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1812 and the Revolutionary war, requiring a service of but 14 instead of 60 days on the part of survivors of the war of 1812, and granting pensions to widows regardless of date of marriage to soldiers of this war. It also granted pensions to widows of soldiers of the Revolutionary war on a service of 14 days. Former laws required marria je prior to the treaty of peace in the case of widows of the wir of 1812.
(4). Act of June 17, 1878, increasing to $72 per month the pensions of those who lost both hands, both feet, or the sight of both eyes incident to the survica, and two years later.
(5). Act of June 16, 1830, giving $72 per month to the totally helpless from any cause incident to the service.
(6). Act of March 3, 1879, increasing to $37.50, hip-joint amputations. This sum was aft rwards increased to $45 per month by a Democratic House.
(7). A Democratic Congress passed the arrears of pension acts January 25 and March 3, 1879, generous easures which benefited more than 225,000 pensioners and at a single bound caused the annual pension roll to leap from $33,780,526.19 to $57,240,540.14. The Republican party had control of both Houses of Congress for more than ten years after the close of the war, but passed no legislation of this character. Both Houses became Democratic in 1879, and on the 21st of June of that year they passt d the following amendment for the protection of pensioners and abolishing biennial medical examinations.
(8). Sec. 3 act of June 21, 1879. That sections 4771, 4772, and 4773, providing for biennial examinations of pensioners are hereby repealed : Provided, That the Commissioner of Pensions shall have the same power as heretofore to order a special examination whenever in his judgment the same may be necessary, but in no case shall a pension be withdrawn or reduced except upn notice to the pensioner and a hearing upon sworn testimony. * * * In order to provide for the speedy payment of arrearages of pension, the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed to issue immediately in payment thereof, as may be adopted, the legal tender currency now in the United States Treasury held as a special fund for the redemption of fractional currency, etc., etc. This statute was passed not only to provide for the large payment of arrears that would soon fall due, but to protect the pensioners against Republican Commissioners of Pensions who were then suspending pensions without notice or hearing, and in many instances upon malicious anonymous letters and unsworn statements of vindictive and malevolent persons, and reducing or dropping the names of pensioners from the rolls upon the mere verbal ex parte reports of secret agents.
(9). Act of Detember 21, 1893, making a pension a vested right. (10). Act of February 6, 1881, for the protection of pensioners in soldiers' homes.
(11). Act of July 14, 1892, establishing an intermediate rate of pension between $30 and $72 per month, and fixing the rate at $50 for all who required frequent and periodical though not regular and constant personal aid and attendance.
(12). Act of August 5, 1892, granting pensions to army nurses and forbidding the demanding of a fee by claim agents for prosecuting this class of cases. This was a generous recognition of the noble heroines who, leaving home and loved ones behind, in seli-sacrifice braved pestilence and hardship in every form to minister to the stricken in hospitals of the army, with danger for their constant fare and death their never absent companion.
(13). Act of July 4, 1881, which established the proper relations which should exist between attorneys and clients, and fixed by law the fees to be allowed in pension cases. By this act a Democratic Congress placed the strong arm of the law between the helpless applicant for pension and the unblushing rapacity of the horde of pension pettifoggers that operated up to this time.
Some idea may be gathered of the state of affairs when we reflect that in the seven years alone prior to the passage of the above act, 561 claim agents were prose cuted for violations of one form or another of the penal statutes relating to pensions, 355 were suspended, 248 disbarred, 138 dropped from the roster of attorneys. and 64 convicted. This Democratic measure smoke I them out.
CLEVELAND'S VETOES OF PRIVATE PENSION ACTS. During the twenty-four (24). years of uninterrupted Republican administration1861 to 1885—2,001 private pension acts passed by Congress became laws, an average of about 83 a year. During Lincoln's administration, 41 ; Johnson's, 431 ; Grant's, 490; Hayes's, 303; Garfield and Arthur's, 736. In the first three years of President Cleveland's former administration-1895 to 1838-out of 1,560 submitted to him. 1,369 became laws, more than thirty-three times as many as during Lincoln's four years ; more than three times as many as Johnson's four years ; nearly three times as many as Grant's eight years ; four-and-a-half times as many as Hayes's four years; and nearly twice as many as Garfield and Arthur's four years. The average yearly number of these private pension acts which became laws under Cleveland's former administration was 456, five-and-a-half times the average annual number during the preceding Republican administrations.
PENSION STATISTIC. The pension estimates for the current fiscal year, capitalized at 3 per cent, would be the interest on about $5,500,000,000, a sum greater than the national debt of any country on earth, and nearly twice the debt of the United States at the close of the war.
