The Pension and Bounty Land Agency of Washington City, now known as Washington DC sounded like an official agency, but in truth this business and others like it were run by a few shrewd businessman that made a living cutting thru the Federal paperwork in the interests of claimants, in various parts of the country, hunting up old records and reviving rejected claims, by which means much money was secured for deserving applicants for pensions owed to widows of Revolutionary War veterans and others.
This original document was sent from the offices of George M Phillips who titled a Commissioner of Deeds and Pension Agent to a Revolutionary War widow Mrs Abigail Grop and is dated March 1848. In this document he states he should be able to get the pension back for a fee of $5.
Not cheap in 1848…
Dear Madam: The pension which you have been receiving from the United States, under the Act of 1844, on account of the services of your deceased husband in the war of the
Revolution, expired by limitation of law, as you are aware, on the 4th of the previous month. I am happy to be enabled to inform you that Congress has enacted another law on the subject. This law (the one just passed) is looked upon by the Department as separate and distinct from those heretofore passed, and, to speak technically, not a continuance of the old law, and that consequently a new application and declaration will have to be made by those who desire to be again placed on Pension rolls.
My object, therefore, in the present circular, is to say, that for a fee of five dollars, I will forward you such papers as it may be necessary to have executed – prosecute you claim before the Department – have your name placed on the Pension rolls, to continue as long as you live or remain a widow, and procure and send you the certificate entitling you to such a pension. The above fee of five dollars to be sent me on the receipt by you of the Pension certificate, and if I do not succeed in having you placed on the rolls, no charge to be made for my services in the case.
If you accept of my proposition, write me at an early day, giving me your name in full, as also that of your deceased husband, the rank he held in the Army, and if possible, the corps or regiment in which he served, and the amount of pension you drew per annum under the act of 1844.
Your obedient servant,
George Phillips (Signed)