Title: Petition of Thomas A. Richards, 16 May 1862

Date: May 16, 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.00250

TEI/XML: cww.00250.xml



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, Tho A. Richards of Washington City 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 three persons of African descent of the name of Ann Grinful, Henry Grinful Julia Ann Marshall for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress said personswere 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 was of the ages of [no handwritten text supplied here] and of the personal description following:(1)

  • Ann Grinful—female aged 24 years—5 ft 4 inches high, dark brown and rather slender but healthy valued at $800
  • Henry Grinful—male, aged 7 years 3 ft 8 in high dark brown stout built and robust valued at $200
  • Julia Ann Marshall. female aged 11 years 4 ft 4 in high light brown, healthy and likely—valued at $575
  • Henry Green male about 17 years of age, 5 ft 2 inches high having Eight years to serve me before he was to be free—cost me $275

That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) Said persons were inherited by petitioner's wife from the Estate of her Mother. They being her proportion of said Estate: that is to say Ann Grinful Henry Grinful and Julia Ann Marshall as will appear by reference to paper marked Exhibit A. herewith filed—I bought Henry Green from his father Henry Green for a term of years which will appear by reference to Bill of Sale filed with you by Alfred Richards

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 eighteen hundred dollars in money.(3) which said sum was the amount appraised for them at the time his wife inherited them—to wit: the said Ann Henry & Julia AnnHenry Green is valued at $275. The amount I originally gave for him. All of said persons are of good character valuable and very serviceable—and I am not aware of any defects or infirmities in either of them other mentally, morally or bodily.

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 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.

(Signed by)
Tho. A. Richards

"Exhibit A."

I hereby certify that I was the Administrator of Christianna Richards deceased and in the division of her husband estate I paid over to Thos A Richards who maried​ her daughter Sarah Ann Richards three servants which he inherited by his wife namely Servant Ann 20 yrs old valued at $800. her child 3 years old name Henry valued at $200. Servant Julian 9 years old valued at $425 but in the division paid $525 given from [illegible] hand & seal this 9th day of May 1862

Wm A. Mudd
Administrator of Christianna Richards

I hereby certify that Wm A Mudd appeared before me the subscriber and Justice of the Peace under oath that the above statement is just and true as stated to the best of his knowledge

Wm McDaniel
Justice of the Peace

I Gerard N Crain Clk​ of the Circuit Court for Charles County do hereby Certify that Wm F McDaniel Esq​. before whom the above affidavit appears to have been made was at the date thereof a Justice of the Peace in and for Charles County duly Commissioned Sworn

In Testimony where of I hereunto Set my hand and affixed the Seal of the Circuit Court for Charles County this 11th day of May 1862

G W Crain clk​ of the C​. C​. for Charles Co. Md

[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]

I, Thomas A. Richards 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, I believe to be true in substance and in fact.

(Signed by)
Thos. A Richards

Sworn to and subscribed before me this seventh day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
F. I. Murphey J.P.
Tho A Richards
Filed May 16, 1862
Dr Dove [4th?] st
Wm Richards

 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.

Transcription and encoding: Susan C. Lawrence, Janel Cayer, Rhiannon Root, Robert Voss, and Courtney Geerhart.