Title: Petition of Thomas Murphy, 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.00900
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 Murphy of the County of Washington District of Columbia 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 Lewis Ferguson for and during the life of said Lewis Ferguson and that by said act of Congress said Lewis Ferguson 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 Lewis Ferguson was of the age of about fifty five years, a male and of the personal description following:(1)—of a copper color about five feet seven inches in height with hair slightly tinged with grey. The man was a drunkark when purchased by Petitioner—but has since reformed—
That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Lewis Ferguson in manner following:(2) he purchased said Lewis Ferguson from William H Williams in January AD 1850 and paid for him the sum of $390—as shown by the annexed receipt marked T. M—
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said Lewis Ferguson was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of six hundred dollars in money.(3)Your Petitioner further says that the said Lewis was a steady working man—sober and attentive to his work and did as much for him as a man He would have had to pay 12 a month for—and was worth to him more than twice as much at the date of the passage of said law as at the date of my purchase of him. Your Petitioner believes him to be fairly worth $600—
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 Lewis Ferguson into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said Lewis Ferguson 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 Lewis Ferguson 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 Lewis Ferguson 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.
Received of Thos. Murphy three hundred and ninety dollars in full payment for a certain slave named Lewis age about forty three years the right and title fully guaranteed to the said purchaser
Wm H. Williams
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Thomas Murphy 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 12th day of July A. D. 1862.
F. I. Murphey J. P.
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.