Title: Petition of Benjamin J. Fenwick, 6 May 1862
Date: May 06, 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.00056
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."
Benjamin J. Fenwick
Washington County District of Columbia
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 the following
described Slaves persons of African
descent of the names of
Joseph Shorter, Michael Shorter,
Charles Shorter, Isaac Shorter
and Nancy Lee held to labor or service for and
during the life of said
Jos Shorter, Michael Shorter,
Chs Shorter, Isaac Shorter and
and that by said act of Congress said persons
held to labor or service were
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 persons held to labor or service were
was of the ages
described below and of the personal description
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Slaves in manner following:(2) To Wit The slaves or persons held to labor or service as described in this petition were acquired by me as follows. The Mother whose name was Nancy Shorter, was presented to me by my Uncle the Rev. Notley Young a resident of Washington City D.C. to be & remain my property forever and the aforesaid Slaves five in number of the names & ages herein described are the offspring of the said Nancy Shorter.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Slaves was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Four thousand dollars in money.(3) The services or labor of the aforesaid slaves viz Joesph Shorter, Michael Shorter, Charles Shorter, Isaac Shorter and Nancy Lee are yearly worth to me the sum of Five hundred & forty dollars - your petitioner avers & declares that he knows of no bodily ailment or defect other than that already described viz of the lameness of Joesph Shorter
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 slaves herein described into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said slaves herein described 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 the said claim to the service or labor of said slaves herein described 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 slaves herein described 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.
[no handwritten text supplied here]
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Benjamin J. Fenwick 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.
Benj J. Fenwick
Sworn to and subscribed before me this Sixth day of May A.D. 1862
Wm R. Woodward Clk.
Benjamin J. Fenwick
Col Wm Hickey Bladensburgh Turnpike
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.