Title: Petition of David A. Watterston, 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.00826

TEI/XML: cww.00826.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 labour​ in the District of Columbia."

Your Petitioner David A Watterston of the City 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 the following person of African descent of the name of Dudly Nelson for and during the life of said Dudly Nelson and that by said act of Congress said Dudly Nelson was discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labour​; that at the time of said discharge said Dudly Nelson was of the age of twenty two and of the personal description following: Mulatto about five feet and eight inches in hight​, spare made, thin visage.

That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Dudly Nelson in manner following: by deed of gift, dated & recorded in the Clerks office Dist. Ca J.A.S. folio 253, from Maria Watterston. Your petitioners mother.

That your petitioners claim to the service or labor of said Dudly Nelson was at the time of said discharge therefrom of the value of fifteen hundred dollars in money.

Said Dudly Nelson is a valuable house servant, is industrious, active, honest & to your petitioner invaluable He has no bodily infirmities or defects known to petitioner.


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 Dudly Nelson into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Dudly Nelson was held to service or labor therein under & by virtue of your petitioners claim to such service or labour

Your petitioner further states & alleges that his said claim to the service or labor of said Dudly Nelson 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 Dudly Nelson 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 & report the same to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, in conformity to the provisions of said act of Congress.

David A Watterston

I David A. Watterston 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.

David A. Watterston

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of June A.D. 1862

P. McKenna JP.
Petition of
D. A. Watterston
Filed July 1, 1862
A. Woodward Jr.
P. McNantz
Transcription and encoding: Nima Najafi Kianfar, Janel Cayer, and Susan C. Lawrence.