In late 1937 or early 1938, a grandson of Edward's
wrote his congressman; the actual letter, along with
a newspaper clipping he included, were returned to the
congressman and are not included in the pension record,
but the general sense of them is clear from the two
letters in the file. The clues within the two letters
clearly identify the letter writer, Charles M. Walker,
Edward's grandson, son of James Harvey Walker.
One letter in the file is from the congressman, J.
Will Taylor, dated 22 January 1938, to the Veterans
Administration asking for an explanation; the date on
the reply is 7 January 1938 but is obviously incorrect.
Taylor's letter was date-stamped as having been received
at the Veterans Administration on 24 January, and the
reply references it; the reply was probably really sent
on January 27th.
The main story is that Charlie's father handed him
a newspaper clipping about a woman who was the daughter
of a War of 1812 soldier and who was receiving a pension
because of that; in general, children were not eligible
for pensions. Charlie presumably asked if his father
were eligible. The Veterans Administration replied that,
while the story was correct, that woman had been granted
a pension by a special act of Congress as being a "helpless
child" and that no law otherwise granted such pensions.
The term "helpless child" is a curious one
as she obviously would have been an adult; one would
assumed that she was handicapped in some way, and politically-connected
people wanted to help.
The congressman was James Willis Taylor, a representative
from 1919 until his death in 1939. Additional research
could probably be done within his records. All letters
are on this page.
[Letterhead; formatting not maintained, commas
added:] J. Will Taylor, 2nd Dist. Tennessee
Committees: Rules, Committee on Committees, Immigration
and Naturalization, Public Buildings and Grounds Dorothy Shultz, Secretary
Congress of the United States, House of Representatives,
Mr. Geo. E. Brown, Director
Veterans Claims, Veterans Administration
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. Brown:
I am enclosing letter from Mr. Chas. M. Walker,
301 Raleigh Ave., Knoxville, which is self-explanatory.
There must be some special reason why these two
persons referred to in his letter are drawing
pensions as a result of this service, and while
Mr. Walker does not give the certificate
or claim number I thought they might easily be
Please have them checked and advise me in the
light of Mr. Walker's letter, and oblige
Yours very sincerely J Wills T [original signature]
[handwritten below is a hard-to-read code that
may be:] mcokm
[a receipt stamp is below]
Jan 24 1938
Reply to Congressional Letter
January 7, 1938
W. C. 26949
Honorable J. Will Taylor
House of Representatives
My dear Mr. Taylor:
Reference is made to your letter of January 22,
in behalf of Mr. Charles M. Walker, 301
Raleigh Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee, who is interested
in securing a pension for his father, based upon
the service of his grandfather, Edward Walker,
in the War of 1812. Mr. Walker states that
his father, name not given, who is aged eighty-three
years and a resident of McMinn County, Tennessee,
handed him a newspaper clipping which contains
the statement that a child of a soldier of the
War of 1812 is receiving a pension, also, a woman
in New York, both claims based upon service rendered
in that war.
The one child of a soldier of the War of 1812
now in receipt of a United States pension was
granted her pension by Special Act of Congress,
as a helpless child, and not under any general
law which would benefit other children or descendants
of soldiers of that war. The other pensioner referred
to is the widow of a soldier of the War of 1812.
There is now no provision of law under which
Mr. Walker's father is entitled to pension
based upon service of his father, Edward Walker,
in the War of 1812. It is regretted, therefore
that the Veterans Administration cannot grant
him (Mr. Walker, of McMinn County, Tennessee)
Mr. Charles Walker's letter and the newspaper
clipping are enclosed herewith.
It may be stated that the War of 1812 record
has been found of an Edward Walker of Tennessee,
whose widow, Sarah Crumley Walker, received
a pension while residing in Hancock County, Tennessee.
Should this be the record of Mr. Charles Walker's
grandfather, it will be furnished him and his
father upon request.
Very truly yours A. D. Hiller
to the Administrator