Title: Petition of James Walters, 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.00080
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, James Walters
of Howard County Md 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 negroes
hereinafter described persons of African
descent of the name of Margaret
Burley, Alexander Burley, and Maria Burley
(now Maria Johnson) for and during the
life of said negroes respectively and that by said
act of Congress said negroes respectively
were discharged and freed of and
from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of
said discharge said negroes were
was of the ages of [no handwritten text supplied here] and of the personal description following:(1)
Margaret Burley 56 years old,
copper color, about five feet two inches high; Alexander
Burley twenty four years old, chestnut color, about five feet
seven and a half inches high, the son of Margaret,
small scar on his left cheek, Maria Burley (now married
to a man named Johnson as I understand) about 21 years
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said negroes in manner following:(2) The mother Margaret Burley was given to me by my Father James Walters about the year 1828, and the others were born since then slaves for life to me; I permitted them to reside in the City of Washington, with my father for several years past, and they are well known.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said negroes was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Twenty two hundred dollars in money.(3)Each one of these servants is so far as he is informed and has reason to believe perfectly sound and healthy and there cannot be found any more trusty, faithful or competent: the mother is No 1 cook, washer, and ironer Alexander Burley is one of the best house servants, and waiters, good looking and tractable, and Maria has never given cause of complaint
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 negroes into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said negroes were 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 this said claim to the service or labor of said negroes respectively 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 negroes 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, James Walters 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 5th day of May A. D. 1862.
Chas. P Walter J.P.
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.