Title: Petition of John B. Blake, 7 June 1862
Date: June 7, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 5. 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.00647
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, John B. Blake, of Washington City 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 a male person of African descent of the name of Henry Peterson for and during the life of said Peterson and that by said act of Congress said Peterson 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 Peterson was of the age of thirty six years or thereabout and of the personal description following:(1) He is of a light black complexion, with sprightly countenance; stout frame and measures five feet ten inches in height.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Henry Peterson in manner following:(2) by purchase in November 1852 as will appear from the following bill of sale:
B. M. V. W. L. Campbell
Doctor John B. Blake One Thousand
Dollars, being in full for the purchase of Negro Slave
Henry Peterson a man Twenty five to thirty years of
the right and title of said Slave
warrant and defend against the claims of all person or persons
whatever, and likewise warrant
sound and healthy, and a Slave for life.
Wm Campbell SEAL
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Peterson was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of 290 66/100 dollars in money.(3) The said Peterson having been purchased with the view to his liberation the proceeds of his labor have been applied to refund the purchase money and have fallen short that sum the amount stated and the value of his service or labor. He is free of moral, mental and bodily infirmities or defects, so far as your petitioner knows and believes and in the opinion of your petitioner would under ordinary circumstances be worth as much as his original cost.
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 Peterson into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Peterson 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 Peterson 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 Henry Peterson 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.
Jno B. Blake
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, John B. Blake 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.
Jno B. Blake
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 7th day of June A. D. 1862.
Chs Walter J.P. seal
Dr. John B. Blake
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.