Sojourner Truth

“Sojourner Truth was born about 1799 in Ulster County, New York, on the west side of the Hudson River, some eighty miles north of New York City, in a region dominated culturally and economically by people of Dutch descent. … [H]er parents James and Elizabeth Bomefree named her Isabella. Their first language was Dutch. As a child Isabella belonged to several owners … She was emancipated by state law in 1827.”
Darlene Clark Hine, Elsa Barkley Brown, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn (eds). Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, Volume II, M-Z. Bloomington (Indiana University Press, 1993) page 1173



Truth had a remarkable life. She successfully sued in court for the return of her five-year-old son who was illegally sold into slavery in Louisiana. During her struggle to unite her family, she became deeply committed to her faith. Truth could neither read nor write but she became famous internationally for her activism in anti-slavery and women’s rights movements. Her statue is in the U.S. Capitol.


The photograph in this post is held by the Library of Congress and is referred to as “Sojourner Truth seated with photograph of her grandson, James Caldwell of Co. H, 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, on her lap.”


Additional resources:
Daina Ramey Berry, “The Electrifying Speeches of Sojourner Truth,” YouTube, 28 April 2020

Sojourner Truth — Civil Rights Activist,” Biography, YouTube, 12 December 2012

Daina Ramey Berry. “How Early Photographs Reveal the Indomitable Spirit of Abolitionist Sojourner Truth,” Biography, 30 January 2018, accessed 28 February 2021






Years after their ‘slave marriage’ in Perquimans County, North Carolina, the couple established a ‘legitimate marriage in that state.


Widow — 366,305 / —–, Tresia Reddick


Declaration of a Widow for Original Pension when no Child under Sixteen years of age survives, Trasia Reddick, 24 December 1887
70 years old; residence, Hertford Street, Hertford, NC; post-office address, Hertford, Perquimans Co., NC
“that she is the widow of William Reddick … who died at Belvidere, NC of consumption. When he came home he was suffering gratly [sic] from ‘heavy cold’ & he died of loung [sic] disease [he died on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1883, who bore at the time of his death the title of citizen … that she was married under the name of Tresia Hurdel to said William Riddick [in] September, A.D. 1835 by her master at Perquimans Co., NC.
“Also personally appeared M.W. Speight … C.G. Elliott [both resided in Hertford Street, Hertford, Perquimans County, NC]”


Memorandum, War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, 12 March 1888
William Riddick … was enrolled on the 17 day of Dec. 1863, at Norfolk, Va. mustered out with Co. as Sergt. Feb. 4, 1866, at Brazos Santiago, Tex. Also borne as William Reddick … born in Gates Co., NC, occupation, farmer.


Declaration for Widow’s Pension and Increase, Tricy Riddick, 29 January 1890
post-office address, Winfall, Perquimans Co., NC
“she is the widow of William Reddick … Sergeant in Company A, commanded by Captain Dyer in the 1st regiment of U.S.C.C.… that her maiden name was Tricy Hurdel, and that she was married to said William Reddick on or about the September 14 or 15 day of September, 1854 at Perquimans, in the county of Perquimans, and State of North Carolina, by Moses Hurdel, her former master, and that there is no record of marriage
“She further declares that said William Riddick, her husband died … as foresaid at Cumberland[?], in the State of NC, on or about the 13th3 day of December A.D. 1882 of consumption and deep hacking cought [sic] and shortness of breath…. that she was the mother of 11 children by the soldier but none of them was under sixteen years old at the date of soldier’s death”


Physician’s Affidavit, Dr. Thos. N. White, 11 January 1892
post-office address, Belvidere, NC
“that he is a practicing physician and has been acquainted with the abovenamed soldier about 10 years, and that during the last two years of his life he frequently prescribed for him and attend him when he was down sick. He was afflicted with and died of consumption.”

Memo, W.H. Speight, Register of Deeds & Clerk of the County [is it Common?] Court, Perquimans County, NC, 16 September 1892
“I found duly record on the record of my said office under date of the 16th day of January 1867, the marriage of William Riddick of color to Treasy Hurdle, by the said parties appearing before the clerk of county court (Jas. C. Skinner) and acknowledged themselves to be husband & wife (they having lived together as such for twenty-two years prior to said date) as provided in an Act of the General Assembly of state of North Carolina authorizing and legalizing the marriages of Freedmens [sic]”

Witnesses to the wedding stated that the enslaved couple were married by a justice of the peace in her “owner’s house” near Hertford County, North Carolina “just before the war” or in “early 1862.” When the soldier was discharged, they moved to Norfolk County, The widow died in Peekskill, New York.


