"Survivors of the Revolution which separated Texas from Mexico, 1835 - 1842"
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The 1869 Constitution authorized the Legislature to grant pension relief to surviving veterans of the Texas Revolution. The first act, passed August 13, 1870, allowed pension benefits of $250 annually for "Each and every surviving veteran of the revolution which separated Texas and Mexico, including the Mier prisoners,..." Those wounded in "any engagement or whilst a prisoner of war" received an additional $250 per year.
The pension act of 1874 awarded pensions to "each survivor of the revolution which separated Texas from Mexico (including the Santa Fe and Mier prisoners; the survivors of the company of Captain Dawson, who was massacred near San Antonio in the Year 1842; the survivors of those who were captured at the city of San Antonio in the fall of the year 1842, and taken to the Castle of Perote and confined therein, and the survivors of Deaf Smith's spy company)." The amount granted under this act was $150 per annum, with an added $150 granted to those permanently disabled either as a result of actual service or who may "be now disabled by loss of sight, or limb, from any cause...." The act further required that pensioners prove insufficient means of support.
Subsequent pension acts confined eligibility for pensions to "surviving soldiers or volunteers, in the war between Texas and Mexico, from the commencement of the revolution in 1835 to 1 January 1837; and also to the surviving signers of the declaration of independence of Texas; and to the surviving widows who have remained unmarried." Applicants had to prove indigence (defined in 1885 as ownership of property not exceeding $1,000 with proof that no property or valuables had been transferred to another during the twelve months prior to application). Payments could not exceed $150 per annum.
Lack of funds plagued pension programs for Republic veterans. Indeed, the pension act of 1876 had to be repealed in 1879 because "At least ten times as many names have been presented as was contemplated at the passage of this act, as pensioners;...and...We find a deficit of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and still claims are being presented...." New pensioners were not added until a pension law was passed in 1883.
The statements of military service found in these files are among the most detailed in the Republic records. Affidavits testifying to the applicant's worthiness also provide considerable personal information. The files include:
Name of claimant
By whom filed
Amount of pension
Date of certificate
Residence Affidavit of service
(usually handwritten, detailed accounts of Republic service)
Oath of Identity Widow's Application (1883)
Date of death
Dates of service in Republic Army
Widow's residence (county)
Power of attorney
Certified copies of muster rolls (occasional)
The US GenWeb Archives is embarking on the USGenWeb Archives Pension Project. This project will endeavor to provide actual transcriptions of Pension related materials for all Wars prior to 1900. Transcripts, extracts and abstracts will be accepted and files will be placed in the USGenWeb Archives directory of the State and County of principal residence of the Pensioner.
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The Republic of Texas Pensions Project Coordinator -
Pension Project File Manager - Donna Bluemink
Special Projects Coordinator - Rebecca Maloney
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