Title: Petition of John W. Clarke, 11 July 1862
Date: July 11, 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.00894
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, John W Clark 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 Caroline a female person of African descent of the name of "Caroline" for and during the life of said "Caroline" and that by said act of Congress said "Caroline" 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 "Caroline" was of the age of Twenty Seven years, or thereabouts and of the personal description following:(1) of a very Bright complexion—or Bright mulatto,—walks erect—medium size—likely and intelligent
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said "Caroline" in manner following:(2) By virtue of a purchase from Colin B Catlett, Harriet T Catlett and Anna E. Catlett.— As by reference to the Bill of Sale hereto annexed bearing date Decr. 27th 1855, and marked "A No 1" will appear—the consideration paid for said Caroline was $800—as appears in said Bill of Sale
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said "Caroline" was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of One—Thousand dollars in money.(3)That the said "Caroline," is a most excellent woman—washes and irons as well—is a good house keeper and can make herself generally useful—she is a woman of excellent habits and morals—and your Petitioner is not aware and avers—that he has no knowledge, of any moral, mental, or bodily defects in said person—calculated to impair his said claim.
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 person "Caroline" into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said "Caroline" 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 "Caroline" 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 "Caroline" 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.
J W. Clarke.
For and in consideration of the sum of Eight Hundred Dollars to us in hand paid (the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged)—We hereby bargain sell and convey to John W. Clark, our Negro Woman "Caroline" together with all her future increase.—We hereby warrant the right & title to said negro to said Clarke against all persons whatsoever.—Witness our hands & seals this 27th day of December 1855.—
Colin B Catlett seal
Harriet T Catlett seal
Anna E Catlett seal
as to C. B. Catlett
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, John W Clarke 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.
J W. Clarke.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 10th day of July A. D. 1862.
Chas Walter J. P. seal
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.