Title: Petition of James Edelin, 8 May 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.00100
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 Edelin U. S. M. of Maryland 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 person of African descent of the name of Mary Brooks for and during the life of said Mary Brooks and that by said act of Congress said Mary Brooks 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 Mary Brooks was the age of thirty three years and and of the personal description following:(1) black in color and about five feed six inches in height stout and active and in perfect health and a very fine looking servant.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Mary Brooks in manner following:(2) by purchase in 1843 from the estate of Alfred Johnson dec'd ; your petitioner purchased said Mary Brooks at the request and [illegible] of her parents in order to save her from being sold to the South. No bill of sale or written transfer was received.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Mary Brooks was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of one thousand dollars in money.(3) said Mary Brooks was peculiarly valuable for good moral character and strict fidelity and reliability. She is an Excellent cook, washer and ironer and in early life a good nurse. She is good looking and perfectly healthy and remarkably Trustworthy. I know of no physical mental or physical defects to impair the value of said Mary Brooks
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 Mary Brooks into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Mary Brooks 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 Mary Brooks 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 Mary Brooks 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 Edelin 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 Eighth day of May A.D. 1862.
F. I. Murphey J.P.
Lt. Col. James Edelin
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.