Title: Petition of John A. Peak, 11 June 1862
Date: June 11, 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.
Civil War Washington ID: cww.00652
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 A Peak 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 Three (3) persons of African descent of the name of Teresa Clarke Harriet Clarke and Thomas Clarke for and during the life of said Teresa Clarke Harriet Clarke and Thomas Clarke and that by said act of Congress said Teresa Clarke Harriet Clarke and Thomas Clarke 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 Teresa Clarke was of the age of Eighteen years, 18, and Harriet Clarke was of the age of twelve years, 12, and Thomas Clarke was of the age of Sixteen years, 16, and of the personal description following:(1) Teresa Clarke was of the age of Eighteen years—color dark and was five feet and one inch high stout and well built, sound and healthy a good cook, washer and Ironer and a valuable house servant. Harriet Clarke was of the age of Twelve years color dark and four feet six and a half inches high stout and well built, sound and healthy, and an excellent nurse—Thomas Clarke was of the age of Sixteen years color dark and four feet and eleven inches high, has a sore on the calf of his legs from causes unknown to your petitioner which may in a measure impair his value but he is perfectly healthy and sound in all other respects and has lost no time by said affliction and [apparently?] will soon be well and have received for several years (8, Eight dollars pr month as his hire
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Teresa Clarke Harriet Clarke & Ths. Clarke in manner following:(2) by distribution of the personal Estate of Sarah R. Browne late of Saint Marys County in the State of Maryland said petitioners wife Mary E. Peak came into possession of said Teresa Clarke Harriet Clarke and Thomas Clarke as her share of the estate.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Teresa Clarke Harriet Clarke and Thomas Clarke was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Twenty five hundred dollars in money.(3) Your petitioner avers that Teresa Clarke was on account of her honesty industry and phisical [ability?] a valuable house servant and worth to said petitioner at the time of her discharge Twelve hundred dollars and was offered thirteen hundred and fifty dollars for her in 1860, and Harriet Clarke was on account of her industry honesty and phisical ability and devoted attention was worth to your petitioner Eight hundred dollars and Thomas Clarke was on account of the hire received for him worth five hundred dollars—he is honest industrious obedient and [devoted?] to your petitioner.
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 Teresa Harriet & Thomas into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Teresa Harriet & Thomas 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 Teresa Harriet & Thomas 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 Teresa Harriet & Thomas 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, John A. Peak 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.
John A. Peak
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 11th day of June A.D. 1862.
Wm R. Woodward Clerk.
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.