Title: Petition of William S. Johnston, 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.00828
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 S Johnston of Fairfax County, Virginia, 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 labour against Henson Nokes and Frederick Smith, persons of African descent, for and during the life of the said Henson Nokes and Frederick Smith; and that by said Act of Congress they are discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labour; that at the time of said discharge the said Henson Nokes was of the age of forty years, bright, five feet eight inches in height, and slender made, and is supposed to be now living with his wife on Capitol Hill in the city of Washington; that the said Frederick Smith was of the age of about thirty eight years, very black, stout made, and has been employed for several months in driving a government waggon.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labour of said Henson Nokes and Frederick Smith By purchase about 7 years ago by the death of his father Dennis Johnston. That your petitioners claim to the service or labour of the said Henson Nokes, was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of $800 dollars in money, and of the said Frederick Smith of the value of $1400 dollars in money.
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 & alleges that he has not brought said Henson Nokes and Frederick Smith into the District of Columbia, since the passage of the said Act of Congress; and that at the time of the passage thereof said Nokes & Smith were held to service or labour therein, under and by virtue of your petitioner's claim to such service or labour.
Your petitioner further states and alleges that his said claim to the service or labour of the said Nokes and Smith 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 labour of said Henson Nokes and Frederick Smith herein above set forth; & if the same be found to be valid, that they appraise & 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.
Wm. S. Johnston
County of Fairfax ss
I, William F Johnston, 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 & 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.
Wm. S. Johnston
Sworn & subscribed before me this [no handwritten text supplied here] day of June AD 1862.
Personally appeared before me W S Johnston on the 28th day of June 1862 and made oath to the above—Given under my hand and seal in the County of Fairfax State of Va