Title: Petition of Perry E. Brocchus, 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.00078
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, Perry E. Brocchus of Washington City, temporarily, 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 Rachel Gardner, for and during the life of said Rachel Gardner, and that by said act of Congress said Rachel Gardner, 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 Rachel Gardner, was of the age of twenty eight years, or thereabouts, and of the personal description following:(1) very dark brown color—of low stature, fine physical structure,—stout, but not fat,—of pleasant address, agile motion—strong constitution, and fine health.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Rachel Gardner in manner following:(2) by purchase twelve years ago, from Mrs. Aurelia T. Young, at the City of Washington for the sum of three hundred and sixty dollars, when she was in very delicate health.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Rachel Gardner was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of one thousand dollars in money.(3) She is a very superior Cook, and excellent Laundress, of most industrious habits and amiable disposition; entirely honest, truthful, and trustworthy; of superior intelligence and sagacity for one in her condition; and in every respect as to intrinsic qualities, a most desirable servant. She is not known by the Petitioner to possess any mental physical or moral infirmities or defects, except the loss of a few teeth.
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 Rachel Gardner into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Rachel Gardner 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 Rachel Gardner 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 Rachel Gardner, 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.
Perry E. Brocchus
I, Perry E Brocchus, of Washington, D.C., for and in consideration of the sum of six hundred and sixty nine dollars, to me in hand paid by Rittenhouse, Hart & Co, of the said City, of the District of Columbia, have assigned, and do hereby assign to the said Rittenhouse, Hart & Co whatever award may be made to me by the Board of Commissioners under the late act of Congress of the United States for the emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia, as the value of a female of african decent whose service and labor lately belonged to me, & who was emancipated therefrom by the said act of Congress, and who is described by me, in a petition to the said board of Commissioners Rachel Gardner of low stature dark brown colour &c. and I do hereby authorise the Government of the United States to pay to the said Rittenhouse, Hart & Co, or their assigns, whatever award may be made by the said Board of Commissioners, as the value of said female of African decent, as aforesaid, for and in consideration of the sum of money, to me in hand paid by the said Rittenhouse, Hart & Co.
In testimony whereof I herewith set my hand and seal, in the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, this seventh day of May, AD one thousand eight hundred and sixty two.
Perry E. Brocchus seal
Wm. H. D. Watkinson
Jno. R. Offley
We hereby assign the within without recourse to Fanny W. Hall or order.
Rittenhouse Hart & Co
C. C. Heller
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Perry E. Brocchus, 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.
Perry E. Brocchus
Sworn to and subscribed before me this sixth day of May A. D. 1862.
Edm. 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.