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OF THE

PENSION LAWS.

"To dignify the Pension Laws of our country, with a place in the nomenclature of systems, may seem ridiculous to those who view these laws in å detached sense, or in the order of their dates only. But he who will take a survey of the prominent enacte ments, connected with the minute details growing out of each, as they are developed, though they were commenced and progressed under the dictates of justice and gratitude, without any view to system building, will nevertheless discover and admire therein, that beautiful symmetry and order of parts, which constitute system in any branch of science or law, natural or civil. To exhibit the same in a perspicuous manner, is attempted in the subjoined Analytical Index, to which the subsequent Tabular Summary may be regarded as a key. The multiplicity of private acts for the relief of individuals included in this compilation, are not embraced in the Analysis, because they are cases absolute, and do not form necessary links in the series. They will be found in the Index, at the end of the volume." - Extract from Mayo's edition of 1833.

I. Half Pay Pensioners. 1. Half pay for a limited time, or for life, (the basis of commutation, being a gratuity beyond the fixed monthly pay stipulated at enlistments, is not strictly of the nature of pension; for, unlike pensions to invalids or to indigents, it is awarded, as pay extraordinary, to commissioned officers only, for great duration of service. It is, in this light, granted to commissioned officers of the revolution, who continued in the army to the end of the war, or to the widows and orphans of those who die in the service before the end of the war, as of contract.

2. There is also another class of half pay pensions, distinct from the above, which is conferred, for a limited time, on the widows and orphans of all persons who die of wounds received in the naval and military service of their country since the revolution, confined at first to those of the army, but afterwards extended to the widows and orphans of all officers of the army and navy, and of soldiers, seamen, marines and privateers; and incidentally to the widows and orphans of others, not based on wounds or other disabilities, but for considerations of a miscellaneous character—though never to those of revolutionary invalids.*

Page. 1. Half Pay, for seven years from the conclusion of the war, is promised to come

missioned officers who shall continue in the army to the end of the war-
by resolution, 15th May, 1778.....................

..... 78 The same, for seven years, is granted to the widows and children of those commis

sioned officers who have died, or may die, in the service-by resolution,

24th August, 1780........ The same, for life, is promised to those commissioned officers who continue in the

army to the end of the war-by resolution, 21st October, 1780................ The same, for life, is changed to certain allowances for life, to officers of the hospital

department and medical staff-by resolution, 17th January, 1781............. (COMMUTATION—FULL PAY.)—Half pay, for life, and certain allowances for life, as

above, are changed to five years' full pay, called COMMUTATIONby resolu

tion, 22d March, 1783..... (Half pay is forbidden, except to those officers to whom it has been promised by

resolution, 26th January, 1784.). Half pay, for life, or commutation, as above, is affirmed to certain commissioned

officers retiring as supernumeraries under former resolves-by resolution,

8th March, 1785.............................................
The half pay, for seven years, to widows and children, barred by resolutions of

the 2d November, 1785, and 23d July, 1787, and is reinstated for two
years-by act 23d March, 1792, sec. 1..............................

.........

24

* But if the widows of revolutionary invalids never were allowed half pay pensions, as half the pay their husbands had received, or were entitled to receive, the scanty remainder of those venerated relicts have been amply indemnified by the full pay accruing to them under the numerous acts growing out of the acts of 15th May, 1828, and 7th June, 1832, of which that of July 4, 1836, was the firstsee that progeny of acts, under the head of widows and orphans, in the sequel of this Analysis.

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2. HALF PAY, for five years, is promised to the widows and children of commis

sioned officers of the army (since the revolution) who may die of wounds

they may receive in the serviceby act, 7th June, 1794....... ............... 31 The same, for five years, extended to widows and orphans of commissioned officers

of the army and militia who have died of wounds received in the service

since the 4th March, 1789—by act, 14th March, 1798...... The same, for five years, promised to widows and orphans of commissioned officers

of the military peace establishment of 1802, who may die of wounds they

may receive in the service by act, 16th March, 1802..... The same, for five years, promised to widows and orphans of commissioned officers

of the additional force authorized-by act, 12th April, 1808....... The same, for five years, promised to widows and orphans of the commissioned

officers of certain companies authorized-by act, 2d January, 1812......... The same, for five years, promised to widows and orphans of the commissioned • officers of the additional military force authorized by act, 11th January,

1812................ (Half pay, for five years, is granted to the widows and orphans of the officers and

soldiers of the volunteers and militia, who died of wounds received in the

campaign on the Wabash-by act, 10th April, 1812.)............ The same, for five years, promised as above, to widows and orphans of the com

missioned officers of the additional military force authorized-by act, 29th

January, 1813.......
The same, for five years, promised, as above, to the widows and orphans of commis-

sioned officers of militia and volunteers, who may die of wounds received
in the serviceby act, 2d August, 1813.............

