Title: Petition of Charles Bradley, 22 May 1862
Date: May 22, 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.00377
Sold by W .H. & O. H. Morrison, Law Booksellers, 440 Pennsylvania Avenue.
FOR THE RELEASE OF CERTAIN PERSONS HELD TO SERVICE OR IN LABOR IN THE District of Columbia.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons held to service or labor within the District of Columbia by reason of African descent are hereby discharged and freed of and from all claim to such service or labor; and from and after the passage of this act neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except for crime, whereof the party shall be duly convicted, shall hereafter exist in said District.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That all persons loyal to the United States, holding claims to service or labor against persons discharged therefrom by this act, may, within ninety days from the passage thereof, but not thereafter, present to the Commissioners hereinafter mentioned their respective statements or petitions in writing, verified by oath or affirmation, setting forth the names, ages, and personal description of such persons; the manner in which said petitioners acquired such claim, and any facts touching the value thereof, and declaring his allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that he has not borne arms against the United States during the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid or comfort thereto: Provided, That the oath of the party to the petition shall not be evidence of the fact therein stated.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint three Commissioners, residents of the District of Columbia, any two of whom shall have power to act, who shall receive the petitions above mentioned, and who shall investigate and determine the validity and value of the claims therein presented, as aforesaid, and appraise and apportion, under the proviso hereto annexed, the value in money of the several claims by them found to be valid: Provided however, That the entire sum so appraised and apportion shall not exceed, in the aggregate, an amount equal to three hundred dollars for each person shown to have been so held by lawful claim: And provided further, That no claim shall be allowed for any slave or slaves brought into said District after the passage of this act, nor for any slave claimed by any person who has borne arms against the Government of the United States in the present rebellion, or in any way given aid or comfort thereto, or which originates in or by virtue of any transfer heretofore made or which shall hereafter be made by any person who has in any manner aided or sustained the rebellion against the Government of the United States.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That said Commissioners shall, within nine months from the passage of this act, make a full and final report of their proceedings, findings, and appraisement, and shall deliver the same to the Secretary of the Treasury, which report shall be deemed and taken to be conclusive in all respects, except as hereinafter provided; and the Secretary of the Treasury shall, with like exception, cause the amounts so apportioned to said claims to be paid from the Treasury of the United States to the parties found by said report to be entitled thereto as aforesaid, and the same shall be received in full and complete compensation: Provided, That in cases where petitions may be filed presenting conflicting claims or setting up liens, said Commissioners shall so specify in said report, and payment shall not be made, according to the award of said Commissioners, until a period of sixty days shall have elapsed, during which time any petitioner claiming an interest in the particular amount may file a bill in equity in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, making all other claimants defendants thereto, setting forth the proceedings in such case before said Commissioners, and their action therein, and praying that the party to whom payment has been awarded may be enjoined from receiving the same; and if said court shall grant such provisional order, a copy thereof may, on motion of said complainant, be served upon the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall thereupon cause the said amount of money to be paid into said court, subject to its orders and final decree, which payment shall be in full and complete compensation, as in other cases.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That said Commissioners shall hold their sessions in the city of Washington, at such place and times as the President of the United States may direct, of which they shall give due and public notice. They shall have power to subpoena and compel the attendance of witnesses, and to receive testimony and enforce its production, as in civil cases before courts of justice, without the exclusion of any witness on account of color; and they may summon before them the persons making claim to service or labor, and examine them under oath; and they may also, for purposes of identification and appraisement, call before them the persons so claimed. Said Commissioners shall appoint a clerk, who shall keep files and complete record of all proceedings before them, who shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations in said proceedings, and who shall issue all lawful process by them ordered. The Marshal of the District of Columbia shall personally, or by deputy, attend upon the sessions of said Commissioners, and shall execute the process issued by said clerk.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That said Commissioners shall receive in compensation for their services the sum of two thousand dollars each, to be paid upon the filing of their report; that said clerk shall receive for his services the sum of two hundred dollars per month; that said marshal shall receive such fees as are allowed by law for similar services performed by him in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia; that the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause all other reasonable expenses of said Commission to be audited and allowed, and that said compensation, fees, and expenses shall be paid from the treasury of the United States.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That for the purpose of carrying this act into effect there is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, a sum not exceeding one million of dollars.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall kidnap, or in any manner transport or procure to be taken out of said District, any person or persons discharged and freed by the provisions of this act, or any free person or persons with intent to re-enslave or sell such person or persons into slavery, or shall re-enslave any of said freed persons, the person or persons so offending shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and on conviction thereof in any court of competent jurisdiction in said District, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than five nor more than twenty years.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That within twenty days, or within such further time as the Commissioners herein provided for shall limit, after the passage of this act, a statement in writing or schedule shall be filed with the clerk of the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, by the several owners or claimants to the services of the persons made free or manumitted by this act, setting forth the names, ages, sex, and particular description of such persons, severally; and the said clerk shall receive and record, in a book by him to be provided and kept for that purpose, the said statements or schedules on receiving fifty cents each therefor, and no claim shall be allowed to any claimant or owner who shall neglect this requirement.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That said clerk and his successors in office shall, from time to time, on demand, and on receiving twenty-five cents therefor, prepare, sign, and deliver to each person made free or manumitted by this act, a certificate under the seal of said court, setting out the name, age, and description of such person, and stating the such person was duly manumitted and set free by this act.
SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, is hereby appropriated, to be expended under the direction of the President of the United States, to aid in the colonization and settlement of such free persons of African descent now residing in said District, including those to be liberated by this act, as may desire to emigrate to the Republics of Hayti or Liberia, or such other country beyond the limits of the United States as the President may determine: Provided, The expenditure for this purpose shall not exceed one hundred dollars for each emigrant.
SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That all acts of Congress and all laws of the State of Maryland in force in said District, and all ordinances of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, inconsistent with the provisions of this act, are hereby repealed.
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."
of the District of
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 two females,
persons of African descent of the names of
Mary Hall a slave to serve until the 12th day of November in the year Eighteen Hundred and
Sixty five, and Lydia Jackson—
for and during the life of said
and that by said act of Congress said persons
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 persons were
was of the ages
respectively of 20 years of 28 years and of the
personal description following:(1)
the said Mary Hall is fleshy,
medium stature rather pleasant countenance; said Lydia
Jackson is in good condition, has a scar on her right cheek
and a mole on her left cheek and a pleasant face
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons— in manner following:(2) The said Lydia Jackson was derived from Your Petitioners Father's Estate, the late Abraham Bradley of the District deceased, as part of Your Petitioners distributive share therein. The said Mary Hall was acquired by purchase under & by virtue of the original bill of sale to Your Petitioner from William T. Eva, dated the 12th day of November in the year Eighteen Hundred and fifty seven, and herewith filed
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 Twelve hundred & twenty five dollars in money.(3) The said Mary is bright, intelligent, well instructed in the duties of a house servant and capable to perform any house work assigned to her whether as cook or chambermaid. Sound & healthy, and without any moral, mental or bodily infirmities or defects of person so far as your Petitioner knows. That said Lydia is an experienced and faithful house servant, generally employed as nurse and chambermaid but well instructed in every branch of household duties as nurse, seamstress, washerwoman or in whatever capacity employed. That she has more than ordinary intelligence, and has by her own zeal and industry collected and conducted a Sunday School for children of her own color for 3 or 4 years past, numbering at one time as your Petitioner is informed upward of 40 pupils. Her general health is good, and she is rarely unable to attend to her duties; So far as your Petitioner knows she has no defects or infirmities, moral, mental or bodily to impair the value of your Petitioners claim to her service and labor
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
either of 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—
ere 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.
Know all men by these presents that I Henry G. Walters of Harford County in the State of Maryland for the consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars to me in hand paid by William T Eva the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge have granted bargained and sold and by these presents doth grant bargain sell and deliver unto the said William T Eva a negro Girl named Mary aged seven years the 7th day of October last past to serve him the said Wm T Eva his heirs and assigns until she arrives at the age of twenty five years, she being part of the personal estate of the late Rowland Rogers and sold as such by the said H G Walters [Administrator In witness whereof I have hereunto set my name and affixed my seal the 15th day of February eighteen hundred and fifty. 1850
Henry G Walters seal
In presence of
Hugh F Haughay
Harford County To wit,
On this 18th day of February in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and fifty, before me one of the justices of the peace in and for the said county appears Henry G Walters and acknowledges the within writing to be his act and deed according to the true intent and meaning thereof. and the act of Assembly in such case made and provided
Wm T Eva
Bill of sale
For value received I have bargained, Sold and delivered, and by these presents do bargain, sell and deliver to Charles Bradley his executors, administrators & assigns the within and above named negro girl Mary to serve [illegible] a slave until she shall attain the age of twenty-five years to wit, eight years from date.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Twelfth day of November in the year Eighteen Hundred & fifty seven
William T Eva seal
signed sealed & delivered in the presence of
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Charles Bradley 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 22nd day of May A. D. 1862.
Charles Walter J. P. seal
J. N. Bradley Jr
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.