Title: Petition of Bladen Forest, 18 June 1862

Date: June 18, 1862

Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 5. 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.00715

TEI/XML: cww.00715.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 Petitioner, Bladen Forrest (Trustee) of Georgetown 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 Eight persons of African descent of the name of George Carter, Theodore Butler, Ann Carter, Mary Carter, Adelaide Carter, John Carter, Sally Carter, Susan Mason for and during the life of said persons and that by said act of Congress said persons named above are discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said "persons held to services or labor" by your petitioner Bladen Forrest (as Trustee of Mary Helen Forrest) were of the age of George Carter 40 years. Theodore Butler 19 years, Ann Carter 43 years, Mary Carter 16 years, Adelaide Carter 9 years John Carter 5 years, Sally Carter 14 years, Susan Mason supposed to be about 90 years. and of the personal description following:(1)

  • George Carter Complexion dark, height about 5 ft. 10 inches. Has a scar on one cheek. Is a first class Teamster & Farm hand. Health Excellent. Theodore Butler is rather stout. Round shoulders. large eyes & serious countenance except when spoken to. Complexion dark. Height 5 ft. 6 inches.
  • Ann Carter Complexion dark. Bad upper teeth with rather a pleasant expression. Height thought to be 5 ft. 6 inches.
  • Mary Carter Complexion dark. Countenance pleasant well proposioned​, short hair & sound teeth. Height thought to be 5 ft. 6 inches.
  • Sally Carter Complexion dark, countenance good. Height about 5 ft. 11 inches quite large for her age.
  • Adelaide Carter Complexion dark. Shows her teeth much when she smiles. Height about 4 ft. 3 inches—[long?].
  • John Carter Complexion dark. Well formed & well grown supposed to be 3 feet in height.
  • Susan Mason Mulatto. Very much bent. Low statue about 4 feet in height.


That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said servants in manner following:(2) George Carter by inheritance. Theodore Butler, Ann Carter, Mary Carter, (Adelaide Carter) (John Carter). Sally Carter—purchased of Charles King's Estate in 1848 Walter S. Cox Esq. administrator, with funds in my hands as Executor & Trustee of my Father in law James Kuth Adelaide & John children of Ann Carter born after purchase which sum was invested for the sole benefit of my family. Susan Mason was given to me by my Aunt, Catherine Forrest, so that she might be properly cared for being at the time old & unable to support herself she now [free?] requires compensation to enable me to support her

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said servants were, was at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of six thousand six hundred & fifty dollars in money.(3) George Carter, a strong hearty man, an excellent Teamster & Farm hand. He has for several months been Employed by the Government at $25 per month. Value $1200 dollars. Health Excellent—Theodore Butler—First class Carriage Driver & House servant. Can make himself generally useful—Health unimpaired. Value $1300 dollars—Ann Carter Health good. An Excellent Cook, Washer Ironer & neat Chamber maid—Value $1000 dollars—Mary Carter Good nurse & Chamber maid Health Excellent. Worth $1100 dollars—Sally Carter—A good Bread maker, nurse & chamber Servant. worth $1000 dollars—Adelaide Carter very smart for her age, worth $750 dollars. John Carter—a healthy boy—$300 dollars—Susan Mason, old and infirm—O.

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 servants into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said servants were 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 the 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 the 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)
B. Forrest
O. all the above servants are respectable & bear a good moral character and of excellent health & free from "infirmities or defects" excepting Susan Mason

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

I, Bladen Forrest 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.

(Signed by)
B. Forrest

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 18 day of June A. D. 1862.

(Signed by)
Henry Reaver JP
Bladen Forrest
Filed June 18, 1862

 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: Kenneth M. Price, Janel Cayer, Courtney Geerhart, and Brittany Jones.