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Exhibit Theme

Civil War Pensions

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Letter from Representative Sereno...
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Letter from Representative Sereno E. Payne to Representative George Ray on behalf of Harriet Tubman Davis, February 5, 1898

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman Davis aided the Union as a scout, nurse, cook and spy during the Civil War. She received a pension as the widow of Union veteran Nelson Davis, but later petitioned Congress for additional benefits for her own service. Representative Sereno E. Payne of New York supported her claim with this persuasive letter.

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I hand you herewith papers in the claim of Harriet Tubman Davis…Claim for increase is because of her own personal services in the war. She was employed as nurse, cook in the Hospital, and spy during nearly the whole period of the war.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration