Title: Petition of William H. Kurtz, 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.00426
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, William H.
Kurtz, of Georgetown,
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
certain Simon Brooks,
Elizabeth Gibson, Henrietta
Gibson, Thomas Gibson and
George Gibson, persons of African descent,
of the name of for and during the
life of said persons respectively 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 Simon
Brooks was about sixty years of age, said Elizabeth
was of the age of
forty two years of age, said
Henrietta about seventeen years, said
Thomas about fifteen years, said
George about nine years & they were,
and of the personal descriptions
said Simon is a mulatto, about five
feet five inches in height, has been ruptured and is complaining; said
Elizabeth Gibson is dark and about four feet ten
inches high, said Henrietta is light in complexion
& about four feet four inches high; said Thomas is
of a brown complexion and about five feet high, and said
George is of a light complexion and about four feet
high; they are healthy, and with the exception mentioned, your Petitioner
knows of no defects, mental, moral or physical, calculated to impair the
value of his claim to their service and labor;
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the
aforesaid service or labor of said persons
in manner following:(2)
by marriage, they having been the property of his wife
long before his marriage.
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 $2,950dollars in
the said persons being of the values, respectively
following, viz: Simon Brooks, $150; Elizabeth
Gibson, $600; Henrietta Gibson, $600;
Thomas Gibson, $1,000; and George
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 slaves into the
District of Columbia since the passage of said act of
Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said slaves were
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 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.
W H Kurtz
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, William H. Kurtz, 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.
W. H. Kurtz
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day of May A. D. 1862.
[illegible] Thomas J Peace
Wm H Godey
L T. Cartwright
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.