The purpose of a pension application is to get the applicant the pension. For that reason, certain details of the applicant’s condition, may occasionally be exaggerated. Relationship facts and dates are usually supported by other documentation, but the physical condition of the claimant may be written in a way to make the condition seem worse than it actually is.

The veteran in this case didn’t have long to live, but did not actually die for nine years. He may have made a recovery or the letter writer may have made his claim sound more dire than it actually was.




2 Responses

  1. I have a pension increase application in a Mexican War pension file. The notary was the only one in a very small town in OK in the 1920’s. He notarized all of the statements in support of the increase and added a little note of his own, something like “For God’s sake, if you are going to do this, do it soon, or he will die first! “

  2. I found this amusing comment in the application of a Civil War vet– After describing how destitute he was, he remarked that if the pension board needed more information he could be reached by telephone! Most citizens of Mississippi did not have telephone service available in the 1920’s, nor could they have afforded it.

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