Title: Petition of Courtney Reeves, 19 May 1862
Date: May 19, 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.00310
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, Courtney
Reeves 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 George
Champ, Andrew Champ and Mary
M. Champ persons of
African descent of the name of George
Champ, Andrew Champ and Mary
M. Champ for and during the life of said George Champ, Andrew
Champ and Mary M. Champ and that
by said act of Congress said George
Champ, Andrew Champ and Mary M
Champ 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 George Champ, Andrew
Champ and Mary M. Champ are of the
following (viz) George 23 years,
Andrew 18 years and Mary M.
Champ 19 years and of the personal description
George is bright copper color about
five feet six inches in height, well set broad chest
Andrew is the same complexion about five feet eight
or nine inches in height well built, and Mary M. is of
the same complexion as George and
Andrew about five feet five inches in height well
built weighs about one hundred and fifty pounds
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said servants in manner following:(2) by purchase of one Jane Peak in Prince William County in the state of Virginia with their Mother and one other daughter who with the Mother has since deceased, about the years 1839, 1841 & 1845 and removed with said servants to the City of Washington in the year 1846 and then had said servants recorded in the Clerks Office of the Circuit Court in and for the County of Washington D. C. as a copy of the same hereunto annexed will more fully show
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said George, Andrew and Mary M, was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of three thousand dollars in money.(3)Your petitioners claim to said slaves was undisputed, they are sound and healthy in every respect, of good moral dispositions and inteligent for persons in their conditions in life, and your petitioners knows of no defects whatever
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 servants into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said servants 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 servants 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 servants 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.
W Brent Clk
County of Washington To wit:
I Courtney Reeves hereby certify, that on or about the Sixth day November in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and forty six, I removed and brought with me from Prince William County in the State of Virginia, into the County and District aforesaid, the following slaves to wit: Mary aged thirty eight years, Fanny Ann aged nine years, George aged Seven years, Mary Mildred aged three years, Andrew aged one year; & my property at the time of said removal: which said slaves were resident of the State of Virginia when so removed, and had continued to reside therein all their life time up to the time of their removal as aforesaid, and are the descendants of slaves resident of the said State of Virginia before the Twenty first day of April seventeen hundred and eighty three, and were removed into the County and District aforesaid for the purpose of employing and working them for my own use and benefit and not for sale: all of which I require the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Washington to record among the Land Records of said County and District.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Courtney Reeves 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 19th day of May A. D. 1862.
J H Goddard
Justice of the Peace
[illegible] yards [illegible]
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.