......... 100 The same, for five years, as per peace establishment of 1802, promised to the widows

and orphans of those commissioned officers who may die of wounds in

the peace establishment of 1815-by act, 3d March, 1815........................ 105 HALF PAY, for five years, (bounty lands being relinquished in the cases required)

is extended to the widows and orphans of officers and soldiers of the mi. litia, rangers, seafencibles, and volunteers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates, enlisted for one year or eighteen months, and of commissioned officers of the regular army, who died or were killed in the

late war of 1812by act, 16th April, 1816....................... ................... 110 (The increased ratio of invalid pensions per month to officers, soldiers, militia, and

volunteers, by the act of the 24th April, 1816, did not affect the ratio of their widows and orphans' pensions, as they depend on the rate of the

duty pay of the decedents.-act 24th April, 1816.)................................ 112 HALF PAY, for five years, to widows and orphans of the privates of the militia and

other corps, under the act of the 16th April, 1816, shall be placed on an equality at $48 a year ($7 50 per month) and no more, to those of either of said corps; and the widows and orphans of the officers of said corps shall be entitled to the half pay of officers of the infantry-act of

March 3d, 1817.......... The same, for five years, as above, extended to the widows and orphans of the mi

litia called into service after 1st September, 1817, in prosecuting the Semi

nole war, and died in said serviceby act 20th April, 1818.................... 127 (The foregoing relate to the half pay of army widows and orphans only. Half pay for five years has been extended and renewed to the widows and orphans of every branch of the service-army, militia, and volunteers, navy, marines, and privateers-by various acts, from time to time, to the present day; which see, under the head of WIDOWS and ORPHANS in the Indexes at the end of the work, not necessary to be detailed here with any views of analysis beyond what is inferrable from the following classes of invalid pensions from which they respectively emanate, and derive any peculiarity they have.]

II. Invalid Pensioner: (Army and Navy) disabled in the Revolutionary War. Officers, commissioned and non-commissioned, of the army and navy, musicians, soldiers, marines, and seamen, disabled in the service including militia and volunteers, as well as those who, after disability incurred, resigned their commissions, took discharges, or were taken captive by the enemy, and so remained, or on parole, to the end of the war, (except those receiving commutation, and those who deserted the service,) shall be entitled to pensions during life, or the continuance of their disability the period of the war being defined to be from the commencement of hostilities on the

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19th April, 1775, to the definitive treaty of peace on the 11th April, 1783:-all arrears of pensions due to invalids at their death, to be paid to their widows, orphans, or legal representatives :--the details whereof will be seen in the acts referred to. It will be perceived that those acts providing for revolutionary invalids, extended to March, 1829, while those, providing for invalids since the revolution, commenced under the act of the 30th April, 1790, showing that legislation was simultaneously progressing during a period of thirty years for both classes of invalids.

Page The old Congress, by sundry resolutions, recommended to the State Legislatures

to provide for invalids on account of the United States-see resolutions of

the 26th August, 1776, &c. &c..................................... The invalid pensioners of the States, provided for under the aforesaid authority,

are assumed as pensioners of the United States, from the 4th March, 1789, for one year, to be paid under regulations to be prescribed by the Presi

dent-by act, 29th September, 1789................... The aforesaid pensions are continued for one year, to be paid under regulations,

prescribed by the President-by act, 16th July, 1790.......... The aforesaid pensioners' right of certificate, is extended to their widows and or

phans—by act, 11th August, 1790, secs. 3 and 4............. The aforesaid pensions are continued for one year, to be paid under regulations of

the President-by act, 3d March, 1791... The pensions, as aforesaid, (except to those receiving commutation, and deserters)

are confirmed for life, under specific regulations prescribed by the act; with instructions to circuit judges to transmit lists of claimants to be laid be

fore Congress-by act, 23d March, 1792............ The last mentioned act, is repealed, and substituted, as to regulations of evidence,

and instructions to district judges to transmit lists of claimants to be laid

before Congressby act, 28th February, 1793............ The list of claimants transmitted by district judges, pursuant to the above act of

28th February, 1793, directed to be put on the pension roll, at fixed rates

of pension--by act, 7th June, 1794.......... The list of claimants transmitted by circuit judges, under act of 23d March, 1792,

with defective testimony, returned to district judges for publication, and completion of testimony-by resolution, 9th June, 1794.......

