Title: Petition of Henry A. Willard, 23 June 1862
Date: June 23, 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.00766
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."
Henry A. Willard
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
Celia Radcliffe & her infant child a girl (holding
her as Trustee for Mrs. Caroline M. Willard) a
person of African descent
of the name of for and during the lives of said
Celia Radcliff and her said infant child, a girl, a few
months old and that by said act of Congress said
Celia & her said child 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
Celia Radcliff was of the age of about twenty five years, and her said infant daughter a
few months old. and of the personal description following:(1)
The said Celiawas born a slave for
life, is a very bright mulatto, neat, tidy, well bred, educated as a lady's
maid, and is a very good one. She is about the medium height. but I am not
aware of any distinctive marks by which to describe her
particularly—her infant child has no peculiar [marks?]
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said servants in manner following:(2) His brother Joseph C. Willard several years ago purchased Celia as a slave for life, and on the sixth of March last conveyed her with other property to their petitioner upon certain trusts for the benefit of the said Caroline M. Willard for life of said Joseph C. by deed only executed & apportioned and recorded in the clerks office of this county.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said servants was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Twelve hundred dollars in money.(3) This servant ought to bring the highest market price. Indeed Mr. Jos. C. Willard, as well as your petition now recollect, gave one thousand dollars for her seven or eight years ago: and since then she has increased in value. She is perfectly healthy, remarkably good looking, well bred, trusty, capable, and respectful.
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 servants into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said servants 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 service 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 servants 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.
H. A. Willard Trustee
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, H. A. Willard 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.
H. A. Willard Trustee
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23rd day of June A. D. 1862.
H. Naylor, J Peace
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.