Legislative Branch

February Feature: 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. 

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.

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Researching Congressional Records

While congressional publications can be found nationwide, the Center's combination of publications and unpublished committee records make our holdings unique. Visit our Research Portal to get started with your congressional research.

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Educational Resources

Students Learning

Our lesson plans are designed to assist teachers with using primary source materials to integrate Congress into history, government, and civics classes.

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