..... The pensions, under act of 28th February, 1793, ordered to commence from the

completion of testimony-by act, 2181 February, 1795............ ..... The list of claimants transmitted by district judges under act of 28th February,

1793, with defective testimony, returned to those judges-by resolution, 18th April, 1796.........

i... The list of claimants transmitted by district judges under act of 28th February,

1793, ordered to be put on the pension roll at fixed rates—by act, 20th April, 1796...............

..... The list of claimants transmitted, as above, ordered to be put on the pension roll

at fixed ratesby act, 2d February, 1798............ The new rules and regulations for substantiating pension claims, repealing those

of the act of 28th February, 1793, but the same rates of pension observ

ed-by act, 3d March, 1803................ The South Carolina invalid pensioners provided for under resolves of the old Con

gress, assumed as pensioners of the United States-by act, 3d March, 1804. The pensions, as above, extended to those who, after incurring disability in the ser

vice, resigned, took discharges, or were taken prisoners, and so remained,

or on parole, to the end of the war-by act, 3d March, 1805.................. The act of 10th April, 1806, repeals all former laws conferring pensions on invalids

of the revolution, and makes new provisions, rules and regulations, for those pensions, and increase of the same, to commence from the completion of the testimony, with instructions to district judges to transmit lists of claimants to be reported to Congress. This act has continued in force ever since, by revivals from time to time; and the last revival (24th May,

1828, page 151,) continues it until the 24th May, 1834-see the act.... The list of claimants, transmitted by district judges, pursuant to the above act, of

10th April, 1806, ordered to be put on the pension roll at specific rates

by act, 3d March, 1807.......... The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and all other pensioners, (sec. 3,) re

maining on the rolls of any of the States, ordered to be placed on the pension roll of the United States--by act, 25th April, 1808....

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The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the roll-by act, 3d March, 1809.......................................................

69 The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the roll-by act, 27th April,

1810. The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the roll—by act, 5th March,

1811... The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the roll-by act, 5th July,

1812... The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the rollby act, 2d August,

1813............ The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the roll, and a new rule

established, (sec. 3,) for authenticating depositions, by a judge of any State or territory-by act, 18th April, 1814...........

103 The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the rollby act, 3d March, 1815..................

...............

106 (New and increased rates of pensions established, from that time, to all invalids

then on the roll, or may thereafter be placed on the roll-by act, 24th April, 1816)..........

117 The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the roll-by act, 30th April, 1816...............................................................

114 The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the roll-by act, 3d March,

1817........................................................................ .................. 120 The list of claimants, transmitted as above, and put on the roll, but future reports

of such lists to Congress, by the Secretary of War, dispensed with, (sec. 4,) he being authorized to put them on the roll without such report—by act, 3d March, 1819.............

.................... 131 The act of the 3d March, 1819, (chap. 491,) establishes new rules for ascertaining

disabilities, in all cases of applications for pensions to invalids, (revolutionary, or since the revolution,) withholding the benefits thereof from those revolutionary pensioners who shall avail themselves of the benefits of the act of the 18th March, 1818, on account of indigence; which rules

are to be complied with periodically-see said act.............. ............... 129 The act of the 24th May, 1828, revives and continues in force for six years the act

of the 16th April, 1806, providing for persons who were disabled by known wounds received in the revolutionary war.......

151 The pensions, or arrears of pensions, accruing under the above mentioned act, of

3d March, 1819, are directed in case of death of such pensioners, to be paid to their widows, children, or legal representativesby act, 2d March, 1829, * sec. 1........

........................ 153

III. Invalid Pensioners of the Army, disabled since the Revolution. Officers, commissioned and non-commissioned, privates and musicians, of the army, including militia, rangers, sea-fencibles, and volunteers, disabled in the service of the United States, since the revolutionary war, are entitled to pensions during life, or the continuance of their disability, under the various acts hereinafter described; the details of which will be seen in the acts referred to. See the remarks, thus noted, under the preceding head, II, which are applicable here also. The first act, after the war, for regulating the military establishment of the Uni

ted States, passed on the 30th April, 1790, ordering the enlistment of “able

or non-commissioned officer, musician or private, shall be wounded or disabled, while in the line of his duty, he shall be placed on the list of invalids of the United States, at such rates of pay, and under such regulations as shall be directed by the PRESIDENT, for the time being—not to

