Henry T. Dixon Files for Compensation under D.C. Emancipation Law
May 9, 1862

In this petition, Henry T. Dixon requests compensation for William Johnson, an enslaved laborer freed by the District of Columbia Emancipation Act of 1862.


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, Henry T. Dixon 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 William Johnson a

person of African descent of the name of William Johnson

for and during the life of said William 

and that by said act of Congress said William 

is discharged and freed of and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time of said discharge said William

was of the age of about thirty years

and of the personal description following: of erect & spare form about five feet & ten inches in height black complexion of genteel carriage & an accomplished dining room servant

That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said William in manner following: by purchase of Mrs. Ellen M. Brooke of the city of Washington D.C. on the 2nd day of December last by bill of sale recorded in the clerk's office of Washington County D.C.

That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said William was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of One Thousand dollars in money.

That is to say said William was & is one of the most valuable and accomplished servants ever known by your petitioner. I have no knowledge of any moral mental or bodily infirmity or defect of said servant.

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 said William into the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said William 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 William 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 William 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. T. Dixon

(Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition)

District of Columbia,

Washington County, ss.

I, Henry T. Dixon, 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) H. T. Dixon

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 9th day of May

A.D. 1862

                                                                                                (Signed by) Chs P. Wannall, J.P.


Petition of Henry T. Dixon, May 13, 1862, RG217.6.5, National Archives and Records Administration