Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 6: Military Pensions 1825-1831

Chapter 6. Records of the Claims Committees

Table of Contents

Committees discussed in this chapter:
Committee on Military Pensions (1825-1831)

History and Jurisdiction

6.40 This committee was created in 1825 to handle part of the jurisdiction of the short-lived Committee on Revolutionary Pensions (December 9 to 12, 1825). The jurisdiction of the new Committee on Military Pensions included, "all such matters respecting pensions for military services, and also matters respecting invalid pensions." 11 In 1831 the Committee on Military Pensions was abolished and its duties split between two new committees, the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, and the Committee on Invalid Pensions. 12

Records of the Committee on Military Pensions, 19th-21st Congresses (1825-31)

Record TypeVolumeCongress (dates)
Docket Book1 vol.19th-21st (1825-31)
Bound Reports1 vol.19th-21st (1825-31)
Petitions & Memorials5 ft.19th-21st (1825-31)
Committee Papers1 in.19th-21st (1825-31)
TOTAL:6 ft. and 2 vols. (6 in.) 
Committee Records Survey Table


6.41 The docket book lists the petitions and memorials presented to the committee during its entire six-year existence. The entries are arranged by Congress, and thereunder alphabetically by name of petitioner. Each entry includes the name of the Representative who introduced the document, the date, the name of the petitioner, and remarks regarding disposition.

6.42 A bound volume of transcribed committee reports, 19th-25th Congresses, contains the transcribed reports of the Committee on Military Pensions (1825-31) and of one of its successors, the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions (1831-39). The volume includes an alphabetical index to the names of the petitioners. The completeness of this volume is questionable, and it should be consulted along with the documents found in the other series.

6.43 The petitions and memorials are similar to other early 19th-century claims petitions discussed. For each Congress they are arranged in alphabetical order, and generally contain the original petition or memorial as well as assorted supporting documents.

6.44 The bulk of the committee papers for each Congress consists of original committee reports on the petitions submitted by claimants, arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the claimant. Most of the committee reports address the merits of an individual petition, although, an original report made on April 1, 1826, lists over 250 petitioners and summarily rejects all of them (19A-D13.1).

6.45 Records relating to proposed legislation concerning the claims settlement process were referred to the committee. Examples of the draft legislation received by the committee include an 1826 act for the relief of the surviving officers of the Revolutionary Army and another from the same year for the extension of benefits under the Act of March 18, 1818, to include surviving officers from the 1775 expedition against Quebec (19A-D13.1).


11 Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 20th Cong., 1st sess., Standing Rules and Orders, p. 1030.

12 U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Pensions, Committee Print, "History of the House Committee on Pensions," available in the CIS Committee Prints Microfiche Collection, Microfiche #10969, p. 2.

Table of Contents

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.