Title: Petition of Philip T. Berry, 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.00740

TEI/XML: cww.00740.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, Philip T. Berry of Georgetown Dist of Col. 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 Five Males and Eight Females person of African descent of the name of Nelly Beall. Sandy & Grandison Beall her Two Sons, Sophy Beall Wife of Sandy & her five children viz Susan (& her infant female child without name) Margaret. Kitty. Robert. & Alexander. Mary Beall (Daughter of Grandison) Henry Thomas & Ann Thomas, his Sister for and during the life of said Thirteen persons and that by said act of Congress said Thirteen persons 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 Thirteen persons were of the ages of Stated below (as nearly as I can ascertain) and of the personal description following:(1) Nelly Beall, aged about 66 or 67 years. Black stout & thick set. a Good cook. not Very Healthy. often has Rheumatism. Sandy Beall. aged 48 or 50 years. dark copper colour​. 5 foot 6 Inches a Good Driver & very valuable Farm hand. Grandison Beall aged 46 or 47 years dark copper colour​. 5 foot 4 Inches high. Very valuable as a driver & care of Horses & trust worthy for Town purposes Generally. Sophy Beall aged 48 to 50 years dark copper colour​ tall & very stout & large a first rate Cook occasionally has Rheumatism in one knee, Susan Beall aged 22 or 23 years dark copper colour​ 5 foot high well formed & likely a first rate house servant in all respects as cook Washer & Ironer Seamstress &c. Margaret Beall 5 foot 2 or 3 Inches high. Copper colour​ Long hair Good form & likely a very valuable House servant generally. aged 19 or 20 yrs​. Kitty Beall aged 18 years Black Stout & thick set a Good cook Washer & Ironer a first rate nurse. Robert Beall aged 14 or 15 years, copper colr​ Well Grown for his age. Alexander Beall aged 11 or 12 years. Black stout & well formed. Mary Beall aged 26 years. bright copper colour​ 5 foot 3 or 4 Inches high. Long & full head of Hair. a Good cook. Washer & Ironer a very valuable House servant generally & very likely. Henry Thomas aged 40 years dark Mulatto 5 foot 4 or 5 Inches high a Valuable Man as House servant. Teamster & care of Horses. Soap manufacturer now his present Employment. Ann Thomas aged 37 years dark Mulatto. The most valuable servant in all respects. I owned & the best I know of any where, her Health is delicate Female Child of Susan 4 months old.


That your petitioner acquired His claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Thirteen Persons in manner following:(2) Nelly, Sandy, Grandison Sophy & her five children viz. Susan, Margaret Kitty, Robert & Alexander, I Received from the distribution of my Fathers​ Estate in Prince Georges County Maryland in the year 1840. Mary Beall, I purchased of my Brother, A. M. Berry of Maryland in 1850 for the sum of five Hundred Dollars. Henry & Ann Thomas I purchased of the Estate of Jane Walls in 1829, when 6 & 10 years of age.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Thirteen Persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Eleven Thousand dollars in money.(3) To him for reasons stated Your Petitioner has stated the facts touching their Value and he knows of no mental or Bodily infirmity or defects to impair the Value of any one of Them, and is not aware that any Exist as They are all Healthy (Save and Except such as are Specially referred to)

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 Thirteen persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Thirteen Persons wasere 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 Thirteen 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 Thirteen 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)
P. T. Berry

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

I, Philip T. Berry 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)
P T. Berry

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 20th day of June A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
H Naylor J Peace
P. T. Berry
Claims 13 Slaves
Georgetown D.C.
Filed June 20, 1862
Refers to Benjamin Berry Washington City
H E. Berry & Edward Chapman Georgetown DC

 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: Elizabeth Lorang, Courtney Geerhart, Robert Voss, and Brittany Jones.