Title: Petition of Theodore Sheckels, 29 May 1862
Date: May 29, 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.00543
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, Theodore Sheckels of Washington City, 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 one person of African descent of the name of Henry Duvall for and during the life of said Henry Duvall and that by said act of Congress said Henry Duvall 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 Henry Duvall was of the age of fifty seven years and of the personal description following:(1) about five feet eight inches high and black. well formed and moderately stout.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Henry Duvall in manner following:(2) That he acquired title to said Henry Duval by conveyance from his mother about ten years ago. that the said Duvall had been in and belonged to his mother's family for at least forty years previous to the conveyance to him.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Henry Duvall was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of four hundred dollars in money.(3) That the said Henry Duval is yet a valuable servant active for his age. A good farm hand and cook. He has been employed as a cook by the Government for the last eight months at the rate of twenty dollars per month. He is sound and healthy, but at times has slight attack of rheumatism which however never confines him to his bed to my knowledge. Your petitioner knows of no other infirmity or defect morally or physically which impairs the value of paid person, and he believes no other exists.
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 Henry Duvall into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Duvall 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 Duvall 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 Henry Duvall 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.
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Theodore Sheckels 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.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 29th day of May A.D. 1862
F. I. Murphey J.P.
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.