Lucy McCaury Questioned

Deposition U

31 July 1890

“The washerwoman” by Johnson, Clifton, 1865-1940

Lucy McCaury

Q.  Do you remember testifying before me the 16th day of last June, relating to the pension claim of Katie Cleage?
A. Yes sir.

Q. Have you any record of the death of your husband?
A. Yes sir, it is recorded in my family bible. He died Feb’ 14th 1858. I sent my bible down from Athens to Chattanooga Tenn. to the marble Works to have a tomb stone fixed and I don’t know how they got it on the tombstone. My husband was born in Augusta Co. Va. March 30, 1806. The date in my Bible was made a few days after he died. There was only the one Nelson McCaury.

Q. Are you a pensioner?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. On what grounds?
A. My son.

Q. What was his name?
A. William McCaury

Q. What is your certificate number?
A. 114849

Q. Did Katie belong to Alex and Jemima Cleage when your husband married her to Philip?
A. Yes sir, just a short time

Q. Do you know how old she was when she was married?
A. No sir

Q Was she a young girl, or grown up?
A. She was grown up right smart when they bought her and fetched her there

Q. Was she married during the war, or before the war?
A. Just before the war

Q. Who did your husband belong to?
A. To Col. James Bradford. He is dead. His sons name is James.

By Client’s Atty’

Q. How long has your daughter Minerva been married?
A. I don’t know

Q. You still insist that your husband married Katie and Philip?
A. Yes sir, because I was there. I was only at one wedding on the Cleage farm.

Q. Were you ever at their cabin when Katie and Philip lived after they were married?
A. Yes sir, I was there once.


Q. Have you fully understood all the questions and have I set down your answers correctly?
A. Yes sir, that is all correct just as I say I because I know it.


Lucy McCaury lived with her daughter, Melinda Evans on D Street in Peabody Row, tenaments. Here is a map and two articles sent to me by Sam Hall of after I asked for help in locating the street.

Peabody Roe outlined in red

Peabody Row Elevated in Smoke – It Was Incendiary

‘The “Peabody row” of dwellings on D. street alley, between Ninth and Gilmer streets, was burned to the ground early this morning. The row consisted of twenty-one tenement houses, or apartments, which originally cost Mr. C. H. Peabody, the owner, $5,000, and ere valued by him at $4,000 at the time of the fire. The houses were occupied by colored people, excepting one in which Ellen Swaney lived. Nearly all the occupants lost their furniture, on which there was no insurance. Mr. Peabody had $1,500 insurance on the buildings. He thinks the fire was incendiary’

Political Pointers

One of the best known colored residents of the Seventh ward is Tom Solomon, a miller by trade, who was one of the unfortunate persons who suffered by the fire a few nights ago in Peabody row. He lost all his kitchen utensils and clothes, and consequently since then his wife and two children have been in a condition of more or less suffering.

About noon Saturday Tom applied to T. W. Fritts, the democratic candidate for alderman in the Seventh ward for assistance. Mr. Fritts directed him to call on Police Commissioner E. S. Daniels, who, he said, was a member of a committee which had the necessary funds for relief. Solomon relates the story of his experience with Commissioner Daniels, as follows:

“I found Daniels in his office, and told him Mr. Fritts had sent me to him to get some money. After stepping aside and consulting several minutes with Jordan Williams, another colored man in the room, Mr. Daniels asked me if I had my registration certificate with me. I replied that I did not but I immediately went home and returned in half an hour with it. Then I found Mr. Daniels in his office alone, and he asked me how much I wanted. My first idea was that he wanted to identify me by the certificate. I told him my circumstances and then he offered to loan me two dollars if I would leave my certificate with him. I asked him if he wasn’t willing to trust me for that amount, and he said he must have security, and said that on the day of election I could get the certificate by refunding the $2. Then I saw his object was to get possession of my registration certificate, and I indignantly left his office, taking the certificate with me. I still have it and will vote it on election day. Although I have suffered gret loss, and am forced to ask assistance of my friends for a few days, I will not sell my right to vote to anyone for any amount.

“The colored man Jordan Williams is the one who directed me to go to Mr. Fritts, accompanied me there, held a whispered conversation with Mr. Fritts, then accompanied me to Mr. Daniels’ office, had a private conversation with him before the proposition was made by Mr. Daniels to buy my certificate, and left me alone in the office with Mr. Daniels.”

Solomon volunteered this statement to the PRESS immediately after leaving Commissioner Daniels’ office Saturday, and said he was willing to swear to the correctness of every word.

The public will not be surprised to learn the democrats have a fund for purchasing certificates, but some will be surprised that the headquarters of the purchasing act should be in Circuit Judge Moon’s law office.

“The intention of the law” is evidently being vigorously carried out.


I have been unable to find a pension file for William McCaury or William Bradford (slave holder’s name) or Lucy McCaury. We heard from Lucy McCaury before at “A Bit of Confusion”

I found the information used in, Katie Cleage’s Pension file. The photograph is from Digital Amherst

For links to the other posts in this series, click this link – Katie Cleage’s Pension Hearing