Title: Petition of William Pressey, 1 July 1862
Date: July 1, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 6. 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.00820
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, William
Pressey of Washington D.
C. 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 persons
of African descent of the names of Eliza Ann, John
Thomas, George Albert, Laura
Ann Virginia, and James
Thomas— for and during the
lives of said persons and that by said act of Congress said 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
Eliza Ann of the age of
twenty three years and of the personal
dark mulatto woman—somewhat lame
- John Thomas, dark colored man twenty years of age about five feet eight or nine inches in height
- George Albert very black boy twelve years of age
- Laura Ann Virginia dark mulatto girl nearly six years of age
- James Thomas, bright mulatto boy about six months of age
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said five persons in manner following:(2) The mother of the first named three persons was acquired by marriage and said Laura and James are the children of said Eliza Ann born while she was owned by petitioner
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said five persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of three thousand six hundred dollars in money.(3)
- Eliza Ann is an honest and industrious servant is a good cook, ironer and washer—valued at $1000—
- John Thomas is a first rate servant perfectly honest, has been hired out by petitioner as driver of a cart at a wood yard for twenty dollars per month—valued at $1500—
- George Albert strong and healthy boy, smart and active raised as house servant—valued at $700—
- Laura and James are strong and healthy children valued respectively at $300 and $100.
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 persons into
the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of
Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons were
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 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 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.
his X mark William Pressey
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, William Pressey 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 William Pressey
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of June A. D. 1862.
H. Naylor J. Peace
Jon. W. Pumphrey
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.