Tag Archives: Pensions

“I remember their having one child”

Deposition E

David Bridges was literate and signed his name on his deposition.

14 June 1890
David Bridges

I am 41 years old, a farmer by trade and my post office address is Market House (stall 13.) Chattanooga, Tenn.

I have known the claimant ever since I was a small boy. I lived in Athens near her from the time I was a small boy until during the war. I left there in 1862 and went in the army in 1863. I was not an enlisted man, that is, I was taken prisoner before I was mustered in. I have seen the claimant since the war, but it has been some time ago.

When I knew her in Athens she was what I suppose you would call married, in those times we had no license. She was living with a man as his wife. The man she was living with was Philip Cleage. I knew him well. I used to go out very often to see them. I don’t know how long they had been living together, but they were living home when I went off to go in the army. They had one or two children, I disremember which, there was one certain. I could not tell whether the child lived. I remember their having one child, the last time I went to the farm the child was a small child, a baby in its mothers arms. I don’t know whether Philip worked on the farm, or what he did do. I do not know what Katie did, I did not live with them, I was only there back and forth Sundays and nights. They lived in a cabin back of the Cleage mansion. I saw Philip after he went in the army, at Knoxville. I saw the claimant during the time I was in Knoxville. She was with Philip and staid in the camp with him and was known as his wife. My brother married in the Cleage family and his wife came to Knoxville while I was there. My brother is named George Sherman and he lives in Athens, Tenn. He did not belong to the same regiment the claimants husband did. My brother’s wife who was at Knoxville is not living. I am positive that Philip Cleage and the claimant lived together as husband and wife before and at the time of the war and after he went in the service. I do not know of my own knowledge but after I came out of prison, I did not get home until 1867 and I was then told that Philip was dead. I have seen and heard of the claimant, but I have never visited her any since the war.

I have never heard that she had remarried since Philip ‘s death. The only one of Philips brothers living that I know of is Charles, at Athens, Tenn. Yes, he was living in the Cleage place during and before the war. I am not related. I have no interest in the world in this claim. Katie has never mentioned the matter to me, I never knew that she was looking for, or expecting a pension.

I have fully understood all your questions and my answers have been correctly recorded

By claimants Atty.:  Are you certain about seeing the child?

David Bridges: I am. I saw the child and supposed it was his child and had reason to suppose it was. I may be mistaken about it’s being her child.

14 June 1890

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David Bridges was born into slavery about 1844. He married twice. The first time to Nancy Loucey. They had at least four children together. In the 1870 census, David could read but not write. By the 1880 census he could read and write. I do not know if he attended school or if his children taught him as they learned. I was impressed with his handwriting in signing his signature.

David worked as a laborer in Athens, TN for some years and then about 1881, the family moved to Chattanooga where he worked at Hoyt’s Tannery. In 1887, Nancy Bridges died in Chattanooga. She was 45. The cause of death was given as edema. Her remains were returned to Athens and buried there.

In 1894, fifty year old David married 32 year old Charity Martin. They returned to Athens where they had three children together. David worked as a laborer. He died sometime between the 1900 and the 1910 census. I have been unable to find a death record for him and unable to find the family in the 1920 census. However, I know he died before 1910 because Charity listed herself as a widow. And he doesn’t appear anywhere else.

Charity worked as a cook. She suffered from tuberculous for two years before dying on October 2, 1921. Her son David Bridges was the informant on her death certificate. He did not know her parents names.

“I remember the claimant as a former slave of my fathers”

Deposition C

John H. Cleage
Chattanooga, Tennessee
13 June 1890

I am 43 years of age, a merchant and my post office is No. 17 Market Square, Chattanooga, Tenn.

I remember the claimant as a former slave of my fathers. I was living home during the late war. The claimant was a house servant, a seamstress I think. She was not married during that time, if she married it was after she left us, I do not know what became of her. I knew Philip Cleage, he was a slave belonging to my father. Philip was one of the farm hands. I didn’t know that he was especially a coachman. Katie and Philip did not live together as man and wife, no doubt they were together some, but they did not live together.

I think it was in 1863 that Katie left us, it was about the time Longstreet went through. Philip left about the same time. I do not know that Katie had any children before she left my father’s, she certainly had none living. I think I would know it if my father married Katie and Philip, under the old slave laws. I do not know how old Katie was but she is older than I am. Philip was older than Katie. I do not remember her and Philip living in the cabin back of our house, if she did I do not remember it.

I think she did have one or two children but they did not live. Whose they were, I do not know. They might have been Philip’s, I could not say as to that. I have no knowledge relating to her since she left our house during the war, until the last few years I have seen her in Chattanooga.

I have no interest in this claim for a pension. I have fully understood all your questions and my answers have been correctly rendered.

J. H. Cleage

13 June 1890

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A bit about Forest Hill Academy. Click to enlarge

John Henry Cleage was the 7th of the ten children of Alexander and Jemima (Hurst) Cleage. John Henry Cleage and Katie Cleage were both born in 1846 in McMinn County, TN. Although John thought Katie was older than he was and Katie thought that John was younger than she was, they were actually the same age. When the Cleages bought Katie from John’s uncle Lewis Hurst, at age 13 to act as household seamstress, John was also 13. He attended school, probably Forest Hill Academy in Athens. In 1869 and 1870 John attended Washington college in Virginia.

