Title: Petition of Benjamin B. Burr, 8 May 1862
Date: May 8, 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.00096
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, Benjamin B. Burr of the City of Washington 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 certain person of African descent of the name of William Prather for and during the life of said William Prather and that by said act of Congress said William Prather 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 William Prather was of the age of Twelve years and of the personal description following in color he was black and in stature was about four feet three inches, and of no bodily or mental defects or infirmities.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said William Prather in manner following by marriage with Sarah R. Offut formerly of Washington County. State of Maryland in the month of November last.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said William Prather was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Five hundred dollars that the said William Prather was a smart active and intelligent boy and an honest and industrious house servant and waiter; and your petitioner avers that he knows of no infirmities or defects, morally, bodily or mentally of the said William Prather and verily believes none to exist.
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 or manner given aid or comfort thereto, but on the contrary your petitioner enlisted in one of the volunteer companies raised in this City at the inception of this rebellion and served faithfully his term of service.
And your petitioner further states and alleges, that he has not brought said William Prather into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said William Prather 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 William Prather 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 William Prather herein above set forth; and if the same be found to be valid, that they appraise and apportion the validity 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.
Benjamin B. Burr
Chas H. Utermehle
County of Washington, s.s.
I Benjamin B. Burr 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.
Benjamin B. Burr
Sworn to and subscribed before me this Eighth day of May A D 1862.
Wm. R. Woodward clk
The petition of Benjamin B. Burr.
R. W. Burr