Title: Petition of William R. Riley, 24 May 1862
Date: May 24, 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.00524
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 R Riley of the City 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 Two males, and One female persons of African descent of the name of Isaac Bailey Grace Fortune and Adam Brown, for and during the life of said Isaac Bailey, Grace Fortune, and Adam Brown and that by said act of Congress said Isaac Bailey, Grace Fortune, and Adam Brown 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 Isaac Bailey, Grace Fortune and Adam Brown were of the ages following: viz: Isaac Bailey of the age of Sixty (60) years, or thereabouts, and of the personal description following:(1) a Black Complexion, a little stiff in one Leg—Medium height to wit, about 5 ft. 7 in in height;—tolerable stout. Intelligent.
That your petitioner acquired his said claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Persons in manner following:(2) that is to say: by virtue of the Last Will and Testament of his father Thomas R Riley (decd), who departed this life in January 1846, and your Petitioner begs leave to produce the said Will, or a Certified copy thereof duly recorded in the Office of the Register of Wills of the District of Columbia.—and that the same may be read and considered as a part of this petition. Your Petitioner further says: that the said Isaac and Grace, were old family domestics, and that the said Adam, was acquired by your Petitioner's father some considerable time before his death.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Isaac, Grace, and Adam was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Seventeen (17) hundred dollars in money.(3)that is to say: Isaac Bailey. $400. Grace Fortune. $300, and Adam Brown $1000. that the said Isaac is a Sound, healthy man, of good habits generally—and amiable disposition—He is a good working hand. Grace Fortune—is usually healthy—very pious,—she is capable of doing almost any kind of housework—being a good Cook—nurse, &c.—She is a very useful old woman—; Adam Brown is a Stout able bodied man, healthy and active—He is a smart excellent teamster and Hostler, is a man of good habits generally—and can command good wages at any time. And your petitioner avers that he has no knowledge of any moral, mental, or physical defects in any of said persons other than what are mentioned.
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.
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 Isaac, Grace, & Adam, 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.
Wm R. Riley
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, William R Riley 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.
Wm R. Riley
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 28th day of May A. D. 1862.
F. I. Murphey J. P.
Wm R Riley.
Asbury Lloyd Esq
J. W. Martin
Wm J. Doniphan
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.