Title: Petition of Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, 12 June 1862
Date: June 12, 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.00664
[It is believe the following form of a Petition embodies all the facts necessary to be stated in an ordinary case of a claim under the act to the service of one person only. Where the value of the service of more than one person is claimed in the same petition, the form must be modified and adapted to the circumstances of the case:]
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, Benjamin Ogle Tayloe of the City of Washington 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 persons person of African descent of the name of Catherine and Malina Lawson [sisters] for and during the life of said Catherine and Malinda and that by said act of Congress said Catherine and Malinda 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 Catherine and Malinda were of the age of twenty two  and eighteen years  and of the personal description following:(1) two light coloured mulatto girls—Malinda rather lighter in colour, as well as size, than the other—of pleasing appearance, but of no special mark to identify either of them. They are each of them, accomplished and valuable, worth more to me than $1000 each, at which prices I could not have been induced to sell either of them. The one is my Cook; the other, a good seamstress is my wifes maid servant. Both have been educated in the family and are moral and civil
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Catherine & Malinda Lawson in manner following:(2) by inheritance of their parents, under will from his Father, the late Col John Tayloe, of this City, the inheritor of their ancestors from his Father, who is believed in like manner to have inherited the more remote ancestry.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Catherine and Malinda Lawson was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of at least two thousand dollars in money.(3)there being no defect mental or physical in either of them; but on the contrary being of robust health and of superior accomplishments in their calling, under special care and education in the family of the claimant.
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 Catherine and Malinda into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Catherine & Malinda were 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 Catherine & Malinda 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 Catherine & Malinda 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.
Benj Ogle Tayloe
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, 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.
Benj Ogle Tayloe
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12th 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.