Deposition of Emma Johnson Case of Hester Lancaster wife of Abram Lancaster November 20, 1908 33rd USCT Pension Records
Deposition K Case of Hester Lancaster, No. 848.540
On this twentieth day of November, 1908, at St. Augustine, county of St. Johns State of Florida, before me J. A. Davis, a Special Examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Emma Johnson, 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 about 59 years of age. I am the wife of Henry Johnson. My post office address is No. 67 Dumas St. St. Augustine Fla.
I am a sister of Abram Lancaster. I remember him as far back as I can remember anybody. I know that Abram Lancaster was married to Jane Nattiel when I was a child, 9 or 10 years old. They were married at the Cathedral, with the wedding was held at my Grandmothers house on Charlotte St. I remember seeing Jane with the bridal wreath on her head. They had two children John And Jake. Jake was born after the Yankees took the place Jake died then. Abram And Jane move in S. C. during & after the war, when I was there with my mother. I do not know how long they lived together after the war, the move in Jacksonville. My Uncle Abram lived here with me for twenty-seven years And I took care of him until he got his pension (?) I ? ? his wife with him during those years. Me And my Brother got him in the house after he was taken sick. He died in July ? years ago, but I can't tell you the date. Jane died in Jacksonville I could not tell you the date. I know it was a good many years after the war, because they comes over here to see me. Abram And Jane were never divorced, he (Abram) always spoke to me about Jane as his wife. I heard there is a woman in Jacksonville claiming to be his wife, but I ? ? ?. I heard her name was Hester. Some woman came here to take him to Jacksonville, but I never see her. She ? here to take care of him. John, his son brought his father back. Kin And I got him in the Hospital. I has no interest in this claim. I have heard you read this disposition I have fully understood all your questions. My answer has been ? done correctly. Emma Johnson
Sworn to And subscribed before me this 20th day of November 1908 And I certify that the ? was fully made known to deposed before signing.
J. A. Davis Special Examiner
Page 19 Deposition K.
Notes: This was one of the most extremely difficult documents that we have published --- And its a 20th century document.
The sister of Abram Lancaster is for the most of this deposition saying that she didn't know that Hester Lancaster was the wife of Abram. However, she leaves the door open with maybe she was the woman who took him to Jacksonville.
This pension is a good illustration of the difficulties of USCT pensions. Hester had to prove that she was the legitimate wife of Abram Lancaster. Abram had already been married - a slave marriage And the opportunity to continue that marriage in the reconstruction era. There is no divorce to Jane And this deposition says that Jane was living with him after the war which would have made the slave marriage official.