In 1875, 28 year old John H. Cleage married Elizabeth Tipton Bradford. They had four children that survived to adulthood. Over the years John worked as a clerk at Tankesley grocery store and then as manager of Chattanooga Installment Furniture House.

Click to enlarge

John’s wife gave birth to their last child in June of 1891. In August of the same year she died of tuberculosis. John died in 1929 at the age of 82 in Mobile, Alabama. His body was brought back to Chattanooga and buried with his wife in Citizen’s Cemetery.

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Posts in this series so far:
Katie & Philip Cleage
“Until I Was Obliged to Leave” – Katie Cleage
“My husband purchased her when quite a child…” – Jemima Cleage
“I stood aloof and they took him away” – James Royal
“Even then she followed him” – Isaac Charlton 
“I had well nigh despaired of the case”  
“I have had two children…”
“He was a slave of Alex Cleage”
“…5 months before he was taken”
“She had not married since”
“We owned a hundred slaves”
Index to Special Examiner’s Report
Claimant’s Statement
“My mother’s name was Hulda Hurst”

“My mother’s name was Huldah Hurst”

Claimant’s statement

Katie Cleage
6 June 1890

I will be 42 years of age this coming July, I am a washer and ironer and my post office address is No. 519 Cedar Street, Chattanooga Tennessee.

I married Philip Cleage after the war commenced and before he went into the army. I really don’t know how long before he went in the army it was that we were married, but we had two children before he enlisted My mistress Jemima Cleage whipped me for going with Philip. I was her seamstress and Philip was the coachman. No, my mistress did not whip me after I was married to him.  I think she knew I was married to Philip because master scolded and knocked around about it and said I should not marry an outsider, that there was plenty of home boys and I should marry one of them.

After I was married to Philip, I slept out in a cabin near the house with Philip. She, my mistress, took care of us when I was sick. I slept in the house before I was married to Philip. My mistress furnished us with a bed. I had the two children there before he went in the army. My old mistress is living but master is dead. I have talked with her about my marriage to Philip, but she was sick the day I saw her and she is quite old and she said she could not remember.

Old Mr. Alexander Cleage and Jemima had four children, but they were small and going to school when I lived on the place with Philip. Sam is dead, I don’t know whether John remembers or not, but Will and Kate were too small and they do not remember.

Yes, I know my mother. She is not living. Yes sir, I know Philips mother. My mother’s name was Huldah Hurst. Philips mother was named Julia Ann Cleage. John Cleage lives here in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My husband had brothers Charles and Lewis and a sister Patsy Cleage. Lewis is dead, has been dead twelve years. Charles and Patsy lives at Athens, Tennessee. David Cleage was my old masters brother, he is dead. I saw my husband o??? and lived with him as his wife while he was in the service.

 After he died I hired out to work for Gen. Grosvenor and worked for him nearly two years. He is now in congress.  Then I went with Col. Sheridan to August Ga. And remained about five months, then came back to Chattanooga, Tenn. I worked at the Crutchfield House, Chattanooga Tenn., since burned down. I worked for Mrs. ______Bishop, she went to Knoxville. I stayed with her about one month. I worked in a Steam Laundry five or six months, then in a restaurant one year. The man I worked for in the laundry is gone. I don’t know where. The man I worked for in the restaurant is dead. I have worked in a tailor shop and millinery shop and at many other places, only a short time in each place. I worked for a Mrs. Williams three years.

I have been working at washing and ironing for myself for five or six years. I have lived where I worked and did not have any home of my own. Since I have been working for myself I have a house of my own. I live all alone. I have a niece with me and a half grown young man for the last three or four months. I have not had but two children since Philips died. They are both living. Yes sir they live with me. The boy is seven years old and my girl is five years old. Their father is living. He is married now, he was not married then. Yes sir, the same man is the father of both children. I did not live with him at all. I have never lived with any man as my husband since Philip died.

 Addie Sherman was one of the house girls in the Cleage family when I was married to Philip. The last I knew of her she was at Athens, Tenn. There were no other house servants. There was a Thomas Cleage who was always with Philip, but I do not know whether he is living at Athens or not, I have not known anything about him since the war.

            Mrs. _______Colburn, living on 6th Street between Poplar and Cedar has known us ever since the war. I was living where I now live when I had my children. I did not have any doctor. I was by myself. I did not have a midwife. Edmonia Charlton living on East End Ave, foot of Harrison St. has known me for fifteen years. I have always worked alone by myself and I have not had any appointees. I want to be present and I want my Atty. Mr. Thomas Giffe, to be present when the testimony is taken in my case. I have fully understood all your questions and my answers have been correctly recorded.

