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Claim of Harriet Tubman

During the U.S. Civil War Abolitionist Harriet Tubman Davis served the Union side as a scout, nurse, cook and spy. After the war she received a pension as the widow of Union veteran Nelson Davis who had served as a private in the Eight United States Colored Infantry. Tubman later petitioned Congress for additional benefits for her own service—she submitted this affidavit which outlines her responsibilities during the war.

General Affidavit of Harriet Tubman Davis regarding payment for services rendered during the Civil War, c. 1898, page 1

RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

General Affidavit of Harriet Tubman Davis regarding payment for services rendered during the Civil War, c. 1898, page 2

RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

Congress received numerous documents and letters supporting Tubman's claim. In 1899 Congress passed, and the President signed, H.R. 4982, which authorized an increase of Tubman's pension to twenty dollars per month for her service as a nurse.

H.R. 4982, A bill granting a pension to Harriet Tubman Davis, 1899

RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives


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