Title: Petition of Henry S. Halley, 20 May 1862

Date: May 20, 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.00325

TEI/XML: cww.00325.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 Petitioners, H S. Hawley 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 four certain colored persons of African descent of the names of Sarah, Joseph, Charles, and Eddy for and during the life of said Servants and that by said act of Congress said four Servants were discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Servants were of the ages of Thirty two (32), ten (10), Six (6) and three(3) and of the personal description following:(1) Viz:

  • Sarah is medium build—and of dark complexion.—32 years old
  • Joseph is well grown for his age. He is copper color. Ten years of age.
  • Charles is copper color also—and is a very Serviceable boy. He is quite large for his age Being 6 years.
  • Eddy is dark mahogany color aged 3 years


That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said servants in manner following:(2) He raised the children having purchased Sarah the mother of the rest in the State of Virginia, about nine years ago also his oldest child was Purchased at same time the other were Born in the family as aforesaid

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Servants was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of $2,500 dollars in money.(3)

  • Sarah is valuable as a washer and ironer. She is sound and hearty and worth nine hundred dollars.
  • Joseph is active and sprightly and can drive a cart or run errands. Worth eight hundred dollars
  • Charles is a very promising boy and is very active and quick. Worth five hundred dollars
  • Eddy is short for his age is also healthy and worth three hundred dollars
Lastly and I have sure that I have no knowledge of any defect or infirmity in said servants either morally, bodily or mentally

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 held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your petitioner's claim to such service or labor.

Your petitioners further state and allege, that he 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 petitioners pray 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.

(Signed by)
H. S. Halley

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

I, H. S. Halley 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.

(Signed by)
H S Halley

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 20th day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Thomas C. Donn
Justice of the Peace for Washington County District of Columbia
Henry S Halley
Filed May 20, 1862
Horace S. Johnston
Fenwick Young [on E.?] [illegible]

 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: Kenneth J. Winkle, Janel Cayer, Brittany Jones, and Robert Voss.