Archive:Mexican War Pension File, Norman Whitney
From the Mexican War Pension File of Norman Whitney
Captain Richard's Company, 4th Regiment, Louisiana Militia, and Company I, 3rd Regiment, Louisiana Militia
Widow: Margaret Whitney
Widow's Application #13330, Certificate #10631
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
On 30 Apr 1896 from Orleans Co., LA, Margaret F. Whitney signed a Claim of Widow for Service Pension, Mexican War. She is sixty-two years old and the widow of Norman Whitney, who was a Corporal in the company commanded by Captain Richards in the 4th Regiment of Louisiana Militia commanded by Andrew Jackson. He enlisted at New Orleans, LA, on 15 May 1846, and served until 11 Aug 1846. She does not know if he served in battle. At the time of his service, her husband was twenty-eight years old; 5 feet 8 ½ inches in height; with blue eyes, auburn hair, and a florid complexion. He was a furniture merchant, and was born in Boston, MA. He resided at New Orleans until his death on 10 Feb 1896. She was married to him on 30 Nov 1868 at New Orleans by Father Dufour (sic), a Jesuit priest, under the name Margaret Smith (sic). Norman had not been previously married. She is sixty-two years old, and was born on 17 Mar 1834 at County Meath, Ireland. Since 1881 she has been dependent upon her father-in-law, Salmon Whitney, for support. She owns her home at 1108 Susquehanna Ave., Philadelphia, PA, and her household affects only. Her annual income is one hundred dollars. Her post office address is 1221 Coliseum St., New Orleans, LA. The claim is witnessed by Warren Homes and Dr. Frederick Loeber, both of New Orleans.
Later that year Margaret submitted testimony clarifying her marriage information. She had been married to Norman Whitney in April of 1861 by a Protestant Minister, but could not be received back into the Roman Catholic Church until she was re-married by a Roman Catholic Priest. This occurred in 1868, officiated by Reverend Father Duffo. Father Duffo provided a marriage certificate which states that Norman Whitney was the son of Salmon Whitney and Elizabeth Sumner, and Margaret Fagan was the daughter of Peter Fagan and Johanna Smith. They were married 13 Nov 1868 in New Orleans.
Margaret provided a death certificate for her husband from City Hall in Philadelphia. He died at age 77 years of cancer at their home on Susquehanna Ave. in Philadelphia on 10 Feb 1896. He was buried 13 Feb 1896 at Philadelphia Crematory.
Margaret was pensioned at eight dollars per month from 11 Feb 1896. In 1926 the Bureau of Pensions sent an investigator to determine if the person collecting the pension benefit was the original recipient. The investigator found her to be a delightful 93-year old (declaring she will live to be one hundred). She is in possession of full mental powers and is very much up to date. She lives with her nephew, John F. Fagan, and her niece, Lillian Fagan in Orange, NJ. She had previously resided with them at 156 South 7th Street, Newark, Essex Co., NJ. In the opinion of the investigator she is the original pensioner, and is receiving the full benefit of the pension.
On 16 Jan 1929 the Commissioner of Pensions was notified that Margaret Whitney was last paid at fifty dollars per month to 4 Jan 1929, and was dropped from the rolls because of her death on 4 Jan 1929.
Note: According to F.C. Pierce, Salmon Whitney died in 1882. So, how has Margaret in 1896 been dependent on him for support since 1881? Is the one hundred dollars annual income an inheritance? Why did Norman die at home in Philadelphia if he lived until his death in New Orleans? Did they own homes in both cities? KLW