Title: Petition of Benjamin L. Bohrer, 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.00459

TEI/XML: cww.00459.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 Petitioner, Benj. L. Bohrer of Georgetown DC. 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 Thirteen person's of African descent of the name of Anabella Nash, Martha Nash, Ariby Nash, Horace Nash, Adelaide Nash & infant son George Buffin Nash, James Nash, Selina Nash, George Green, Alexr. Green, John Green, William Maize. for and during the life of said person's and that by said act of Congress said person's 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 [no handwritten text supplied here] of the ages of and of the personal descriptions following:(1)[no handwritten text supplied here]

  • "Anabella Nash," aged about 38 years. a small dark mulatto woman, a first rate cook, & in every respect, the most faithful, competent, & reliable servant to be found any where. Value 900$
  • "Martha Nash," aged about 21. a bright mulatto woman, rather tall, amiable, honest, capable & very trustworthy in all respects. $700.
  • "Ariby Nash." aged 18. a bright mulatto lad, of fine disposition, remarkably honest, & a first rate dining room & house servant. $800.
  • "Horace Nash." aged 14. dark mulatto, a fine capable boy, an excellent carriage driver, & very competent to do all kinds of house work $700.
  • "Adelaide Nash." aged 17. a very bright mulatto capable, intelligent, nice washer & ironer, & competent for all kinds of house work—her Infant is a very bright complexion, a boy three months old—$700.
  • "George Buffin Nash." aged 19. bright mulatto small size, very smart, a first rate gentleman body servant, & a good carriage driver. $800.
  • "Selina Nash" aged 10. bright mulatto girl. well grown, with the best capacity & disposition; in all respects a remarkably fine child. $600.
  • "James Nash" aged about 15. very bright com</item></ul> <ul><item>plexion, very bright intellect, well taught, honest, & extremely valuable. $800.
  • "George Green" aged 26. dark color, rather tall, honest, upright, & a first class house servant $1200
  • "Alexr. Green" aged about 23. very black, tall, amiable disposition, and a very good cook. $800.
  • "John Green aged about 16. dark mulatto well grown, capable & very useful a​ a house servant, & carriage driver. $700.
  • "William Maize" aged about 25. bright mulatto, very capable as a farm hand, & is also a good groom & stableman. $800. All these servants are considered particularly valuable on account of intelligence & honesty&
Alexr. Green, George Buffin Nash, and Ariby Nash, a few weeks previous to the passage of the act (abolishing slavery in the District) being hired to U S Officers, with my consent, accompanied said officers to Fortress Monroe and are still absent.
James Nash was hired to a Clergyman stationed in Va previous to the commencement of the war, & could not return to his home in this District, therefore he is unavoidably absent.

That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said person's in manner following:(2) all the persons herein named were born in our family, & raised by me & my wife. I purchased the mother, of a portion of them, more than forty years ago, & the other portion I acquired by my marriage, with my present wife, in 1834.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said person's was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of $9600 dollars in money.(3) I have no knowledge of any defects to impair their value.

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 person's into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said person's 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 person's 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 person's 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)
B. L. Bohrer

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

I, Benjamin L. Bohrer 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)
B. L. Bohrer

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Wm R. Woodward clk
Benjamin L. Bohrer
Filed May 26, 1862
B. Ogle Taylor
Mrs Green
Dr Joshua Riley

 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: Janel Cayer, Kathryn Kruger, and Kenneth M. Price.