Title: Petition of Henry P. C. Wilson, 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.00554

TEI/XML: cww.00554.xml

Paymaster General's Office,
Hon​ Horatio King
Dear Sir,

This will be handed you by Mr. H. P. C. Wilson of this City, one of the number of those interested in the recent Emancipation law. Mr. W. has six very valuable servants. I have known him long and intimately, and most cheerfully bear testimony to his high character as a gentleman and christian, and this letter is simply to assure you that any statement he may make under the rules of your Commission, may be received with the most implicit confidence

Respectfully & truly Yrs​.
B. F. Larned


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, Henry P. C. Wilson 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 the following named slaves, persons of African descent of the names of Harriet, Severn, Comfort, Irving, Cooper and Ede for and during the life of said persons, and that by said act of Congress said persons have been 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 of the ages of [no handwritten text supplied here] and of the personal description following:(1)

Woman, Harriet, mulatto, about 5 feet 6 inches in height, Sixty one years old, (61)
Man, Severn, black, about 5 feet 5 inches " " Fifty seven " " (57)
Woman, Comfort, black " 5 " 3 " " " Fifty nine " " (59)
Man, Irving, black, " 5 " 8 " " " Twenty four " " (24)
Man, Cooper, Chesnut​, " 5 " 8 " " " Twenty two " " (22)
Woman, Ede, Chesnut​, " 5 " 5 " " " Twenty two " " (22)

Cooper and Ede are twins—
These servants are all house servants except the Man Severn
They are healthy; the most of them uncommonly intelligent; and all of them of good moral character—
Harriet, Comfort and Cooper have lived with me as my house servants—
Harriet is a first rate Cook, and has been offered Eight dollars a month; say, per ann​: 96$
Comfort is a good washer & ironer and can get Seven " " " " " " 84
Cooper is an excellent house servant " " " Fifteen " " " " " " 180
Irving, I have hired as a " " Fifteen " " " " " " 180
Ede, " " " " " Seven " " " " " " 84
Severn has had his own time, and has made a dollar a day as a Wood sawyer: I have found him his house room & fuel and he has paid me two dollars a week— 100
Deduct for clothes, Physician and Taxes, Two hundred & ten dollars:— 724-210=Five hundred & fourteen dollars as the nett Yearly value

That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Slaves in manner following:(2) He purchased Harriet, in Princess Anne, Eastern Shore, Maryland, about the year, 1835, of Dr. Saml. K. Handy, of that place—Severn and Comfort, he acquired by marriage with his present Wife. Severn and Harriet are man and Wife and are the Parents of Irving, Cooper and Ede, born in my family.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Slaves was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Four Thousand dollars in money.(3)as follows:

Harriet, $150
Severn 400
Comfort 150
Irving 1300
Cooper 1300
Ede 700

The Petitioner knows of no moral, mental, bodily, infirmities or defects of any one of said slaves as would impair the value of his claim, and he believes none such to exist—

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 Slaves into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Slaves 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 Slaves 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 Slaves 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)
H. P. C. Wilson

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

I, Henry P. C. Wilson 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)
H. P. C. Wilson

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23 day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
N Callan JP seal
Henry P. C. Wilson
Filed May 29, 1862
Wm. L. Hodge
Col​. B. F. Larned
Rev​. Dr​. Gurley N. York Av. Church

 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: Courtney Rebecca Lawton, Janel Cayer, and Kenneth J. Winkle.