Invalid – 1,061,380 / 804,073
Widow – 634,685 / 429,385, Anne Ellen Beasley


General Affidavit, Martin Smith and Henry Walters, 17 October 1891
[Smith] 51 years old
[Walters] 56 years old; post-office address of both, Portsmouth, Va.
“They are well and intimately acquainted with Arthur Beasley …”


General Affidavit, Sarah Goodman, 20 May 1896
60 years old; residence, Norfolk County, Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Va.
“That she is well and intimately acquainted with Arthur Beasley and Anne Ellen Beasley … that she lived at and near Hertford, North Carolina with them over (45) years ago, and know that the said Anne Ellen Beasley is the widow of Arthur Beasley…. [the couple] got married before the war by Seth Novell about the middle of June 1862 – Affiant did not go in the house but stood at the window and saw them get married – [Affiant knew the couple] so long as they stayed in North Carolina lived together as man and wife and when they came to Norfolk County to live. They lived with each other until death as man and wife – That affiant came from North Carolina a little before they removed but when they did some they came as man and wife and so lived in Norfolk County where affiant as ever since lived to Beasley’s death.”


General Affidavit, S.D. Norvell, 20 May 1896
47 years old; residence, Gatesville, Gates County, North Carolina; post-office address, Gatesville, Gates County, North Carolina
“That he has been well and intimately acquainted with [the couple] ever since he could remember anything. That he was not in the house where said Arthur Beasley was married to said Anne Ellen Beasley but was close to the hour in which he was married, saw said Beasley when he was going in the house to get married and saw him when he came out with his bride now his widow. He knows too that Seth Nowell was the man who did what then was done in the way of celebrating the marriage. …. Said Beasley lived on the same plantation with affiant before war and after war. Affiant used to visit him very often in Norfolk County, Va.”


Widow’s Application for Accrued Pension, Annie Beasley, 23 May 1896
“[She] was married to the said Arthur Beasley on 19thday of June, 1862 at Hertford, in the State of North Carolina; that her name before said marriage was Anne Ellen Winburn … Also personally appeared Julia Rose, residing at Norfolk County, Va. and Waverly Rose residing at Norfolk County, Va. … That they have lived in immediate neighborhood with claimant for (4) years …”


General Affidavit, Samuel Fisher, 25 May 1896
45 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Va.; post-office address, Effingham Street
“That Arthur Beasley died on the 8th day of May 1896 and the affiant as undertaker buried him on the 10th day of May 1896.”


Deposition, Annie Beasley, 13 December 1901
“I am about 56 years of age; housekeeping and I live on Key Road near the city of Portsmouth, Va…. My husband was born in Hertford Co., NC and was a slave. He was owned by Joe Beasley. His father was Jordan Downey. My husband never went by any other name except that of Arthur Beasley. He was a very tall, very large man. … I belonged to Watson Minburn. My mother was Hester Winburn or Minburn. I married my husband the second year of the war. We were married in my owner’s house in Hertford Co. We were married by Seth Nowell who was a J.P. …
Mr. Malvern was my atty. He charged me ten dollars or I paid him ten dollars. He wanted more but I would not pay it and he has been mad with me ever since.
Mr. Reed executes my vouchers. He charges me fifty cents.”


Application for Reimbursement, Eleanor Palace, 25 November 1930
“Annie Beasley … died Nov 15, 1930; at 311 E. 99 St., NYC and was buried at Emanuel Cemetery Peekskill, NY …
“19.  What was your relation to the deceased pensioner? Grand daughter
 20.  Are you married? Yes
 21.  What was the cause of pensioner’s death? Heart disease, old age
 22.  When did the pensioner’s last sickness begin?  Oct 10, 1930
 23. [ill enough to require nursing attention] Oct 10, 1930
 24.  Give the name and post office address of each physician who attended the pensioner during last sickness.   Dr. Allen, 1871 7th Ave
 25.  State the names of the persons by whom the pensioner was nursed during the last sickness.
 Elinor Palmer, Anna McDow
 26.  Where did the pensioner live during the last sickness?    311 E. 99 St.

