Title: Petition of Joseph C. Willard and Henry A. Willard, 19 May 1862

Date: May 19, 1862

Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 3. 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.00301

TEI/XML: cww.00301.xml



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 Petitioners, J. C. & H. A. Willard of Washington D. C. by this their petition in writing, represents and states, that they are is a persons 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 Mary Ann Thomas, Wm Thomas, John Thomas, Jack Bowie, & James Montgomery persons of African descent of the name of Mary Ann William John Thomas Jack Bowie & James Montgomery for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress said persons 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 Mary Ann Thomas of the age of about fifty. Female able & generally healthy and of the personal description following:(1) Light Mullatto​ Short in stature. William Thomas aged about twenty two. Male. Light Mullatto​ about five feet four inches in height and generally healthy. John Thomas about twenty one years of age. Light Mullatto​. about five feet four inches in height and stout built. Jack Bowie about twenty seven years of age. Black. about five feet six inches in height generally healthy, but not so strong & stout as the others. James Montgomery about thirty years old. [small?] about five feet six inches in height. sound and very able bodied and capable.


That your petitioner acquired their claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said [no handwritten text supplied here] in manner following:(2) Mary Ann Thomas Wm Thomas, John Thomas were attacked by the [illegible] of Wm. Gadsby, and confined in the County Jail for safe keeping, where at the earnest solicitations of the friends of said Negros we become the purchasers they being Mother & two Children. We paid $1000 each for them Jack Bowie we purchased of [McGregor?] of Prince George County Md.he at the time being [illegible] in Jail for misdemeanor We bought him at the [instance?] of his Mother to prevent him being sold south & we paid $1000 for him

James Montgomery from the Estate of I. P. Keefe, & at his own request & paid $800 for him.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of the full amount dollars the original cost in money.(3)As follows Mary Ann, William, John, & Jack, each $1000—James Montgomery $800 in all—$4800 And that the said persons have no infirmaties​ either mentally, morally, or bodily, as your petitioners verily believes

Your petitioner hereby declares that they bears true and faithful allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that they have not borne arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid or comfort thereto.

And your petitioners further states and alleges, that they have not brought said persons into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said persons were held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your petitioner's claim to such service or labor.

Your petitioners further states and alleges, that their said claim to the service or labor of said persons 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 their said claim to the service or labor of said persons 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.

(Signed by)
H. A. Willard
J. C. Willard
Philip Otterback
J. C. & H. A. Willard
Bill of Sale
23rd June 1854.

Know all men by these presents, that I Philip Otterback of the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, do hereby bargain and sell, in Consideration of the sum of Four Thousand dollars current money to me in hand paid to J. C. & H. A. Willard my servant Woman named Mary Ann aged about Forty seven years, and her three Children Celia, about Eighteen years of age, Henry about Fifteen years of age, and John aged about Thirteen years, Slaves for life, restricted to the District of Columbia, and not to be sold, or taken to reside out of said District

In Witness Whereof I hereto subscribe my hand and affix my seal this Twenty third day of June AD 1854.

Philip Otterback Seal
Richard Wright
H. Naylor
July 25 1859
Keefs Deed of Sale of Slave Jim Montgomery

Know all men by these presents that we John P. Keefe and Martha Ann Keefe John T. Travers and Martha Ellen Travers of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia for the consideration of Eight hundred Dollars to us in hand paid by Messr.J. C. & H. A. Willard of the City and County aforesaid the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge have granted bargained and sold and delivered and by these presents do grant bargain and sell and deliver unto the said Messr.J. C. and H. A. Willard our negro slave man Jim Montgomerie being of the age of Thirty seven years, which said slave Jim Montgomerie we will warrant and defend to the said J. C. & H. A. Willard their heirs executors Administrators and assigns against every other person or persons whomsoever.

In witness whereof we have set our names and affixed our seals this 25th Day of July 1859.

John P. Keefe Seal
Martha Ann Keefe Seal
John C. Travers Seal
Martha Ellen Travers Seal
In the presence of
Jas Cull

Be it known that on this Twenty fifth Day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty nine before the subscriber James Cull personally appear John P. Keefe Martha Ann Keefe John C Travers & Martha Ellen Travers the parties grantor of the within instrument who being personally known to us, acknowledge the same to be their act and Deed.

Jas. Cull JP. Seal

Received of J C & H A Willard the [heir?] check on the Back of the [illegible] for one thousand dollars payable to my order which when paid will be in full for negro man Jack belonging to the Estate of the late Roderick M McGregor of Prince Georges County Maryland & which said negro man has been ordered by the Orphans Court of said County to be sold—& I do hereby guarantee the title to said negro Jack against all persons whomsoever

RM McGregor
McGregor, [Nett?],
Bill of Sale.
Boy Jack.
1858 February 2d

The Witnesses in the case of the Negros Mary Ann Thomas William Thomas and John Thomas would be Wm. Gadsby & Mrs Philip Otterback widow of the Late Philip Otterback to whom the money was paid for the above negroes—

In the case of Jack Bowie the witness would be John F. Webb of the late firm of Fowler & Webb.

In the case of James Montgomery the witness would be J. P. Keefe

  • The payment to Otterback was made June 24th 1854.—
  • Ditto to McGregor Feb. 2. 1858
  • Ditto to Keefe Oct. 22 1859—

J. C. & H A. Willard

[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]

I We J. C. & H. A. Willard 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, We believe to be true in substance and in fact.

(Signed by)
H. A. Willard
J. C. Willard

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 19 day of May A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
O. E. P. Hazard JP

Sworn to and subscribed by J. C. Willard before me this 13th day of October 1862

Wm R. Woodward clk
J. C. Willard and
Henry A. Willard
Filed May 19, 1862
William Gadsby
Mrs. P. Otterback
John F. Webb
J. P. Keefe

 Note (1.)-- Here describe the person, so as to identify him or her; and if there be more than one slave, describe each one separately.

 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.

Transcription and encoding: Janel Cayer, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Kenneth M. Price.