Title: Petition of Robert C. Brooke, 26 May 1862
Date: May 26, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 4. 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.00422
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, Robert C. Brooke 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 the following persons of African descent of the name of Sandy Diggs—Mary Diggs his wife. Sandy Diggs alias Sandy Ryan, Maria Diggs alias Maria Ryan, Son and daughter of said Mary Diggs—and Luke Gilbert for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress said persons 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 Sandy Diggs was of the age of thirty six years and of the personal description following:(1) five feet and Six inches high very black, a little lame in the left foot, has had only one eye from the age of three or four years—occupation house servant, is very smart, active, intelligent and honest.
- 2d Mary Diggs, (his wife) forty-five years of age—five feet Six inches high, by occupation house servants, has been a Servant in my family the last fifteen years—
- 3. Sandy Diggs, alias Sandy Ryan, Son of said Mary Diggs age eighteen years—five feet eight inches high—very bright mullato. Strong healthy, robust and intelligent boy is considered an excellent house servant.
- 4. Maria Diggs alias Maria Ryan, daughter of said Mary Diggs—age twenty years, five feet for or five inches high very bright mullato girl, is a very smart active woman occupation Seamstress, house-servant or nurse. Your petitioner would respectfully state that said Maria was hired out to one Smith Humphrey of Washington County in the state of Maryland for a term of years before and after times of the passage of said act of Congress and that said Maria Since the passage and approval of said act came with her own voluntary accord, without the consent either directly or indirectly of your petitioner into the District of Columbia.
- 5th Luke Gilbert—very black—five feet, eight inches high very smart active and intelligent man—age forty five years—very healthy and robust—occupation a gardener or farmer.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) Sandy Diggs, was purchased by your petitioner at the public Sale or auction of the estate of late Walter Z Berry of Prince George County Maryland twenty-Six years ago—Bill of sale lost—
1st That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Sandy Diggs was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of one thousand dollars in money.(3) Your petitioner further says and alleges that said Sandy Diggs did bring or realize to your petitioner the sum of two hundred Dollars a year. Your petitioner considered and does consider him a very valuable man.
- 2d Mary Diggs at the time of said discharge therefrom was of the value of one thousand dollars. Said Mary has been a cook and house servant in your petitioners family for the last fifteen years.
- 3 Sandy Diggs alias Ryan, was at the time of said discharge of the value of fifteen hundred Dollars, the said Sandy has earned and brought unto your petitioner the sum of Sixty Dollars a year clear profit since said Sandy was at the age of ten years
- 4. Maria Diggs alias Maria Ryan—was at the time of said discharge of the value of fifteen hundred dollars. The said Maria has brought and realized unto your petitioner the sum of Seventy two dollars a year—She has never cost your petitioner one cent for clothing or Doctors bills or medicines and your petitioner further alleges that he has not brought said Maria into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act pf Congress, and that, at the time of the passage of said act, She was held to service or labor in the County of Montgomery in the state of Maryland.
- 5th. Luke Gilbert, was at the time of said discharge therefrom of the value of twelve hundred Dollars in money—
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
Maria Diggs alias Maria
Ryan—who was held to service or labor in
Montgomery County in the State of
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.
Robt. C. Brooke
Recd Washington D C. 22 March 1858 of R. C. Brooke One thousand fifteen dollars in full for Negro man Jake Gilbert warranted sound in body & mind & slave for life.
Richard H Beall
Your petitioner humbly complaining represents to your honorable body that she is about 16 years of age the daughter of Mary Diggs wife herself of Sandy Diggs, that she is of A [illegible] her said [illegible], for many years been the property of Robert C Brook of Washington City in the District of Columbia that said Brook is now and on the said 16th day of May was a resident of said City within Said District that although, she has for a few years been hired out by said Brook to one Smith Thompson & been laboring in his family out side of said District yet she has often, by the consent of her owner & master visited the city & her parents & friends therein.
Your petitioner further represents that she was (within the [illegible] of the act of emancipation), held to Service or labor within said District & prays that your honorable [illegible] may forthwith receive this her petition and enter the [illegible] of record upon the records of your Court and grant her such actions & record evidence thereof & papers as shall make her free in accordance with the provisions of said act of emancipation as in duty bound She will ever pray
by her Atty [G H. Day?] Washington DC
May 24, 1862
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Robert C. Brooke 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.
Robt. C. Brooke
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 24 day of May A. D. 1862.
F. I. Murphey J.P.
Smith Thompson, Montgomery Co Md
Jno E Roby. Washington D.C.
Wm H [Clagget?] do do
to prove value &c of Maria
John Magill " "
Mrs Mary McIntyre " "
Atty for Petitioner
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.