$85,292,931.08 have been paid for pensions under the general law during the last fiscal year. For the same time $68,259,537.18 were paid under the act of June 27, 1890, while from 1871 to the present time the total disbursements on account of the war of 1812, Indian wars, and the Mexican war were but $55,896,433.38. The results of these wars increased the territory of the United States from less than 1,000,000 to 3,603,884 square miles. The Mexican service pension bill was not passed until thirty-nine years after the close of that war. This recognition was given to the survivors of 1812 fifty-seven years after, and the Revolution fifty-nine years after the close of these respective wars.
Pensions thus far paid exceed the entire appropriations from the foundation of the Government up to 1861. The pension appropriation for the current fiscal year is equal to the entire cost of the army, navy and pension establishments of Brazil, China, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden and Spain combined; or Germany, Mexico and Spain; it exceeds that of Germany and Spain combined, and is almost equal to that of Russia and Brazil. It is fifty million dollars more than the entire expenditures for the military and naval establishments of Germany; twenty million dollars more than that of Russia ; and equals three-fourths of the entire expenditure of Great Britain in miin aining its naval, military, pension and civil list establishments.' Twelve States in the Union receive 50 per cent more in pension money than the cost of their entire school establishments. Maine and Vermont received two-and-a-half times as much in pensions as they pay for schools.
The estimates for the payment of pensions for the coming fiscal year exceed the total assessed valuation of the real and personal property of twenty-five (25) States in the Union. There are 76,661 pensioners in the six States of Washington, Kansas, Nebras a, North and South Dakota, and Oregon, nearly three times as many pensioners as these States furnished soldiers (26,286) to the army. In the ten States that formed the Southern Confederacy there are 48,639 pensioners, and in the six boriler States 128,936, making in all 177,575 pensioners, receiving an aggregate of $28,428,759.42 in the old slave States. In the aggregate the 30th of June, 1891, 2,114,908 original pension claims have been filed since 1861. 1,433, 134 of these have been allowed. Upwards of two billions of dollars have been paid in pensions, local bounties, and private patriotic centributions for the relief of the families of the soldiers since the war.
At the close of the year, June 30, 1894, there were 969,514 persons upon the pension rolls, a greater number than were mustered out of the service 29 years ago, and 300,000 more than there were troops actively engaged in the army at any one time during the war. At the close of this year there were 737,338 invalids on the pension rolls, 89,000 more than the number of soldiers reported present for active duty by Provost Marshal General Frye March 31, 1965, the number enrolled being 980,086 and the number absent 332,339. During the last year (1893) $1,872,178.53 were paid in attorneys' fees ALONE, and upwards of $20,000,000 went to these claim agents since 1865. Only three States in the Union (New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio) had a total population in 1860 greater than the number of pension claims filed since the war; only five States (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Virginia) at the beginning of the war had a total population greater than the number of pension claims allowed since the war; only nine States have now a total population greater than the total number of pension claims filed, and twenty-one States and Territories of the Union have a total population less than the number of unsettled claims still pending 29 years after the close of the rebellion.
NUMBER OF PENSIONERS AND AMOUNTS PAID PER CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. In Indiana the average is 5,300 pensioners, receiving $900,264 per Congressional district.
In Ohio, 4,904, receiving $825,080 per district.
The average number of pensioners in each Congressional district in the United States is 2,711, and the verage amount of pension pail in each Congressional district is $110,282.
Illinois furnished 1} times the number of troops Indiana did, but has only 58 per cent of th: number of pensioners, receiving only 55 per cent of the amount of money per district as that State. She sent 83 per cent of the number of troops Ohio did, but has only 64 per cent of the number of pensioners, receiving 61 per cent as much pension per district as this Stat.
Pennsylvania sent 1} times the num er of troops Indiana did, and has only 60 per
cent of the number of pensioners, receiving 56 per cent of the amount of pension per district as this State. She sent 108 per cent of the number of troops Ohio did, and bas only 65 per cent of the number of pensioners, receiving 61 per cent of the amount per district as this State.
Iowa, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, respectively, receive 62, 59, 49, 41, and 26 per cent as much pension per Congressional district as Indiana, and 68, 64, 53, 45, and 28 per cent, respectively, as Ohio.
Again, take the two Northern States which, since the war, have almost invariably cast their electoral vote for the Democratic ticket (New Jersey and Connecticut). In the former 2,563 pensioners receive $410,021 per Congressional district; in the latter, 2,904 pensioners receive $335,088 per district.
The pensioners in the State of Indiana are receiving average annual pensions equal to $169.87. In Ohio it is $168.25; in Iowa, $162.10 ; Illinois, $160.34; Minnesota, $159.81; Wisconsin, $158.60 ; Pennsylvania, $158.44, and in Rhode Island, $111.04.
