Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Penitentiary’

Shortly after the war ended, a woman was convicted of arson and sentenced to death. She served 16 years at the State Penitentiary at Richmond, Virginia before she received a gubernatorial pardon for good behavior. She married a Civil War veteran several years after her release.


Invalid — 470,210 / 509,663
Widow — 604,342 / —–, Martha Elliott


Disability Affidavit, Nixon Elliott, 28 September 1889
67 years old; residence, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va. … “farmer when I enlisted …  [since my discharge] I have resided in Norfolk Co. and Princess Anne Co. is the only change. …  [I contracted an injury] while moving a house at Getty Station, Norfolk Co., Va., March 1865. Frank Robinson was present and saw it … I never take medical treatment but wore trusal [sic] for eight months after discharge …”


For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, Sandy Crag, 11 October 1889
residence, 247 Church St., Norfolk, Va. … “On or about April 1865 at Getty Station … I was present at the time of Nixson Elliott .
[Note: Document was date stamped by Pension Bureau — Leslie]


For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, Cisero Hill, 11 October 1889
residence, 83 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va. … “I was present at the time of Nixson Elliott became rupture on right side … I further state that his rupture contracted by moving a house and the same night … was treated by Manly the Surgeon Dr. … I further state that the claimant was discharged because he was not able to follow his regiment to Texas.”
[Note: Document was date stamped by Pension Bureau — Leslie]


Claimant’s Affidavit, Nixon Elliott, 4 December 1889
“I was discharged from the Hospital at Hampton, Va., 1865 … and I have never did any manual labor since I was discharged. But I do what I can for myself. But that is not much.
[Note: Document was date stamped by Pension Bureau — Leslie]


General Affidavit, Siserow Hill, 4 January 1890
50 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Virginia …”I acknowledge that I no [sic] him and no [sic] something about his rupture on his right side, that he contracted in the U.S. Service near Getty Station, the county of Norfolk, the state of Virginia … I have been living as nabors [sic] ever since 1866  … Cicero [his mark] Hill …”


Claimant’s Affidavit, Nixon Elliott, 1 March 1890
67 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Virginia; post-office address, Kempsville, Virginia …. “I never had employed a doctor to attend me for my disease or these wounds because I was not able to. I alllways [sic] bought medicine from different advisors for my disease that I was discharged with from the hospital. I am suffering with that rupture of the right side …”


Marriage License (Virginia), Nixon Elliott & Martha Ford, 14 June 1892
69 years old and 40 years old, respectively; married 15 June 1892, Berkley, Va. Both had been widowed. The groom, a farmer, was born in Perquimans, NC to Pompey and Celia Robinson; he lived in Princess Anne Co., Va.  The bride was born in Norfolk Co., Va. to Jordan and Rena Miller; she lived in Princess Anne Co, Va.; the bride’s residence was not reported.  The couple was married at William Wilson’s house by J. Cuffey, Minister.”


Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Martha Elliott, 7 August 1894
42 years old; residence, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va.;   “… declares that she is the widow of Nixon Elliott, that the discharge of said Elliott has been lost and she is not informed where he enlisted or was discharged … [he] died August 13th 1893; That she was married under the name Martha Ford … on the 15th day of June 1892 by J. Cuffee, at Berkley, Va. … claimant’s former husband and deceased’s former wife being dead; That she has not remarried since the death of the said Nixon Elliott … Also personally appearing James Davis, residing at Kempsville, Va., and Preston Cooper, residing at Princess Anne C.H., Va. [acquainted with Martha Elliott] 5 years and 30 years, respectively … ”


Letter from George R. Gornto,168 Main St, Norfolk, Va. to Hon. Hoke Smith, Secretary of Interior, 12 October 1895
“On or about the year 1870, the said Martha Elliott was tried and convicted in the County Court of Norfolk County, State of Virginia, for Arson and her penalty was death.  Gov. Gilbert C. Walker then Governor commuted her sentence to life imprissonment [sic] in the State Penitentiary at Richmond, Va.  After serving 16 years, 4 months and 24 days, Governor Fitzhugh Lee then Governor, for good behavior pardoned her and set her at liberty.  When she was convicted she was the wife of one Jordan Ford.  After 10 years confinement in the Penitentiary, the said Jordan Ford married another woman by the advice of his lawyers thinking that he was lawfully without a wife.  After the said Martha Elliott was released from the Penitentiary about two years afterwards, she thinking and believing by advice of her Attorney, she marries one Nixon Elliott a soldier in the U.S. Army during the late War.  The same Nixon Elliott dies about two years after this marriage July 1894.  The petitioner Martha Elliott claims to be entitled to a Widows’s Pension from the soldier Nixon Elliott.

“It appears to me that under the said circumstances she is entitled to a Widow’s Pension.  The proceedings of the said trial can be furnished if desired.  The petitioner is prompted in making this appeal to your Honor by the advice of the Special Examiner of this Section.  Please give this petition your earliest attention so in the event you should decide against the petitioner she can apply for relief from Congress through her Senator Hon. John W. Daniel and Hon. D.G.Tyler – who has promised to have a Special Act passed for her relief.

“Trusting to receive a favorable response at an early date.”


Letter from Martha Elliott to Secretary of the Interior, 2 November 1894
“Dear Sir — If required I can produce the record of my trial from the Clerk of Norfolk County. I did not deem it proper to run myself to an additional expense in the matter so if you are not satisfied with the particulars just inform me and what evidence may be required will be cheerfully furnished. Yours etc, Martha Elliott”

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