Names Nature of Expense Paid or Unpaid Amount
Dr. Wm. V. Allen Physician . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paid . . . . . . . .    36.00
Kirschner Pharmacy Medicine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paid . . . . . . . .    10.00
  Nursing and care . . . . . .    
Lee & Moody Undertakers Undertaker . . . . . . . . . . .    
  Livery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    
  Cemetery . . . . . . . . . . . . . Unpaid . . . . . . 278.00
  Other expenses and their nature 178.00  

[Note: Someone added that the balance of $178.00 was to be paid to the undertaker in 30 days – Leslie]

“Also appeared Matthew Pemberton, 64-66 E. 112th Street, NYC and Louise Aucrum [sp?], 311 E. 99th, NYC swore that they knew the claimant, that the pensioner died November 13, 1930.”

“First Monday” features an extra sketch or sidebar.
Today’s posts include Arthur Beasley, Company I; William Reddick, Company A; and ‘Sojourner Truth seated with photograph of her grandson, James Caldwell of Co. H, 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, on her lap’.


Here’s the link to my interview at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) booth in the virtual Expo Hall.

RootsTech is the largest family history and technology conference in the world.
Virtual this year.
Register online with instructions from the conference website:

“Please just click the person icon at the top of the home page of RootsTech.org.Then select the option to sign in with your FamilySearch account information, or if you do not have a FamilySearch account, follow the prompt to create an account.
at https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/rtc2021/


Note: The FamilySearch account is also free — Leslie

This photograph of a Rosenwald Fund schoolhouse built in Snow Hill, North Carolina is in the Digital Collections of the State Archives of North Carolina and the State Library of North Caolina.

The partnership between educator Booker T. Washington and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald led to a movement to educate African American children in the early decades of the 20th century. Washington, founder and president of Tuskegee Institute, said that “black children’s schoolhouses were ‘not fit for pigs to live in.’ The Freedmen’s Bureau (1865-1872) provided some short-lived schooling for city-dwelling freedpeople; unfortunately, this didn’t help the majority of black families, who lived in rural areas.”

“In the South, it was also common for counties to steal revenue generated by black taxpayers and use it to fund white schools. To compensate, black communities often bore the burden of “double taxation”; in other words, an involuntary tax to the state, followed by a voluntary donation to their community.”

The above is excerpted from The Rosenwald Schools: A Story of How Black Communities Across the American South Took Education Into Their Own Hands.  The website includes maps, photographs, architectural plans, graphs of expenditures, etc.

[Note: What’s sometimes overlooked is that black communities raised money to match donations from the Rosenwald Fund — Leslie]


In 2017, efforts to restore the school building were reported by the local television station:
Zora Stephenson. “The East’s Hidden History: Snow Hill Colored School,”WNCT, 3 February 2017 (accessed 22 February 2021)
Tamara Scott. “Group aims to restore Snow Hill Colored School as African American Museum,” WNCT, 12 September 2017 (accessed 22 February 2021)


The compilation of North Carolina Roswenwald Schools Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, September 1, 2020 includes the Snow Hill Colored High School on page one. The entry has links to the NHRP application and a more recent photograph of the building above.

Adam S. Cobb, Company E

The Clerk of the Court said that the mother’s paperwork was destroyed in a North Carolina county courthouse fire in March 1876. However, she eventually received a pension. The soldier’s father then filed an application but his claim was denied “on the ground that the soldier was not the legitimate son of the claimant, being the offspring of a slave marriage.”

Mother — 384,713 / 281,984, Jemima Cobb now Hill
Father — 605,045 / —–, Isaac Murphy

General Affidavit, Mrs. Jemima Cobb, December 1888
residence, Green Co., N.C. … “Lived on Rev. Thomas Moore‘s farm in Greene County, North Carolina — post-office, Snow Hill, year 1865 and have lived on different farms in Greene County ever since except one year spent in the adjoining county of Lenoir. Ages of family [in 1865]; James, 11; Martin, 13; Maria, 15; Grace, 21; Charlotte, 25; Charity, 27; Jacob, 29. All of these are dead but five — and 10 more children died previous to the year 1865. No person is legally bound to take care of me since the death of my son Adam, after the surrender. As I am old and my memory is deficient, the facts about my children’s ages are not exact, but are approximated as nearly as possible.”

