Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Patrick Whelan in His Own Words

This is one of my favorite documents in Patrick Whelan's pension file: Patrick's own deposition. I have retained all spelling and punctuation (or lack thereof) as it appeared in the document itself. I have deleted page numbers, form numbers and other pre-printed wording not relevant to Patrick's story.

Deposition A
Case of Patrick Whalin cft, No. 50355

On this 12th day of November, 18900, at Chicago, County of Cook State of Illinois, before me, DS McIntyre[?] a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Patrick Whalin, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: I am 79 years of age; my post=office address is at residence is No 1059 Columbus Street Chicago Ills. I am not able to work. I have been a drayman & laborer.

I served in Co G 90th Regt Ills Infty Vols from Aug 1862 to 1865. I forget the date.
This was my only service in either the US Army or Navy.

I am now pensioned at $6.00 on account of a GSW[gun shot wound] of left leg.
I am claiming additional pension because my leg is worse. I dont know what ails it, whether it is rheumatism or what it is, but my leg gives down on me. & it pains me so much that at night I cant sleep on account of it.
The leg is no good any more.

Another thing I have pains in my breast & I get dizzy and tremble (fall) down.
I guess its my heart.

Another thing I have a rupture I guess it is. It is on my right side.
I have lost the middle finger of my left hand.
I lost it before the war.
My rupture Ive had for 10 or 12 years and may be longer.

I’ve had this heart trouble for 5 or 6 years or may be more.

I cant tell you how long Ive had rheumatism. Guess Ive had it ever since I came out of the Army I don’t know.
Id have a spell of it & then it would go away & then it would “ketch” me again. It began in my wounded leg and next in my right [?] and shoulder.
Have had it for 12 years or more.
I don’t know what brought on my rheumatism, whether it was my wound or sleeping on wet ground or not.
I am totally disabled for work.

Ques. Where have you lived since the war?
Ans. Up to the time of the big fire in 1871 I owned a house & lived in it on Sickles Street, but the fire burned me out & I lost it.
Then I lived in rented houses all In the North Side up to last March when I moved out where I am now.

Ques. What reliable men can you name who are & have been well acquainted with you?
Ans. Daniel Rock. He keeps a plumming shop on North Clark Street. (118 N Clark Directory Spl Exr) Capt John Dunn--a plummer--on N Lincoln Ave--No [number] forgotten—but I can find him. Judge ___ Kasson. Judge at Chicago Ave & Clark Street Station.
He knows me good.
Judge ___ Hammond corner of Clark & Michigan. Knows me well & he is the man who makes out my papers for me.

Ques. Do you get drunk often?
Ans. No sir. Not often. Not more than once in six months.
My sprees never last a day.
I don’t drink between times.
I haven’t drank anything for months.
My way of drinking has been that ever 6 months or so I would get on a spree and may be tight for 2 or 3 hours and then it I’d let liquor alone for months and never touch it.

Yes sir Judge Kasson sent me up once for 30 days for being drunk.

I can be present when my witnesses are seen.

I am married, have never been married but once and my wife is living. We have never been separated or divorced.
My wife’s maiden name was Mary Martin. We were married the fall of 1866 by the Priest Father Butler right here in Chicago &
There was a license & there should be a church record and a County Record.
My wife was never married before our marriage. We have one child under 16 years old-viz Bert Whalin. I cant remember his exact birthday, but he will be 12 years old this coming December.

I have understood your questions and my answers are correctly recorded.
RB Sesh[?] attest
H. C. [?]
Patrick [his X mark] Whalin Deponent.
Sworn to and submitted before me this 12th day of November 18900, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.
D S McIntyre