THE DEMOCRATIC RECORD IN THE PENSION OFFICE. Daring the four years of Democratic administration-from 1885 to 1889–a little over 80 per cent of all the claims filed were allowed. During the preceding Republican administration the average was but 78 per cent, and during the last Republican administration (Tanner and Raum) only 67 per cent of the claims filed were allowed, notwithstanding the addition to the clerical force of the bureau of more than 400 persons.
During the four years of Democratic administration-from 1885 to 1889–$296,458,741.25 were paid for pensions, fifteen and one-half millions more than were paid during the fifteen years of Republican administration from 1861 to 1875, inclusive; and, including the estimates for the current fiscal year, Democratic administrations under Judge Lochren and General Black, have, in five years, disbursed $5,750,000 more than all the Republican administrations in the twenty years from 1861 to 1880 inclusive.
The total disbursements for pensions since 1861 were, in round numbers, $1,730,500,000. During sixteen (16) years of that time, counting the present Congress, the Democratic party in the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Randall, Carlisle and Crisp, originated appropriation bills for 64 per cent of this amount, in round numbers $1,109,000,000; while during eighteen (18) years under the control of the Republican party, but 36 per cent, in round numbers $621,000,000 were disbursed, or a net ratio of nearly 200 per cent in favor of the Democratic party.
Soldiers of the republic, does this show the Democratic party has been ungenerous to the heroic men who saved the flag from tarnish, or to their dependents ? Wherein haye Democratic administrations been inimical to the pensioners of the nation? Partisan Republicans in their cheeping criticisms strive for political effect solely. How plain a tale will put the prevaricator down?
ACT OF JUNE 27, 1890. The enormous increase in the annual pension roll, due to the lax construction of the act of June 27, 1890, which caused the amount yearly expended to leap from $89,000,000 in 1889 to $158,000,000 at a bound in 1893, is mainly responsible for the criticisms of the patient tax-payers of the nation, who gravely question whether this enormous sum was properly disbursed by a Republican administration.
The amount paid, $158,000,000, in the third year since the passage of this act almost equals in a single year the total amount paid under all existing laws during the eleven years of Republican rule, from 1861 to 1871 inclusive.
This law was passed in recognition of the difficulties in the way of tracing digabilities to service origin after a long lapse of time, and the fact that deserving soldiers who, in their advancing years, were suffering from affliction not of service origin, but which unfitted them to earn a support by manual labor, were deemed proper objects of th: national beneficence, and in obedience to this generous impulse the act was passed. But it had its requirements and limitations. Section 2d of the act, which is as follows, determines these :
“Section 2. That all persons who served ninety days or more in the military or naval service of the United States during the late war of the rebellion, and who have been honorably discharged therefrom, and who are now or who may hereafter be suffering from a mental or physical disability of a permanent character, not the result of their own vicious habits, which incapacitates them for the performance of manual labor in such a degree as to render them unable to earn a support, shall, upon making due proof of the fact according to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may provide, be placed upon the list of invalid pensioners of tue United States, and be entitled to receive a pension not exceeding twelve dollars per month and not less than six dollars per month, proportioned to the degree of inability to earn a support,” etc., etc.
It will be perceived that it is imperative that there shall have been a service of at least ninety days, an honorable discharge, and in the case of invalids it must be shown by competent evidence that the applicant for pension under this act must be disabled for the performance of manual labor by reason of mental or physical disability not due to his own vicious habits, rendering him unable in greater or less degree to earn a support by manual labor.
How has the Repu Jican party accounted for its stewardship to the people of the nation in the execution of this law? Has it been the faithful custodian of the trust imposed upon it? While providing with prodigality for the deserving beneficiaries has it buttressed the entrance to the public treasury against the strain of the rapacious claim agents and the unworthy pretender? It is the purpose of this to show that the Republican Commissioners of Pensions let down all the bars of the national pasture field, enabling the bounty-jumpers and others equally unworthy to enter with impunity. Names were put upon the pension rolls regardless of the requirement of at least ninety days' service; the dishonorably discharged who tarnished the blue were pensioned; able-bodied applicants, rich in worldly store, but protesting mendicancy, were fed at the pub ic table ; and those who by vice were reduced to the relics of a misspent life, were allow d to partake of the Nation's bounty that of right belonged alone to the worthy pensioners of the Republic. A Republican Commissioner of Pensions declared it his intention to raid the public treas:iry with steam-shovel and gravel-train, and “God help the surplus when he got up steam enough!”
Under the act of June 27, 1890, aside from the requisite service and honorable discharge, there is but one condition that can give any right to a pension, namely, “a mental or physical disability of a permanent character, not the result of their own vicious habits, which incapacitates them for the performance of manual labor in such a degree as to render them unable to earn a support."
Scarcely was the ink dry on the approval of the act when in open violation of both the spirit and the letter of the law, a Republican Secretary of the Interior, by