Title: Petition of Joseph Harbaugh, 5 May 1862
Date: May 5, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 2. 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.00015
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, Joseph Harbaugh, of Washington City, 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 female person of African descent of the name of Letty Carter for and during the life of said Letty Carter and that by said act of Congress said Letty Carter 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 Letty Carter was of the age of thirty nine years and of the personal description following:(1)
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Letty Carter in manner following:(2) He purchased her about the year 1850, from the Estate of the late William Brent, for the sum of four hundred dollars. The Bill of Sale then received, has been lost or mislaid, and no public record of her is known to exist.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Letty Carter was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of five hundred dollars in money.(3) That your Petitioner knows of no other facts touching the moral, mental, or bodily infirmities or defects of the said Letty Carter as impair the value of his claim, except those stated in the description he has given on the preceding page, and he believes none other to exist.
Your petitioner hereby declares that he bears true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that he 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 he has not brought said Letty Carter into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Letty Carter 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 Letty Carter 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 Letty Carter 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.
Mr Joseph Harbaugh has exhibited his Petition to me, addressed to the Commissioners under the Act of Congress approved the 16th April 1862. "Entitled and Act for the Release of certain persons "held to service or labor in the District of Columbia" wherein he states of the negro woman "Letty Carter" therein mentioned "He purchased her about the year "1850 from the Estate of the late William Brent for the sum of Four hundred Dollars"
From my recollection of the transaction to which I attended as agent & attorney. I am satisfied that Mr Harbaugh's statement of the fact & amount of purchase money is correct, & know person that Said woman Letty at the time, belonged to said Estate, & was a Slave for life & sold us such
John Carroll Brent
Attorney at Law &
Son of the late Col Wm Brent
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Joseph Harbaugh 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.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this third day of May, A. D. 1862.
Edm. F. Brown,
Jno Carroll Brent
Edmund F. Brown
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.