Title: Petition of George W. Riggs, 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.00478
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, George W Riggs of Washington 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 two persons of African descent of the name of Anthony Bell and Mary Belt for and during the life of said Anthony and Mary and that by said act of Congress said Anthony Bell and Mary Belt are discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Anthony Bell of the age of about forty three years and Mary Belt of the age of about twenty five years and of the personal description following:(1)
- Anthony Bell—black—dark colour thin, and rather tall. stoops & was a house servant but now saws wood and works as whitewasher
- Mary Belt, Black, with pleasant expression of countenance. of ordinary size. house maid without any distinguishing marks that your petitioner can describe
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Anthony and Mary in manner following:(2) Anthony was bought by him about eleven years ago from the estate of Laughlin formerly Recorder of the Land office
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Anthony and Mary was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Fifteen Hundred dollars ($1500) in money.(3) viz;
- for Anthony Bell five hundred dollars. He being a faithful honest servant but on account of asthma to attacks of which he is subject he is not so valuable a able to earn as much wages as he otherwise would.
- Mary is in every aspect a good servant, faithful and intelligent and of good healthy constitution with to no infirmity that your petitioner knows of
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 Anthony & Mary into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Anthony & Mary were 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 value of his said claim to the service or labor of said Anthony & Mary 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. and your petitioner prays, that if it can be done whatever may be allowed him for his claim to the service or labor of the said Anthony Bell may be paid to the said Anthony
Geo W Riggs
Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.
Washington County, ss.
I, George W Riggs 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.
Geo W Riggs
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day of May A. D. 1862.
George W. Riggs
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.