Title: Petition of James White, 26 June 1862
Date: June 26, 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.00778
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, James White of the District of Columbia 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 one person of African descent of the name of Henry White for and during the life of said Henry White and that by said act of Congress said Henry White 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 Henry White was of the age of six (6) years and of the personal description following:(1) Bright mulatto complexion; intelligent countenance, and having a scar on the arm from a burn.—No other particular marks of identification.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Henry White in manner following:(2) My title to the said Henry White is derived from an instrument in writing from Sarah Ann Sasser of Washington D.C. and dated the 9th of May 1849 which, in consideration of the sum of 100 dollars grants to me the right to the service and labor of Amanda or Amanda White —then being 10 years of age—with the said Amanda shall attain the age of thirty years. The said Henry White is the child of the said Amanda , born about 1856 and while the said Amanda was held by me to service and labor as aforesaid. Said Amanda died about1856—said instrument of writing is herewith submitted marked Exhibit (A)
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Henry White was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Two hundred dollars ($200—) in money.(3) Said Henry White is a bright intelligent boy, is healthy and hearty and a very promising servant in every respect. He has a scar on one arm caused by a burn, but which does not affect him in any way— with this exception your petitioner knows of no moral mental or physical defects and believes none to exist—
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 Henry White into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Henry White 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 Henry White 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 Henry White 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.
his X mark James White
Know all men by these presents that I Sarah Ann Sasser of Washington City D.C. hath bargained and by these presents have bargained and sold to James White of the same place—negro girl Amanda aged near or about Ten years old— until she arrives at the age of thirty years of age—at and after that time she to be free for life—for and in consideration of the sum of one Hundred dollars— to me in hand paid before the signing and delivery of these presents. The receipt whereof, I hereby acknowledge—and for myself heirs and administrators. I warrant and defend the said girl Amanda to James White and his Heirs. Clear of all claims and changes—In Witness whereby I set my hand and affix my seal this—Ninth day of May eighteen Hundred and forty nine.
Sarah Ann Sasser seal Witness
W. J. A. White
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, James White 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.
his X mark James White
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26 day of June A. D. 1862.
D. Rowland J.P.
Wm G. Flood
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.