Title: Petition of Otis W. Marsh, 14 May 1862
Date: May 14, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 3. 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.00221
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, Otis W. Marsh of Washington City 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 one slave a person of African descent of the name of Sophia Davis for and during the life of said Sophia and that by said act of Congress said Sophia 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 Sophia of the age nineteen and of the personal description following:(1) four feet, 11 3/8 inches in height, quite black, flat nose, thick lips stout built, and sound and healthy in every particular.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Sophia in manner following:(2) by purchase of George N. Cockrell, of Prince William County, Virginia, on the 4th of November, 1853, for the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars, as will appear by the bill of sale filed herewith
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Sophia was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of one thousand dollars in money.(3) Said negro is the nurse of the children of your petitioner, and is an industrious servant, well qualified for all domestic house purposes, and I know of no defect or infirmity about her.
Your petitioner hereby declares that he bear true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that he have 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 have not brought said Sophia Davis into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Sophia 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 Sophia 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 Sophia 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.
O. W. Marsh
to be recorded of the same day was recorded an Lebor J.A.S. No 68 folios 22 & 23 one of the land records for Washington County in the District of Columbia and Examined by John A Smith Clerk
The said George H Cockrell have herewith set my hand and seal the fourth day of November eighteen hundred and fifty three.
J. D. Clark
W. A. Boss
Geo H Cockrell Seal
On this 4th day of November 1853 before me the subscriber of Justice of the Peace in and for said county personally appeared George H. Cockrell and acknowledged the forgoing Bill of Sale to be his act and deed given under my hand and seal.
John D Clark JP Seal
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Otis W Marsh 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 our 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, they believe to be true in substance and in fact.
O. W. Marsh
Sworn to and subscribed before me this Eighth day of May A. D. 1862.
R. Burgess J.P.
Otis W. Marsh
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.