• Denetra Hampton

Harriett Tubman: A Nurse Stakes Her Claim

Harriett Tubman served as a nurse in the American Civil War. Her services were invaluable to the health of wounded soldiers and slaves alike.

After the war, she was receiving a pension from her widowed husband, Nelson David, who served as a private in the war's colored infantry. Tubman submitted a claim for additional benefits for her own personal services.


Harriett Tubman's Affidavit which outlines her duties during the Civil War.

Congress received numerous documents and letters supporting Tubman’s claim. In 1899 Congress passed, and the President signed, an increase of Tubman’s pension to 25 dollars per month for her service as a nurse.


A letter from Sereno E. Payne was instrumental in serving has a tool for the success of her claim submission. He vouched to George Ray, Chairman of the Committee on Invalid Pensions, that Tubman had been employed as a nurse during the Civil War.


Tubman was granted a pension of $25 a month by H.R. 4982, passed January 19, 1899.

Sereno E. Payne,Chairman of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries in the House of Representatives.



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