,