Title: Petition of John T. Sullivan, 21 May 1862
Date: May 21, 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.00354
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, John T.
Sullivan of the City of
Washington 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 a person of African
descent of the name of Margaret
for and during the life of said
until she should attain to the age of Thirty-five
years. and that by said act of Congress said Margaret Brooks 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 Margaret
Brooks was of the age of twenty
four years, or thereabouts and of the personal description
Height five feet two and a half inches—complexion
dark brown—person slender—open bright and intelligent
countenance—no marks known.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Margaret Brooks in manner following:(2) By purchase from Nicholas L. Queen of the District of Columbia, on the 8th [of?] October 1849, for the sum of Two hundred dollars, as shewn by the receipt of that date hereto annexed, which is the written evidence of my title.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Margaret Brooks was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Five hundred dollars in money.(3)When she came into my possession she was an inexperienced and untutored child of eleven years of age and in delicate health. By care and attention her health and constitution have been established—by thorough training, in sewing, cooking, washing and ironing and general housewifery, she has become an excellent and valuable servant. Has been taught to read and the principles of morality and good conduct strictly inculcated—knows of no defect or infirmity which impairs the value of his claim
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 Margaret Brooks into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Margaret Brooks 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 Margaret Brooks 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 Margaret Brooks 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.
John T. Sullivan
Received October 8th 1849 of John T. Sullivan Two hundred Dollars in full for Margaret Brooks, a female slave aged Eleven years who is bound to serve until she is thirty five years of age (Say to serve twenty four years) from date
Nichos. L Queeen
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, John T. Sullivan 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.
John T. Sullivan
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 13 day of May A. D. 1862.
R G. Hedrick
Justice of the Peace
Augustus E. Perry
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.