War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, 21 January 1889|
“… Adam Cobb … died of tuberculosis … Co. Descriptive Book shows Nov. 10, 1865, date, and Brazos Santiago, Tex., place of death. The following is his personal description as shown by Co. Descriptive Book: Born, Norfolk, Va.; Age at enrollment, 21 years; Occupation, waiter; Eyes, hair & complexion, black; Height, 5 feet, 10 inches …”

General Affidavit, Jno. [illegible], 28 July 1890
about 41 years; residence, Snow Hill, Greene Co., N.C.; post-office, Snow Hill, Green Co., N.C. … “has been well and personally acquainted with Adam Cobb for five years prior to 1861 … and that said Adam Cobb lived in his neighborhood with Mrs. Cynthia Cobb as a slave before he left home and entered the Union Army … I was clerk of the Superior Court of Greene County and aided Jemima Cobb in filing papers to collect, the amount due Adam her son at his death, that during the preparation of the papers in her claim, she Jemima Cobb left with me as clerk of the Superior Court all of her papers furnishing dates and information concerning her son Adam, for safe-keeping, which papers of all description were subsequently destroyed in the Clerk’s office by fire which burned the courthouse in the year 1876 during the month of March …”
[Note: An entry at the Greene County, North Carolina USGenWeb site mentions the 1876 courthouse fire.– Leslie]

Sworn Statement, Isaac Murphy, 11 August 1894
74 years old; residence, Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C.;   “… father of Adam Cobb who was born & raised at near Snow Hill, Green [sic] Co., N.C. & belonged to Samuel Cobb & Miss Sinthy Cobb of Green Co., N.C. … “

Sworn Statement, Needham Borrow, 18 March 1895
45 years old; residence, Vanceboro, N.C. … “I have known claimant for thirty years more or less and he is at the present not able to do manual labor. He is about seventy five years old and is dependent upon people … soldier’s mother died about three years ago. I live within 1/2 mile of claimant and see him often …”

Sworn Statement, James J. Murphy, 18 March 1895
63 years old; residence, near Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C.; occupation, farmer … “I have known claimant since boyhood up to the present date. I also know his wife Mima Cobb. They both was slaves. She belong [sic] to the Cobbs of Green Co., N.C. & Isaac Murphy claimant belong [sic] to the Murphys of Green [sic] Co. Also I belong [sic] to Murphys of Green Co., N.C. Claimant was married to Mima Cobb long before late war under slave custom. I was present and by said union & cohabitation one child viz Adam Cobb was born. And when the late war of 1861-5. Adam Cobb enlisted as a soldier & I have not seen him since I heard he died in the war and Mima Cobb died at Snow Hill, Green [sic] Co., N.C. I don’t know direct date but I think she died about three years ago. I know this by reason of & rec’d a letter from my mother of Snow Hill saying that Mima Cobb was dead. I am living a neighbor to claimant. He is not able to support himself. He is about seventy-five years of age. He is dependent on hands of charity & people who are not legal bound to his support.”

Sworn Statement, Isaac Murphy, 25 March 1895
75 years old; near residence, Vanceboro, N.C.; occupation, nothing … “… The soldier’s mother died on or about the 8th day of July 1890 at Snow Hill, N.C. Edward Haper & Charity Payton was at her funeral or burial …”

Sworn Statement, Isaac Murphy, 27 November 1897 
78 years old; residence, near Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C. …”I cannot remember the date of my marriage to the soldier’s mother. I know it was long before the war of 1861-5 and I do not remember the date of the soldier’s birth. … my occupation is that of a farmer … My old clothes & horse and old cart and old buggie is worth about fifty dollars ($50.00) … I live near to Vanceboro, N.C. then [sic] I go to Washington, N.C. is why I ask for my mail to go there to Vanceboro, N.C. …”

Sworn Statement, Junier [?] Murphy, 27 November 1897 
68 years old; resident, Washington, N.C. … “I have known old man Isaac Murphy all my life. He is about 75 or 78 years of age. He was a man when I was a boy. I knew his son Adam Cobb who was a young man when he enlisted in the Union Army. I knew about when he was born but I do not know the date of his birth. The claimant is not worth anything that he can obtain any revenue from. He owns an old horse cash & an old worn out buggie and a few old clothes. I know by reason of we were all rais [sic] together in Green [sic] Co.,N.C.”

