Title: Petition of Thomas Brown, 12 July 1862
Date: July 12, 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.00898
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, Thomas Brown of the County of Washington D of 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 three persons of African descent of the names of Richard Johnson, Charles A Dorsey, and Ann Dorsey for and during the life of said Richard Johnson and against Charles A Dorsey and Ann Dorsey until they should respectively attain the age of 25 years and that by said act of Congress said Richard Johnson Charles A Dorsey and Ann Dorsey, 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 Richard Johnson was of the age of twenty five years, and of the personal description following:(1) of black color about six feet high, healthy and sound—a male
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said three slaves in manner following:(2) he purchased said Richard Johnson from Edward Shoemaker of Montgomery County Maryland, in the year AD 1857, and paid one thousand dollars in cash for him—That said Charles A Dorsey and Ann Dorsey were born of a negro woman named Rosetta—while she was the slave of Petitioner for a term of years. That he held said Rosetta under the annexed contract with one Samuel Shreve marked TB, by which contract Richard and Ann were to be delivered to said Shreve when they should respectively attain the age of twenty five years.
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said three slaves was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of twenty one hundred dollars in money.(3)viz said Richard was worth fifteen hundred dollars—said Charles for the time he had to serve five hundred dollars and said Ann for the time she had to serve one hundred dollars
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 three slaves or either of them into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said three slaves 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 three slaves 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 three slaves 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.
Bill of Sale of Rosetta
Know all men by these presents that I Samuel Shreve of the city and county of Washington, and District of Columbia, for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars current money of the United States, to me in hand paid by Thomas Brown of the county of Washington, do hereby sell, assign, transfer and deliver unto the said Thomas Brown my negro girl Rosetta, who will be fifteen years old in the month of December 1851, to dwell with and serve her new master Thomas Brown until she shall come to the age of twenty five years, which will be in the month of December 1861. (the full share and period of ten years,) during which term and time she the said Rosetta shall be the property of the said Thomas Brown, To have and to hold the said negro woman Rosetta, by these presents granted, bargained, sold and confirmed unto the said Thomas Brown his executors, administrators, and assigns for the period aforesaid, freely, quietly, peaceably and entirely, without any contradiction, claim, disturbance, or hindrance of any person whatsoever, and without any account to me, or any other whatsoever, to be made, answered, or hereafter to be rendered; so that I the said Samuel Shreve, nor any other for me, or in my name, might to exact, challenge, claim or denounce, or any time or times hereafter any right, title, interest, or demand, of, in, to, or for, the said negro girl, but from all, right title, interest, claim or demand, shall be wholly barred and excluded by virtue of these presents, and I the said Thomas Brown do hereby covenant, promise, and agree to and with the said Samuel Shreve that, in the event of the said negro girl Rosetta having issue during her servitude with me the said Thomas Brown that said issue shall be delivered to the said Samuel Shreve the age of twenty five years, and further that I the said Thomas Brown, for myself my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, do bind myself in the penal sum of three hundred dollars that I will return the said negro girl Rosetta to the said Samuel Shreve when she shall come to the age of twenty five years, unless prevented by death of the said girl or her absconding from my service, and in case of her absconding, that I will use all means in my power by advertisement &c. to [reverse?] said girl, and for the faithful performance of the covenants above I the said Thomas Brown do bind myself my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns in the penal sum above named, well and truly to be paid to the said Samuel Shreve
In testimony whereof the said Samuel Shreve and Thomas Brown have hereunto set there hands and affixed their seals this 2d day of July 1851.
Samuel Shreve seal
Thos Brown seal
Washington County to wit
On this second day of July 1851, before the subscriber a Justice of the Peace in and for the county and District aforesaid personally appeared Samuel Shreve and Thomas Brown and acknowledged the foregoing instrument of writing to be the act and deed for the purposes therein expressed.
J. A. Smith JP seal
Received of Thomas Brown the negro woman—Rosetta named in the annexed agreement
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Thomas Brown 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.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12 day of July A. D. 1862.
Wm. R. Woodward clk.
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.