Autograph Letter Signed from a Captain William H. Weaver, concerning Civil War Soldier Pension.
1890 letter on patriotic letterhead; a Civil War widow’s pension
Autograph letter signed from American Civil War veteran and United States Claim Agent, Captain William H. Weaver in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, offering to help a widow inquiring about a pension claim for herself and her children. While not identifying himself as a lawyer by profession to his correspondent (he’s a self-proclaimed “United States Claim Agent”) Weaver offers what we might nowadays consider as “legal advice,” albeit operating from a gray area of bias and self-interest.
Yours under date of Feb. 21, 1890 is at hand. And in reply to you would say. The widow of [a] soldier who contracted diseace [disease] in the Army, and if can be proved up is entitled to $12 per month Pension and $2 per month for each child till sixteen years of age. When no father or mother for children the guardian appointed can make application for children under 16 yrs. of age. The original application must be approved by the Clerk of [the] Court. You had better call to see me.
Captain William H. Weaver of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania writes to widow, Mrs. Mary Franklin, on his claim agent letterhead. Printed in patriotic red and blue on creamy white paper, his letterhead declares his compliance with the “Act of July 4th, 1884” enabling him to be “...appointed a United States Claim Agent, for the purpose of procuring all kinds of lawful claims…such as Pensions, Patents, Bounty and Land Warrants. Also Widows claims, for Pension.”
Further instilling trust, he signs his letter using his war-time rank, “Capt. W. H. Weaver,” and incorporates the logo of the Union Civil War veterans’ group, the G. A. R. or Grand Army of the Republic, into the letterhead.
It is likely that U. S. Claim Agent Captain William H. Weaver is the same Captain William H. Weaver who served in Company D of the 41st Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers (Twelfth Reserve), which company was recruited in Dauphin County. 1st Lieutenant William H. Weaver was promoted to the rank of Captain on February 10, 1863 and mustered out on June 11, 1864.¹
American Civil War pension letter from Pennsylvania written on patriotic letterhead by a Civil War veteran working as a U. S. Claim Agent.
Description: Autograph Letter Signed from a Captain William H. Weaver, concerning Civil War Soldier Pension.
Harrisburg, Pa., Feb. 22, 1890. p. Autograph Letter Signed. 10½ x 8 inches. Folio; illustrated letterhead printed in red and blue; ruled lines. Few short closed tears at folds; very good.
1. Bates, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861–5. Vol. I (Harrisburg, 1869), p.894.