Title: Petition of Henry L. Abbot, 7 May 1862

Date: May 07, 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.00073

TEI/XML: cww.00073.xml



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, Henry L. Abbot of the U.S. Army 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 Joanna Cole otherwise called Alexander, a person of African descent, of the name of for and during the life of said Joanna Cole and that by said act of Congress said Joanna Cole 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 Joanna Cole was of the age of about 27 years and of the personal description following:(1) About 5 ft 4 inches in height, of a bright mulatto complexion—straight black hair, dark eyes—slender & of a good figure


That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Joanna Cole in manner following:(2) By virtue of a bill of sale from Mary Helen McLeod of Georgetown D.C. executed on the 19th day of June 1860 and in consideration of the payment to her the said Mary Helen McLeod of the sum of $600.00 and of a conditional agreement on the part of Your Petitioner for the payment of an additional sum of $200.00. Which said bill of sale, duly executed & acknowledged before a Justice of the Peace, appears of record in the Clerks office of the Circuit Ct, for the District of Columbia - in Lib. J.A.S. No. 201 fo, 1

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Joanna Cole was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of eight hundred dollars in money.(3) That said Joanna Cole, was, at the time of the passage of said Act of Congress a fugitive from labor & living as he verily believes in the state of Massachusetts & that Your Petitioner by the passage of said act, is entirely deprived of his remedy under the Act of Sept 18th 1850 better known as the "Fugitive Slave Law" whereby he might assert his claim to the labor of said Joanna Cole & cause her to be returned to his service in this the District of Columbia. Said Joanna Cole has no infirmities or defects, mental or bodily to the knowledge of Your Petitioner.

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 Joanna Cole into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Your Petitioner had a valid claim was held to her 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 Joanna Cole 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 Joanna Cole alias Alexander 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)
Henry L. Abbot
1st Lieut.​ T. Engineers
U.S. Army
Power of Attorney
to David A. Burr.
from Lieut.Abbot.

I, Henry L. Abbot 1st Lieut.[Top.​?] Engineers U.S.A. have made, constituted & appointed & do by these presents, make, constitute & appoint David A. Burr of Washington D.C. my true sufficient & lawful attorney, for me & in my stead, to establish & prosecute my claim to compensation, under the Act of Congress, approved April 16th 1862, by reason of the emancipation under said Act of Joanna Cole a mulatto girl of whose services for life I am thereby deprived & to obtain from the Commissioners appointed under said Act, the compensation to which under its provisions I am entitled. Hereby giving unto my said attorney, full power & authority, in & about the premises & to use all due means for the effectual & complete execution of the business aforesaid & in my name to receive & to make & execute due acquittance & discharge for the compensation which shall be allowed; and generally to do, determine & accomplish all matters & things relating to the premises as fully and effectually to all intents & purposes as I, the said constituent, if present, might personally. Hereby ratifying & confirming all & whatsoever my said attorney shall lawfully do or cause to be done in & about the premises by virtue of these presents.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this fifth day of May A.D. 1862

Henry L. Abbot
[1st Lieut.T.​ Engineers?] In the presence of

A. A. Humphries [Maj.Genl​ Army?]
J. Duane [Capt.​ of the Army?]

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

I, Henry L. Abbot 1st Lieut.T​. Engineers 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)
Henry L. Abbot
1st Lieut.[Top.​?] Engineers

Sworn to and subscribed before me this Fifth day of May A.D. 1862 No curr​ officer competent to administer an oath being present with this army or in this vicinity.

(Signed by)
J. Williams
Brig​ General
& Asst[AdjtGenl​ ?]
The Signature of General J. Williams is Genuine.
Adj'tGenl​'s Office

E. D. Townsend
Asst​. Adj't.Genl​ .
Petition of
Henry L. Abbot
Filed 7th May 1862
by David A. Burr Esqatty
George J. Abbott State D.
Prof. W. C. Jellison Pat. Of

 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.

Transcription and encoding: Elizabeth Lorang, Susan C. Lawrence, Rhiannon Root, Robert Voss, Brittany Jones, and Janel Cayer.