Sworn Statement, William Galloway, 27 November 1897 
42 years old; residence near Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C.; post-office address, Vanceboro, N.C. … “I have known the claimant Isaac Murphy about nine (9) years. He is a neighbor to me. He is in my opinion about seventy-five or eight (75 or 8) years of age. He has not got any property that he can get any income from. He has old clothes & an old horse & buggie worth about fifteen or twenty dollars. His occupation is now nothing. He is helpless, old and feeble. I visit him, see him weekly. He has to be nursed best part of his time. All he owns is worth in all about twenty-five dollars. He is an honest old man and is now blind. He is total blind in one eye” ….”

Letter from Acting Commissioner, Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions, Washington, DC to W.H. Pender, Washington, NC, 17 September 1898
 “Sir: The above cited claim for dependent father’s pension, under the act of June 27th, 1890, is rejected on the ground that the soldier was not the legitimate son of the claimant, being the offspring of a slave marriage.”

Appeal to the Secretary of the Interior, Isaac Murphy, 22 March 1899
70 years old; residence and post-office address, Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C. … “My claim for a father’s pension … was rejected by the Com. of Pensions … upon the grounds that I am not the legitimate father of Adam Cobb decd … being the offspring of a slave marriage…. [I appeal] upon the grounds that the slave marriage was the only legal marriage for col. slaves prior to 1866 and,  further I am the soldier’s father who depended on him as a slave father would a slave son, further his mother received a pension from the Bureau of Pensions on account of him. She is now dec’d and I applied for a Dept. father pension and I have furnished all the testimony called for by the Bureau of Pensions. I am old and very feeble and fast passing away. Therefore, I beg for reconsiteration [sic] of my pension claim …”

Sworn Statement, Isaac Murphy, 9 February 1904
83 years old; residence, Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C. … “well known to be reputable and entitled to credit … I was born and reared in Green [sic] County near Snow Hill, N.C. on Willis Murphy‘s plantation. I belong to him before the war of 1861. I grew up on his plantation. Mima Cobb, my former wife, belong to one Samuel Cobb of Green County. Her owners and my owners were about four miles aparedt [sic]. I and Mima were married by consent of owners. My owner Willis Murphy consent for me to live with Mima Cobb and her owner consented for her to live with me under slavery custom and we lived together as husband and wife continuously for about sixteen years before the war of 1861. Our owners recognized us as husband and wife and so did all the community of people who knew us and during said co-habitation we had ten head of children. Three of them died in infancy. Those that lived and were named are as follows James, Amanda, Maria, Martin and Fanny were twins. Adam, Gracy, all of the children were separated and gone away. I only know where one of the children is and that is Gracy who lives in Snow Hill, Green [sic] County, N.C. That after I and my wife were seperated [sic]. I never return to her anymore. As to our continued cohabitation as husband and wife under slavery custom you will find here enclosed and affidavit of my young mistress Mrs. Nanny Murphy of Green County, N.C. and Lewis Harper and Leah Harper all of whom have testified that I was the identical husband of Mima Cobb.”

Gincy Charity’s Family

In 1860, members of the Charity family occupied neighboring households in Southampton County, Virginia.

In 1850, a Southampton County, Virginia family included Gincy Charity, head of household and presumptive mother of six children, and an adult male. All persons were free African Americans:*

Gincy Charity, 32yo
Robert, 12yo
Louisa, 9yo
Mary, 7yo
Henry, 5yo
Friday, 4yo
Thomas, 2yo
Absalom Artis, 35yo

By 1860, the situation had changed dramatically.** Several of the Charity children shared a home with individuals named Woodson, Whitfield, and Reid. The neighboring household was occupied by an adult female named Jane Charity and a 15-year-old female named Mary Charity. All were ‘free Negroes.’ Nearby residents included farmers Herrod Pope and George Fog (both White). The latter had personal property valued at $1,500.***

*”United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/) : 9 April 2016), Virginia > Southampton > Southampton county, part of > image 174 of 188; citing NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.)

