Title: Petition of Benjamin Thorn, 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.00102
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 T. Thorn of Washington 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 Six persons of African descent of the name of Emily Dison, Ann Dyson, Delilah Dison, Thomas Dison, Benjamin Dison, & John H. Hawkins. for and during the life of said persons above named and that by said act of Congress said persons above named are discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said persons above named were respectively of the ages of 37 years, 20 years, 17 years, 14 years, 8 years, & 34 years and of the personal description following:(1)
- Emily Dison, thirty seven years of age. Dark Color, likely person, Excelent Cook Washer & Ironer. A valuable woman, but occasionally suffers with Rheumatism, eight hundred dollars, $800.00
- Ann Dison, twenty years of age, Black Color, Sound & healthy, a good and valuable servant, sometimes a little deaf, worth one thousand dollars.
- Delilah Dison, seventeen years of age, Dark Color, Sound & healthy, a likely girl and fine servant, worth one thousand dollars.
- Thomas Dison, Fourteen years of age, Dark Color, Sound & healthy, and a first rate boy. worth eight hundred dollars.
- Benjamin Dison, eight years of age, sound & healthy, a sprightly lad, & promised to make a good servant. worth Five hundred dollars.
- John H. Hawkins, age thirty four years, black color, sound, healthy & well formed, a fine man and very valuable servant. Worth fourteen hundred dollars
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Persons in manner following:(2) he inherited the Said persons at the death of his Father Alexander A. Thorn of St. Mary's County D.C.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Fifty five hundred dollars in money.(3) Your petitioner would not have sold his servants at the price above named. Said persons have always been well used and are more than ordinarily intelligent. Your petitioner has no knowledge of any other infirmities than those named in the cases of Emily & Ann.
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 said persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons 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 persons 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 persons 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.
Benjamin T. Thorn
Revaluation & Division
Of Negroes of
Alexander A. Thorn
Claim B. T. Thorn under Act 16 April 1862
Atty for Petitioner
The State of Maryland At an Orphan's Court held for Saint Mary's County at the Court house in Leonard Town on the 29th day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty two.
Present R. H. Miles
C. Billingsley Esqrs.
S. H. Gough Sheriff G. Combs Register
Among other proceedings were the following To wit An Application of Ann M. Thorn & S. W. Dent Administrators of Alexander A. Thorn late of Saint Mary's County deceased, It is ordered by the court that John F. Dent and Henry Mattingly be appointed to revalue and divide the negroes of the said deceased among the legal representatives of the deceased, each of them having first taken the oath hereto annexed a certificate where of they are to return annexed to the said revaluation and Division.
Lest G. Combs Register of Wills, St. Mary's County The John F. Dent and Henry Mattingley do swear that we will, well and truly without partiality or prejudice value and divide the negro slaves of Alexander A. Thorn late of Saint Mary's County deceased, so far as the same shall come to our sight and knowledge and will in all respects execute the above warrant to the best of our skill and judgement. So help us God.
J. F. Dent
I hereby certify that the aforegoing oath was taken and subscribed to by the said J. F. Dent and Henry Mattingly before the undersigned a Justice of the peace for St. Mary's County duly commissioned and qualified according to Law this third of December 1842
H. D. Swann Justice of the Peace
We the undersigned commissioners named in a commission from the Orphan's Court of St. Mary's County to revalue and divide the negroes of Alexander A. Thorn deceased after having first taken the oath annexed to said commission proceeded to revalue and divide said negroes as follows
|Negro man Lawson aged 46 years||$445.00||$250.00|
|" " Elder John " 44 "||500.00||325.00|
|" " Charles " 37 "||600.00||400.00|
|" " Younger John " 15 "||550.00||400.00|
|" " Henry " 41 "||400.00||250.00|
|" Elizabeth " 41" (unhealthy)||250.00||175.00|
|" Emily " 19 "||550.00||325.00|
|" Sally Maria " 6 "||75.00||175.00|
|" Richard " 4 increase||175.00|
|" George " 2||150.00|
|" Mary " 1||50.00|
|" Henry " 3||150.00|
|" Ann " 19 mos.||75.00|
|" Robert " 8 years||250.00|
Lot No. 1 We have given to the widow of the deceased, Consisting of
|This Lot shall pay to lot No. 2||25.00|
Lot No 2 we have given to Matild Thorn a daughter of the deceased consisting of
Lot No 3 we have given to Benjamin Thorn A son of the deceased consisting of
Given under our hands and seals this eighth day of August 1843
J. F. Dent seal
Henry Mattingly seal Commissioners
|J. F. Dent||1 Day||$2.00|
|H. Mattingly||1 Day||2.00|
State of Maryland, Saint Mary's County to wit I hereby certify that the aforegoing is a true copy taken from the Original as filed in the Orphan's Court of Saint Mary's County
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the Orphan's Court of St. Mary's County this 10th day of July 1862
Jas. T. M. Rally Regs of Wills
for St. Mary's County
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Benjamin T. Thorn 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 T. Thorn
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 8th day of May A.D. 1862
B. M. Ferguson J.P.
Benjamin T. Thorn
R. T. McLain
Note (1.)-- Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately.
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.