Testimony of Mr. J. M. Wright on Behalf of John Woodford
May 4, 1894

Mr. J. M. Wright's gave testimony on behalf of John Woodford describing Woodford's medical issues and need for a pension.

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United States of America
District of Columbia } S.S.

In the matter of pension of John Woodford, Co. E. 38th Regt U.S.C. Vol. Infy, on notice of Apl 4, 1894, from Bureau of Pensions, proposing to reduce pension from $12.00 to $6.00 per month (Certificate No. 676, 441). For evidence in this inquiry the affiant—J. M. Wright says that he is Marshal of the Supreme Court of the United States, that he has Known said John Woodford since the 4th day of January 1888, that since the spring of 1891 until the present time, May 4, 1894, he has seen said John Woodford every day except the days he or the said Woodford were absent from the Capitol Building and that it is his, Affiants, duty to inform himself of the physical condition of said John Woodford, and that he has so informed himself. Affiant is not a physician and has no skilled Knowledge of disease, nor can he of his own Knowledge state the character of said Woodford’s disease, but he has repeatedly seen him the said Woodford unable to make any motion by the apparent reason of great pain in the region of his heart, has seen him totter and change color apparently from same cause, and has seen him, in making the ordinary effort of manual labor, in attempting to lift or move furniture and boxes, faint and fall and be completely prostrated thereby. This condition of said John Woodford is so obvious and so sure to follow any exertion that for two years or more affiant has refrained from requiring any such effort or work from said Woodford whose condition now is that he can only sit quietly at a door opening and closing same to visitors to the Supreme Court Room U.S. Affiant says that said Woodford is becoming more and more unable to perform this light work and that he has often to be relieved therefrom because of the pain and oppression he suffers about his chest and heart, and that when he becomes unable to stand the long attendance at the door in this quiet work he will be totally unable to earn a living. Affiant says that he is not influenced by any emotional sentiment regarding the right of pension or this particular pensioner, but that he Knows the condition of this unfortunate man and that from actual observation of several years he without hesitation testifies that said John Woodford is suffering from physical disability which incapacitates him for the performance of manual labor in such a degree as to render him unable to earn a support. 

            The undersigned in making this statement presumes that the officer reviewing it will find no inconsistency in the circumstance that John Woodford, who for many years was an active messenger of the Supreme Court U.S., is still retained in service. It happens there is something he can do there without exertion so long as he can stand the confinement, and the undersigned is not disposed to recommend his discharge in his helpless condition. Speaking of the future it would be unjust to reduce this man’s pension as proposed.

                                                J. M. Wright

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 4th day of May, 1894.

James D. Maher
Notary Public


Pension Records for John Woodford, RG15, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.