* This act of 24 March, 1829, sec. 3, says, that in all applications for pensions, for wounds received in the revolutionary war, the testimony may be authenticated in the same manner as in applications for wounds received in the late war (of 1812] with Great Britain; while the different acts conferring pensions for wounds in the late war, [of 1812,] require that the claims be substantiated by the rules or the act of 10th April, 1806. On the other hand, the act of 16th April, 1816, making further provisions for military services during the late war, (of 1812,] requires certain applications for pensions to be substantiated by rules to be prescribed by the President, but not to interfere with those pensions embraced in the act of 2d August, 1813, while the act of August refers the claimants, it embraces, to the rules and regulations of the same act, of 10th April, 1806, to substantiate their claims. So that the act of the 10th April, 1806, became the RULE for all invalid pensions-as the President made no additional regulations, of which any evidence exists, or has been produced.

Page. exceed, for the highest disability, half the monthly pay at the time of the wound, for commissioned officers, and never to exceed five dollars a month for non-commissioned officers, privates and musician; and for inferior disabilities, sums proportioned to those for the highest disability-see the act, 30th April, 1790.............

..... The aforesaid provisions for pensions, under the same regulations (by the Presi

dent) promised to certain regiments to be raised-by act, 5th March, 1792,

sec. 11......................................................................................... The aforesaid provisions for pensions, under the same regulations (by the Presi

dent) continued, with the military establishment-by act 3d March, 1795,

sec. 15............. The aforesaid provisions for pensions, under the same regulations (by the Presi

dent) are extended to militia called out, and to volunteersby act 23d

March, 1796........ The aforesaid provisions for pensions, under the same regulations (by the Presi

dent) extended to the military establishment as ascertained-by act 30th

May, 1796........... The aforesaid provisions for pensions, under the same regulations (by the Presi

dent) extended to the provisional army authorized-by act 28th May, 1798 The aforesaid provisions for pensions, under the same regulations (by the President)

extended to the augmentation of the army authorized-by act 2d March,

1799 ........ The aforesaid provisions for pensions, under the same regulations (by the Presi

dent,) extended to the military peace establishment as fixed-by act 16th

March, 1802........
The aforesaid provisions for pensions, under the same regulations, (by the Presi-

dent) extended to the additional military force, including cadets ordered

-by act 12th April, 1808............ The act of the 25th April, 1808, sec. 4, authorizes officers, non-commissioned offi

cers, musicians, and privates of the regular army, militia, and volunteer corps, who have been disabled since the revolution, to be placed on the pension roll at the rates and under the regulations prescribed by the act of

ihe 10th April, 1806—see act 25th April, 1808.......................... The provisions for pensions, under rules and regulations that are, or may be, estab

lished by law, extended to companies of rangers authorized-by act 2d

January, 1812....................
The provisions for pensions under rules and regulations that are, or may be, estab-

lished by law, extended to the additional military force, including cadets,

authorized-by act 11th January, 1812............
The provisions for pensions under rules and regulations that are, or may be, estab-

lished by law, extended to certain volunteer corps authorized—by act 6th
February, 1812.............

................. 86 The provisions for wounds or disabilities, under the act of January 11, 1812, au

thorizing the President to raise an additional military force, are extended
to such parts of the light dragoons and artillery authorized by said act,
as the President may cause to be enlisted for eighteen months-by act 8th
April, 1812......

......... 88 All invalids who .were disabled in the campaign on the Wabash, directed to be

placed on the pension roll at rates to be prescribed by the President, and
under rules of evidence to be dictated by the Secretary of War by act
10th April, 1812........

.... 87 The provisions for pensions under rules and regulations that are, or may be, estab

lished by law, extended to the additional military force authorized-by

act 29th January, 1813...............
Invalids of the corps of infantry raised as an additional military force for the de

fence of the seaboard by the act of January 29th, 1813, being “ placed on
the same footing as the regular troops," are allowed pensions and other

benefits in like manner-act 5th July, 1813........................
Invalids of the corps of sea fencibles authorized by this act, to serve on land or

water, are allowed pensions in some respects as officers, &c., disabled in
the Daval service, and in other respects as those disabled in the military
service-act 26th July, 1813......

............. 344 The act of the 2d August, 1813, grants pensions under the rules and regulations

of the act of 10th April, 1806, to the militia and volunteers who may be disabled in the service thereafter-sce the act, 2d August, 1813, sec. 2........ 101

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