Katie (her mark X) Cleage

June 6, 1890

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This map is a portion of the wonderful map of Chattanooga at “Forgotten Streets

Katie lived in the one and a half story house off of Cedar. A one and a half story house has a full lower story and a second half story that that is between the ceiling of the lower story and the roof, which makes it smaller than the downstairs because of the sloping roof. Katie mentioned 5 people living in her house in this statement – her two children, a niece and a youth. I wish she had given names!

The Webster J. Colburn (click his name for more information about the Colburns.) and his wife and family lived at the large two story house at 409 6th street. He was an insurance company president. His wife is mentioned in the above testimony and I decided to look for them when Katie gave an address I knew was right around the corner.

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for this post I used Katie Cleage’s pension file. I have found Forgotten Chattanooga to be full of information, photographs and a map of the whole city of Chattanooga in 1901, 1889 and more. The other links above will take you to sites I used. I also used Ancestry.com for background information on Katie and the other people in these posts.

Posts in this series so far:
Katie & Philip Cleage
“Until I Was Obliged to Leave” – Katie Cleage
“My husband purchased her when quite a child…” – Jemima Cleage
“I stood aloof and they took him away” – James Royal
“Even then she followed him” – Isaac Charlton 
“I had well nigh despaired of the case”  
“I have had two children…”
“He was a slave of Alex Cleage”
“…5 months before he was taken”
“She had not married since”
“We owned a hundred slaves”
Index to Special Examiner’s Report


Claimant’s Statement

Deposition H
Katie Clegg
1 March 1890
Chattanooga, Hamilton, Tennessee

Some questions and answers from Katie regarding how she wishes the pension trial to proceed.

Click to enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Posts in this series so far:
Katie & Philip Cleage
“Until I Was Obliged to Leave” – Katie Cleage
“My husband purchased her when quite a child…” – Jemima Cleage
“I stood aloof and they took him away” – James Royal
“Even then she followed him” – Isaac Charlton 
“I had well nigh despaired of the case”  
“I have had two children…”
“He was a slave of Alex Cleage”
“…5 months before he was taken”
“She had not married since”
“We owned a hundred slaves”
Index to Special Examiner’s Report

Index to Special Examiner’s Report

This is the order of the next round of testimonies. Also listed is race, reliability of testimony, and biased for or against Katie Cleage. After these will come a wrap-up and decision regarding Katie’s pension. (I figured out how to make a table and that made transcribing the table so much easier!)

PagesNames of WitnessesExhibitsDepositionsReputation
1
2Notice to ClaimantA
3-4Summary
5-7Claimant’s statementB.Good
8-9John H. Cleage (white)C.Good – Biased against
10Mrs. T. A. Cleage, Sr (white)D.Good – Biased against
11-12David Bridges (colored)E.Good – Unbiased
13-14Millie Valentine (colored)F.Good – Unbiased
15-16Edmonia Charlton (colored)G.Good – Unbiased
17-18Isaac Charlton (colored)H.Good – Unbiased
19-20Minerva Allen (colored)I.Good – Unbiased
21-23Lucy McCaurey (colored)K.Good – Unbiased
24-25Charles A. Cleage (colored)L.Good – Biased against
26-27Thomas Bradford (colored)M.Good – Biased against
28-30Sallie Clegg Marsh (colored)N.Good – Biased against
31James F. Bradford (white)O.Good – Unbiased
32-33Patsey Clegg (colored)P.Doubtful – Biased against
34-35Adeline Sherman (colored)R.Doubtful – Biased against
36-37Katie Clegg (claimant)S.Good – Unbiased
38-41Jemima Cleage (white)T.Good – Unbiased
42-43Lucy McMaurey (colored)U.Good – Unbiased
44-45John L. Atlee, M.C. (white)V.Good – Unbiased
46Copy of record fromW.

Posts in this series so far:
Katie & Philip Cleage
“Until I Was Obliged to Leave” – Katie Cleage
“My husband purchased her when quite a child…” – Jemima Cleage
“I stood aloof and they took him away” – James Royal
“Even then she followed him” – Isaac Charlton 
“I had well nigh despaired of the case”  
“I have had two children…”
“He was a slave of Alex Cleage”
“…5 months before he was taken”
“She had not married since”
“We owned a hundred slaves”

“I stood aloof and they took him away”

Chattanooga. View from Lookout Mountain. February 1864. Photographer George N. Banard

General Affidavit

State of Tennessee
County of Hamilton
4 Dec 1889

I, James Royal aged 46 years a citizen of the town of Cohutta in county of Whitfield state of Georgia. I, James Royal, was a private soldier in Company “A” 1st Regiment U.S.C. Heavy Artillery and first met the claimant Katie in Chattanooga when Sgt. Philip Cleage brought her into the camp of the same regiment and he introduced her to me as his wife. At all events, they lived and cohabited together in camp where no woman was allowed to remain unless she had a husband to protect her and when the ambulance came to move him to the smallpox camp, she insisted on going along to wait on him and nurse him, but I stood aloof and they took him away and the next thing I heard that he had died and I never saw her since.

My present P.O. address is Sherman Heights – Hamilton Co. Tenn. My home is Cohutta GA. I further declare that I have no interest in said case and am not concerned in its prosecution.

James Royal X his mark

Click image to enlarge