Title: Petition of Richard Smyth Chilton, 5 July 1862
Date: July 5, 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.00843
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, R. S. Chilton 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 a person of African descent of the name of Jo: Brown for and during the life of said Jo: Brown and that by said act of Congress said Jo: Brown 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 Jo: Brown was of the age of about twenty-eight years and of the personal description following:(1)
- Color:—Dark brown.
- Height:—about 5 feet, 4 or 5 inches.
- is stout-built, & has an injury on the right hand.
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Jo: Brown in manner following:(2) He was purchased, solely for his own benefit & with the view of his being made free, by your petitioner from Mrs. Elizabeth Brent, for the sum of $600. This purchase took place in October, 1855. Since that period said Jo: Brown has paid your petitioner from time to time sums amounting in all to about $350, after deducting money for various purposes advanced by your petitioner to said Jo: Brown since the time of his purchase.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Jo: Brown was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of about $250 dollars in money.(3), with interest on that sum from the date of his purchase by your petitioner. Your petitioner has no knowledge of any defect in said Jo: Brown which might be deemed to impair his value, except the partial loss of two fingers of his right hand. This defect existed at the time of his purchase by your petitioner. In all other respects said Jo: Brown is believed to be in good bodily condition and his habits to be ordinarily good.
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 Jo: Brown into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Jo: Brown 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 Jo: Brown 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 Jo: Brown 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.
R. S. Chilton
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Robert Smyth Chilton 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.
R. S. Chilton
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 5th day of July A. D. 1862.
Wm. R. Woodward clk
Richard S. Chilton
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.