Title: Petition of Thomas Woodward, 7 May 1862
Date: May 7, 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.00074
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, Thomas Woodward of Geo Town 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 one Coloured Woman a person of African descent of the name of Rachael Day for and during the life of said Rachael Day and that by said act of Congress said Rachael Day is discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Rachael Day was of the age of Twenty Years and of the personal description following:(1) Being a Dark Brown about 5 feet High a Good Cook, Washer, and Ironer and a Good Nurse and healthy Generally
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Rachael Day in manner following:(2) By Purchasing her Mother, the said Rachael Day, having been Born in the family of said Petitioner.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Rachael Day was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Eight hundred dollars in money.(3) She Being an industrious Good Working Woman as aforesaid, and to the best of My Knowledge and Belief she has no moral defect on her Person.
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 Rachael Day into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Rachael Day 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 Rachael Day 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 Rachael Day 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.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Thomas Woodward 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 Seventh day of May A.D. 1862.
Thomas C. Donn
Justice of the Peace
for Washington County District of Columbia
Jesse M. Kilcher
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.