Pension Minerva Davis, widow of Jesse Davis

Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, February 2, 1871.

SIR: Enclosed herewith please find original papers in the case of Minerva Davis, widow of Jesse Davis, (certificate No. 104,659,) with application for increase on account of minor children, &c. The pensioner is totally blind. Morter Vann, one of the identifying witnesses, is acting as our interpreter, is reliable, and has been questioned outside the facts included in his affidavit. These declarations embody the facts elicited by laborious cross-examination, and care is taken to exclude every allegation, which the deponents cannot make intelligently and without reserve. As in the cases heretofore sent, the ages of the children are fixed with due regard to the interests of the Government, care being taken to give dates of birth quite as early as they could have occurred.

In recommending the allowance of this, as of other claims, we are somewhat influenced by the fact that the Department has already accepted the evidence furnished as to marriage and death of soldier, and also by the impression made upon us by the bearing and frankness of the witnesses and claimant.

As heretofore, we affix an order for the admission of the claim for increase, and issue of a new certificate, to be signed by you in case our recommendation has your approval.
Very respectfully, yours,

Special Agents United States Pension-Office.
Commissioner of Pensions.

Chief Widows’ Certificate Division:
As recommended in the foregoing, issue increase certificate to Minerva Davis, widow of Jesse Davis, private Company E, Third Indian Home Guards, payable at Fort Gibson agency, at the rate of $8 per month, commencing May 4, 1864, with increase to the following named children:

Elizabeth, who will attain the age of 16 May 1, 1875.

Allison, who will attain the age of 16 August 13, 1877.
Former payments to be deducted.


Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, ss:

On this 2d day of February, A. D. 1871, before me, George E. Webster, pension-agent at Fort Gibson, personally appeared Minerva Davis, who, being duly sworn, deposes: That she is the widow of Jesse Davis, formerly of Company E, Third Regiment Indian Home Guards; that she resides on the Greenleaf Branch, in Illinois district, Cherokee Nation; that in the year (1866) after the close of the year, she moved to the residence of Thomas Ballard, near White-Oak Springs, in the Illinois district, about eighteen miles from Fort Gibson, and lived there one year, from the spring of 1866 to the spring of 1867; in the spring of 1867 she went to the house of Thomas Ballard, from her present residence, (about twelve miles from Fort Gibson,) on Greenleaf aforesaid, and said Ballard came with her to Fort Gibson to get her first bounty (original) due her on account of the services of her husband aforesaid. She further deposes and says, she was paid said bounty-money, the sum of $95, by Judge John W. Wright, in the second story of a house then standing within a few feet of the store-house now occupied and owned by Mr. F. H. Nash, east there from, and was known as Mr. Nash’s house; and that said house is torn down. She further deposes that she cannot recollect the month, or day of the month, upon which Wright paid her said bounty, but she does remember distinctly that the amount was as above stated, and was paid in bank bills; and further, that as she left the said building wherein she had received the money, John Brown Wright told her she owed him $10 for getting her bounty case through, and she then and there paid the said John Brown Wright what she supposed was the sum of $10.

Deponent further deposes that she has never, at any time, received any further amount of bounty than that above named, nor any arrears of pay of her husband due him for service in the Army, at the time of his death; that she has never traded upon any bounty claim, but has traded upon her pension with F. H. Nash, and now owes Mr. Nash (aforesaid) $100; that she has, when paid her pension money, after the first payment, by Mr. Whiting, in 1866, always taken the checks received for pension to Mr. Nash, and paid them to him, and that she has never received more than $10 in money from him, and that but on one occasion; and further, that she traded with Mr. W. P. Ross, but ceased trading and paid all she owed him (in money) the summer of the year she got the bounty, viz, 1867.

And further deponent saith not.

Witness: F. E. FOSTER.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this day and date above given, and I hereby certify that the deponent fully understands English and that the above affidavit was read to her before signing.
Special Agent Pension-Office.

I also hereby certify that the above is a correct copy, and that deponent is totally blind, and that Wright’s books show that he collected for her $152.95.
Special Agent Pension-Office.

42nd Congress. Alleged Frauds Against Certain Indian Soldiers. House of Representatives Report, 2nd Session, No. 96.

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