Page:Letter from Sereno E. Payne, Chairman of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.djvu/1

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Fifty-fith Congress.


Sereno E. Payne, Chairman.
George D. Perkins. William S. Booze.
Albert J. Hopkins. John F. Fitzgerald.
John Simpkins. W. Jasper Talbert.
Philip B. Low. Henry D. Clayton.
James R. Young. Samuel T. Baird.
Archibald Lybrand. Levin Irving Handy.

Committee on

The Merchant Marine and Fisheries,

House of Representatives U. S.,

Washington, D. C., Feb. 5, 1898.


Dict. by S. E. P. to B.

Hon. George W. Ray,

 Chairman Com. on Invalid Pensions,

 City.

Dear Sir:-

I hand you herewith papers in the claim of Harriet Tubman Davis, a Bill for the relief of a woman whom is before your Committee. Mrs. Davis is now receiving a pension at $8. per month as widow of her husband. Claim for increase is because of her own personal services in the war. She was employed as nurse, cooking the Hospital, and as a spy during nearly the whole period of the war. I know her personally, and she is a most interesting old colored woman, I should judge nearly eighty years of age; having been born a slave, she does not know her age. And about the year 1876, as well as prior thereto, a bill for her relief went to the Committee on War Claims, and all her papers, copies of which are presented herewith, were referred to that Committee by Gen. MCDougall, who then represented our District in Congress. The history of her case was written up by Charles P. Wood now deceased, of Auburn, N. Y., and is presented herewith. Her affidavit is also presented as to the truth of the history written out by Mr. Wood. For all her services she only received about $200. during the entire war. She rendered very valuable aid as the letters, copies of which are herewith presented, will show. I am told by Gen. McDougall that he filed the originals of these papers and he believes the account of her services is correct. It seems to be a very deserving case. I thought it much better to introduce a bill for the in-