Writing My Congressman in 1916 to Get My Pension Increase

In the fall of 1916, seventy year old Nancy (Newman) Rampley was “visiting in Truman, Minnesota” and decided to contact her Congressman and inquire about her pension increase.

The West Point, Illinois, resident was almost certainly in Minnesota visiting her daughter. It’s also possible that the daughter was actually the one who initiated the contact with the Congressman.

Congressman Tavenner’s letter references the act of 8 September 1916 and provides Nancy age and date of birth. It seems reasonable that her age has triggered her eligibility for a pension increase under the act of 8 September 1916. That will not be known for certain until the act has actually been viewed.

A seemingly innocent letter documents Nancy’s trip to Minnesota. In fact, this letter is the only document that indicates Nancy ever went to Minnesota to visit her daughters who moved there after their marriage.

Which is why one needs to read everything they can get their hands on.  I also need to look at the act to see if there’s a clue in there as well.

Parenthetical comments in bureaucratic correspondence can have significance well beyond the actual reason for the paperwork.

Note: This letter was contained in the Civil War pension file for Nancy Rampley (widow of Riley Rampley) in the National Archives. 


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