Title: Petition of Amos Denham, 20 June 1862

Date: June 20, 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.00737

TEI/XML: cww.00737.xml



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, Amos Denham Trustee for Mrs. A E Balmaine 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 Six Coloured persons of African descent of the names of Eliza Ann Lee, Mary Eliza Lee, Alfred Lee, Edmonia Lee, Leslie Lee and Lettie Lee for and during the life of said Eliza Ann, Mary Eliza Alfred Edmonia Leslie and Lettie and that by said act of Congress said Coloured​ Persons are discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said Eliza Ann was was of the age of Thirty Six Years and of the personal description following:(1) Bright mulatto, Mary Eliza Fifteen Years, Dark Mulatto, Alfred thirteen Years, Bright Mulatto Edmonia, Eleven Years Dark Mulatto, Leslie Eight Years Light Mulatto, and Lettie three Years Bright Mulatto


That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Coloured​ Persons in manner following:(2) as trustee from Andrew Balmaine of Washington city DC for the Benefit of Mrs. A. E. Balmaine of said City the trust Bearing date August 28 1858 he the said Andrew Balmaine having obtained them through his wife who obtained them from the Estate of Amos Denham of Loudon ([in?] State of Virginia a portion of them with their increase.) about 20 years since

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Coloured​ Persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of five thousand dollars in money.(3)the said Eliza Ann one thousand dollars, the said Mary Eliza one thousand Dollars, Alfred one thousand Dollars, Edmonia Eight hundred and fifty Dollars Leslie Six hundred and fifty Dollars and Lettie four hundred and fifty Dollars, the said Coloured​ Persons all healthy sound likely, and good servants they having refused the above Sum for them all Before the Commencement of the present troubles. and to the Best of his Knowledge and Belief they have no defect morally or otherwise

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 Coloured​ Persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Coloured​ Persons 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 Coloured​ Persons 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 Coloured​ Persons 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)
Amos Denham
A. E. Balmain
Andrew Balmain
Amos Denham Trustee

Conveying, all the right title interest and Estate of him the said Andrew Balmain in and to the first part of Lot number five in Square number One hundred and twenty seven according to Davidson's Subdivision of the Square fronting twenty five feet nine inches on 26 Street, and running back the whole depth of the Lot, to a twenty foot alley, Containing 3849 Sqr​ feet & 7 Square inches, [illegible] the same more or less. Together with the buildings & Improvements &c. &c. thereunto belonging. Also all my house and Kitchen furniture, together with the following Slaves, to wit: Eliza Ann Lee, Mary Eliza, Alfred, Edmonia and Leslie.—

In Trust however to and for the uses intents and purposes following, that is to say, In Trust for the Special uses and benefit of Amy E. Balmain wife of Andrew Balmain, for and during the terms of her natural life—" &c &c

True Extract
Test. Jno. A. Smith clk
Lib.​ J. A. S. No.​ 206. fol.​ 16 &c

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

I, Amos Denham Trustee 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)
Amos Denham

A E. Balmain

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 13th day of June A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Thomas C Donn
Justice of the Peace for Washington County District of Columbia

Subscribed and sworn to by Mrs. A. E. Balmain this 8 Oct 1862 before

Wm R. Woodward clk
Amos Denham
Filed June 20, 1862

 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: Janel Cayer, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Kenneth J. Winkle.