Pension Application of Harriet Lee, contributed by Janet
K. Hawkins, email@example.com
Transcribed by Janet K. Hawkins, firstname.lastname@example.org Copied from
Civil War pension file of Glasco LEE, National Archives and Records
Administration, Washington, D.C.
This record is interesting for several reasons. First, it describes
a "marriage" that took place in the days before slave marriages were
recognized legally and the procedure emancipated black followed to
register their marriages after the Civil War. Second, Harriet LEE's
testimony sheds light on the type and value of property former slaves
typically owned. Finally, the text names both blacks and whites who
knew the LEEs, suggesting positive interaction between the races.
Glasco LEE was typical of many area slaves. He served in Company K of
the 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery and returned to Crittenden County
after the Civil War. In the 1880 federal population census, Glasco and
Harriet LEE appear in Marion, magisterial district 54. Harriet was
widowed when the 1900 census was recorded on 19 April 1900.
Although the LEEs had no children, they rarely lived alone: a niece
named Mary ALLEN appears with the family on the 1870, 1900 and 1930
censuses. Niece Delia/Lydia[?] appears in 1880. Niece Mary ALLEN, great
niece Frankie ALLEN, and nephew Farragut ALLEN appear in 1910. Nephew
Buddie JACKSON appears with Harriet in 1920.
Transcriber's note: This text uses the spelling LEE. The masters of
Harriet and Glasco spelled their last name LEIGH. Also, in this and
other documents, Glascoís name is sometimes spelled as Glascow or
Harriet LEE died of pneumonia on 24 July 1933 after fracturing her left
hip. Harrietís death certificate lists her birth date as 17 August
1829. Note, however, that many former slaves and their families
estimated birth dates; we do not know if this date came from a written
source (e.g., a LEIGH family bible) or if the informant (Mary ALLEN)
estimated Harriet's age at 103 years. Harriet's parents are listed as
Larry PROCTOR and Mary FOWLER. (Kentucky Death Certificate #29644, filed
* * *
[Form #] 3-290 Deposition A Case of Harriet Lee, No. 731240
On the 24th day of February, 1902, at near Marion, County of
Crittenden, State of Kentucky, before me, D.S. McIntyre, a special
examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Harriet Lee clt,
who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories
propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for
pension deposes and says: I am over 60 years of age [inserted here
above text are the handwritten words "I reckon"]; my post-office address
is Marion Crittenden Co Ky.
I am a widow and keep house. I claim pension as widow of Glascow Lee
who was a soldier in the "Heavy Eighth." That's all I know about it &
don't know which co. nor the full description.
He was a slender built black man and taller than you are (5 feet 9
inches, spl. exr.). Here is his discharge (appears regular, spl. exr.).
He was born in Maryland or Virginia back there somewhere and his master
brought him out here to Ky when he was a child. I knew him for about a
year when we both lived in Caldwell Co. Ky, but got well acquainted with
him here in this co. long before the war.
His owner moved him and brought him and my owner moved here and brought
me. His owner was Henry Lee and lived about 3/4th of a mile SW of
His master was the uncle of my owner. My owner's name was Henry Lee
too. None of the white folks of either family are living. A good many
colored people knew both me and my husband before the war. Jack Cruse,
Jess Hughes and Jerry Clement and Jim Brice. There are white people too
who knew both of us. William Wilson & David Woods & Frank Wheeler. Mr.
Wilson lives in a brick house in the south part of town. Mr. Woods was
a county clerk. Neither Glascow nor I had been married before our
marriage. Let me tell you. My husbandís owner lost his mind after his
wife died or anyhow he wasn't fit to do anything and my owner had
Glasgow at his house and I expect lots of people thought we belonged to
the same man, Dr. Henry Lee. Glascow was a good deal older than I was,
but bless you I don't know his age.
He and I were married as slaves in this way. He wanted me and I wanted
him, so he went in the house and asked the white folks and they
consented and we went to living together as man and wife and lived that
way till he went into the army and when he came home the white folks
said we had to go to the clerk's office and be recorded, so me & Glasgow
& Reuben Wheeler (Dead) & his woman Tilda (Dead) went to the clerk's
office and Mr. Berry Young recorded [the words "us as man and wife"
scratched through] Glasgow & me as man & wife and Glasgow paid him three
dollars and a half.
From that day up to the day he died Glasgow Lee and I lived as man and
wife and were never separated nor divorced and neither one lived with
any one else.
Glasgow & I never had any children. All the property I own is just what
Glasgow left me. This house and lot where we are now. I don't know how
wide the lot is nor how long. The house is a one story frame with 5
rooms. My husband bought it from Mr. William Wilson and when it is paid
for he will make a deed. Mr. Wilson claims there is $50 yet due him.
The assessor was here just before Christmas & he said this property was
worth $250 but I don't know what [it] is worth.
Besides this I own my old furniture which I guess is worth about $25.
No sir I don't own anything else in the world. No one is under any
agreement to support me. I just support myself by washing. No sir I
don't care to be present when my witnesses are seen.
Mr. Harry Haynes of Marion, Ky is my lawyer & the only man who has
helped me about my pension claim. There is no agreement at all as to
what he is to be paid. He never said what he would charge. I have not
paid Mr. Haynes anything at all. My husband died nearly a month before
Christmas a year ago.
I have fully understood all your questions and my answers are correctly
Mary Allen [signature] Roxie Hughes [signature]
Harriet [her X mark] Lee
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 24th day of February 1902 and I
certify that the contents were fully made known to the deponent before
Page 7, Deposition A
D.S. McIntyre Special Examiner