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Shaw, Samuel (1754-1794) to Tench Tilghman

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01595 Author/Creator: Shaw, Samuel (1754-1794) Place Written: West Point, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: September 10, 1782. Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 23.4 x 17.9 cm.

Summary of Content: Writes that it is not in his power to send him Congress's resolve of 6 July 1779, concerning Margaret Corbin. Explains that her case is "peculiar": "Her husband and son killed and herself wounded in the services, were misfortunes of so aggravated as justly rendered her worthy of public attention." Congress has provided her with "a complete ration per day, and half pay for life," which Colonel [Lewis] Nicola helped her apply for, but she has received very little of the rations and pay she deserves. Explains that "[h]er present application is in consequence of the rum or whiskey which completes part of her ration being stopped by the commissary agreeable to his common custom in the issues to women of the army in general. Hers being so singular a case, she thinks that this regulation should not extend to her." If she receives what is owed her, the items "will render her present wretchedness a little more tolerable." Adds, finally, that "I am sorry to trouble you again on this subject, but the woman is truly an object of compassion. Her present husband is a poor crippled invalid who is of no other service to her but rather adds to her trouble. She herself in bad health and far advanced in her pregnancy." See GLC02437.01591, GLC02437.01595, and GLC02437.01611 for related information.

Background Information: According to the American National Biography, Corbin was wounded at the Battle of Fort Washington, although Shaw notes she was wounded at Brandywine. Her husband was operating a piece of ...artillery when he was killed, so Corbin took command of the cannon and received grape shot in her left shoulder. She wasn't granted pension until 1779, when Congress granted her a complete suit of clothes and half the monthly pay of a soldier as long as she remained disabled. After Congress's action, she enrolled in the Invalid Corps (performing garrison duties). In 1781, the Invalid Corps became an official part of the garrison at West Point where she remained until her discharge in 1783. She remained in the West Point/Highland Falls vicinity and was buried in the town of Highland Falls. Corbin's body was exhumed in 1926 by DAR and reinterred at West Point.See More

Full Transcript: West Point,
10 Septr 1782.

Dr. Sir,
It is not in my power to transmit you the resolve of Congress of the 6th July 1779, respecting Mrs. Corbin. Her case is a peculiar ...one. Her husband and son killed and herself wounded in the Service, were misfortunes of so aggravated a nature as justly rendered her [strikeout] [inserted: worthy] of [inserted: public] attention. I saw Col. Nicola just now, who told me that resolve of Congress referred to gave her, in consequence of the distress she was involved in, a complete ration per day and half pay for life - and [inserted: that Congress] afterwards passed the subsequent resolution which I have already sent you. Both these [struck: acts of Congress] [inserted: resolves] were [struck: made in consequence of] [inserted: founded] Col. Nicola's application in [struck: the poor woman's behalf] [inserted: her] behalf, but however benevolent the intention, the poor woman has derived very little advantage from it, [struck: she] having received only her ration, and a few articles of clothing, by no means adequate to one suit annually. Her present application is in conse[2]quence of the rum [inserted: or whiskey] which completed part of her ration being stopped by the Commissary agreeable to his common custom in the issues [strikeout] to women of the army in general. Hers being so singular a case, she thinks that this regulation should not extend to her, and prays that she may have an order for what [strikeout] has been detained from her and that the Commissary be directed to issue the full ration in future With this back allowance she will be able to procure Sundry necessaries [struck: which] [inserted: that] will render her present wretchedness a little more tolerable.+ - I am sorry to trouble you again on this subject, but the woman is truly an object of compassion. Her present husband is a poor crippled invalid who is of no [struck: other] service [struck: to her and] [inserted: to her, but] but rather adds to her trouble - she [struck: is] herself in bad health and far advanced in her pregnancy.
I am dear Sir
Sincerely yours
S.S.
Col. Tilghman

[written vertically] +Col. Nicola, or the [inserted: commanding] officer who may be present will give a certificate on the back of the order for the quantity that may be due to her]


[docket]
[From]
Col. Tilghman, [A.D.C.]
10 Septr 1782.
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People: Shaw, Samuel, 1754-1794
Tilghman, Tench, 1744-1786
Corbin, Margaret Cochran, 1751-1800
Nicola, Lewis, 1717-1807

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Battle of Brandywine (Brandywine Creek)Revolutionary WarMilitary HistoryContinental ArmyBattleWomen's HistoryInjury or WoundDeathChildren and FamilyMilitary ProvisionsSoldier's PayPensionsContinental CongressCongressAlcoholHealth and MedicalChildren and Family

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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