**”United States Census, 1860,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/) : 24 March 2017), Virginia > Southampton > West Side Nottoway River > image 24 of 80; from “1860 U.S. Federal Census – Population,” database, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : n.d.); citing NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

***Per WolframAlpha.com, $1,500 (1860) has an estimated equivalence of $49,390 (2021).

Four brothers from Southampton County, Virginia — all freeborn — enlisted in cavalry units: Henry Charity, Company E, 1st U.S. Colored CavalryJoshua Charity, Company A, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; Thomas Charity, Company E, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; and Friday Charity alias Friday Whipple, Company I, 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry.

This young man fled his apprenticeship and enlisted in the Union Army. He died of “congestive fever” (malaria) in a regimental hospital.

Mother – 292,885 / 225,641, Gincy Charity
See M.O. Ctf 225,614 Thomas Charity E 1 U.S.C. Cav (2 sons)

[Note: The mother filed for pensioner’s benefits on 19 May 1882. The handwritten note at the bottom of the pension index card — it begins “See M.O. Ctf” and stands for “Mother’s Original Certificate” — directs the researcher to the shared application and certificate number assigned to both young men. — Leslie]


Declaration for an Original Pension for of a Father or Mother, Jinsey Charity, 12 May 1884
71 years old; post-office address, Franklin, Southampton Co., Va.
“[the soldier] enlisted under the name F. Whipper … died while in service between Richmond and Petersburg on the 1st day of April 1865 . . . the said declarant was married to the Father of said son at Southampton Co., Va. … in 1821 …
“Also personally appeared Henry Darden, residing at Jerusalem, Va. and H.W. Taylor, residing at Jerusalem, Va.”


Statement of B.F. Pope, Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Army, War Department, Surgeon’s General’s Office, Record and Pension Division, 30 September 1884
Friday Whitford, Private, Co. I, 2 U.S.C. Cav. died in Regimental Hospital, Feb. 27, 1865 of ‘Congestion Fever.'”


Letter from, B.F. Knight, Clerk’s Office of the Circuit and County Courts of Southampton, Jerusalem, Va. to Hon. J.C. Black, Commissioner of Pensions, 16 November 1885
“I have been requested by Ginsie Charity of my neighborhood, whom I know well, to go to Washington to collect her pension money which she thinks is ready. In order to save her needless expense, I write to know if the claim has been adjusted and should I come to Washington with power of attorney, and I collect the claim…”
[Note: This letter was signed by B.F. Knight — Leslie]


Sworn Statement, Gincy Charity, 22 January 1887
“I am the mother of Friday Charity … and that my residence has always been this county and that my p.o. address since 1865 has been Newsoms, Va. … no one has been legally bound to support me since since 1865 nor since the death of the soldier nor have I ever married since the death of my son Friday. … that my husband abandoned me prior to the death of the soldier & left me to support myself as best I could … I have never owned any property either before or since 1865 except a few chairs & a bed and my son Friday wrote me letters while in the army & I only possessed a knowledge of his death by information of one Henry Williams who returned a private of Co I. 1st Reg. U.S. Col. Cav. “


Letter from Jincy Charity to Jno. C. Black, U.S. Pension Commissioner, Washington, DC, 22 January 1887
“I have waited so long because I have been so much troubled to get this pension that I had despaired of ever getting anything from the Gov. but I am now so old & feeble & so poor and needy that I have determined to make one more effort.”


Letter from John Charity to Hon. John C. Blackwell [sic], 28 December 1887 [date stamped]
“Dear Sir,
“You will please let me know whether a child can draw a pension on his brother. The name of the man I am after now is Friday Charity but enlisted under the name Friday Whipper, Reg. 2, Co I. His mother died May 11, 1880. I want to know whether her youngest son can draw it or not.”

Gincy Charity applied for death benefits after two sons died during their military service. This letter was written after her death by her youngest son John Charity. He asked whether he was eligible for pension. The Pension Bureau date stamped it on December 28, 1877 and January 31, 1888. The transcription is below:

Newsoms, Va.
Mr. John C. Blackwell [?]
Dear Sir
You will Please let me know whether
a child can claim a pension on his brother. The name of the man I am after now is Friday Charity but enlisted in the name of Friday Whipper, Reg 2d, Co. I. His Mother died May 11th 1887. I want to know whether her youngest son can draw on it or not.
P.S. Please let me hear from you soon.
Very truly,
John Charity

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