Title: Petition of Barnet T. Swart, 27 May 1862

Date: May 27, 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.00474

TEI/XML: cww.00474.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, Barnet T. Swort of Washington County in the District of Columbia 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 seven persons of African descent of the names of Colonel Johnson, Emily Allen, George Allen, Ellick Allen, Spencer Allen, Mary E. Allen, & Charles Brown. for and during the life of said persons (except Chas. Brown who is bound to me until he is of age)— and that by said act of Congress said persons were 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 of 47 yrs. 29 yrs. 10yrs. 5 yrs. 4 yrs. 16 mos. 14 mos. and of the personal description following:(1)

  • Colonel Johnson aged 47 years—Male—dark chesnut​ color. 5 ft 6 ½ inches high stout and healthy valued at $1000—
  • Emily Allen aged 29 years, female, dark color—5 ft. 4 inches high able bodied and healthy valued at $1000—
  • George Allen aged 10 years, male—dark color—4 ft. 4 inches high well made sprightly and healthy valued at $500—
  • Ellick Allen aged 5 years, male dark color 3 ft. 4 inches high—active lively and healthy valued at $300—
  • Spencer Allen aged 4 years, male, dark color 3 ft. 6 inches high smart likely and healthy—valued at $300—
  • Mary E. Allen aged 16 months, female, dark color—2 ft. 6 inches high fine healthy child valued at $200—
(The four last mentioned persons are children of Emily Allen)—


That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said persons in manner following:(2) Colonel Johnson was bought by me from F. A. Tishisiffaley as will appear by receipt herewith filed—Emily Allen and her son George was purchased by me from Sarah & Mary Ross as will appear by Bill of Sale filed herewith—also receipt of T. A. Tschiffely

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 thirty six hundred dollars in money.(3)All of said persons are healthy, strong active and very useful to me in the different capacities which they were assigned by me—And I am not aware of any defect or infirmities, either morally mentally or bodily in them or either of them—but are fully worth to me the amounts that they are appraised at above.

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 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.

(Signed by)
B. T. Swart

Know all men by these presents that I Sarah Ross—of the County of Prince Georges and State of Maryland, being a woman of full age and capable of contracting, of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of Eight hundred dollars, lawfull​ money of the United States, to me in hand paid at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, by Barnard T Swart of the county of Fauquier and State of Virginia, of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have bargained, sold and delivered, and by these presents do grant convey and deliver unto the said Barnard T Swart his executors, administrators and assigns, one certain negro woman named and know as Emily, aged about Twenty six years, of a black color, [no handwritten text supplied here] feet high, a slave for life: together with her child a boy named and known as George, about Three years old, of a black color, likewise a slave for life;—being the same slaves purchased by me of George W Massey of the [no handwritten text supplied here] on or about the [no handwritten text supplied here] day of [no handwritten text supplied here] A D one thousand eight hundred and [no handwritten text supplied here];—as well as the future issue of the said woman Emily: To Have and to Hold the same unto the said Barnard T. Swart his—executors, administrators and assigns forever.

And I, the said party of the first part, do hereby warrant the said slaves Emily and George to be sound and healthy in mind and body, and   the said slave Emily to be honest and industrious: and I do hereby covenant for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, the said bargained slaves and the title thereto, unto the said Barnard T Swart, his executors, administrators and assigns from and against each and all person and persons whomsoever, to warrant and defend.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this second day of September A. D One thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.

Sarah Ross Seal

Signed, Sealed and delivered in the presence of

A. G. Galey
Mary Ross

Recd​. of B. T. Swart, his four promissory notes, dated this day, for $87.50/100, each, [illegible] in 3, 6, 9 & 12 months, with interest—and while when paid will be in full for negro man "Colonel", this day sold to him

T. A. Tschiffely
F​. A. Tschiffely

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

I, Barnet T. Swart 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. T. Swart

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27th day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Gilbert L. Giberson JP
Petition of
Barnet T. Swort
Filed May 27, 1862
Wm. Bryan
Pearce Kingle

 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.