28 February 1793 c. 17 1 Stat. 324

An Act to regulate the Claims to Invalid Pensions.

1792, ch. 11. WHEREAS the act, passed at the last session of Congress, intituled “An act to provide for the settlement of the claims of widows and orphans barred by the limitations heretofore established, and to regulate the claims to invalid pensions,” is found by experience inadequate to prevent the admission of improper claims to invalid pensions, and not to contain a sufficient facility for the allowance of such as may be well founded: Therefore,
Sections of certain former act repealed. SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the second, third and fourth sections of the said act, be repealed, and that in future, all claims to such pensions shall be regulated in the manner following, to wit:
Evidence relative to invalids, how taken. First.- All evidence relative to Invalids shall be taken upon oath or affirmation, before the judge of the district, in which such invalids reside, or before any three persons specially authorized by commission from the said judge.
Evidence.
Evidence how taken.
Secondly.- The evidence relative to any claimant must prove decisive disability to have been the effect of known wounds, received while in the actual line of his duty, in the service of the United States, during the late war. That this evidence must be the affidavits of the commanding officer or surgeon of the ship, regiment, corps or company, in which such claimant served, or two other credible witnesses, to the same effect, setting forth the time and place of such known wound.
Thirdly.- Every claimant shall be examined upon oath or affirmation, by two physicians or surgeons, to be authorized by commission from the said judge, who shall report, in writing, their opinion, upon oath or affirmation, of the nature of the said disability, and, in what degree, it prevents the claimant from obtaining his livelihood, by labor.
Fourthly.- Every claimant shall produce evidence of the time of his leaving the service of the United States. He must also produce evidence of three reputable freeholders of the city, town or county, in which he usually resided for the two years immediately after he left the service, as aforesaid, of the existence of his disability, during that period; and ascertaining, of their own knowledge, the mode of life, employment, labour or means of support of the claimant.
Fifthly.- And the said claimant must produce the evidence of two credible witnesses, of the continuance of his disability, from the expiration of the said two years, to the time of his application.
Sixthly.- Each claimant must show a good and sufficient cause why he did not apply for a pension to the person or persons authorized to examine his claim, on or before the eleventh of December, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, the time limited for applications of this nature.
Seventhly.- No evidence of any claimant shall be admitted whose claim has been examined and rejected, on or before the aforesaid eleventh of December, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight.
District judge to transmit list of claims to Secretary at War,
by whome they are to be stated to Congress.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the judge of the district shall transmit a list of such claims, accompanied by the evidence herein directed, to the Secretary for the department of War, in order that the same may be compared with the muster-rolls, and other documents in his office; and the said Secretary shall make a statement of the cases of the said claimants to Congress, with such circumstances and remarks, as may be necessary, in order to enable them to take such order thereon, as they may judge proper.
How persons shall be entitled to a pension under this act.
Duty of Secretary at War, and Attorney General.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That no person not on the pension-list, before the twenty-third day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, shall be entitled to a pension, who shall not have complied with the rules and regulations herein prescribed; saving however to all persons, all and singular their rights founded upon legal adjudications under the act, intituled “An act to provide for the settlement of the claims of widows and orphans, barred by the limitations heretofore established, and to regulate the claims to invalid pensions:” But it shall be the duty of the Secretary at War, in conjunction with the Attorney General, to take such measures as may be necessary to obtain an adjudication of the Supreme Court of the United States, on the validity of any such rights claimed under the act aforesaid, by the determination of certain persons styling themselves commissioners.
Limitation of claims under this act. SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That no claim to a pension shall be allowed under this act, which shall not be presented within two years from the passing the same.
APPROVED, February 28, 1793.
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