Thursday, April 7, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Isaac Seaver's Civil War Pension File: Surgeon's Report in 1900

It's Treasure Chest Thursday, time to share one of the documents or artifacts in my family history collection.  In many previous posts, I have displayed documents from the Civil War Pension File of Isaac Seaver, my second great-grandfather. 

I received the complete Civil War Pension File for Isaac Seaver on 3 January - see my post My Christmas Present Came Today - Oh Boy! - and it has 81 pages in the file.  Some of them have little or no information on them. 

The compendium of previous posts for this Pension File is in Treasure Chest Thursday - Isaac Seaver's Civil War Pension File: Compendium of Posts.

This week I'm posting the Surgeon's Certificate filed in 1900 that supported a request for an increase in pension from $8 to $12.  This is page 30 in the Pension File:

The transcription of the "Surgeon's Certificate" is (blanks filled in are italicized and underlined):


Insert character and number of claim: Increase Pension claim No. 850736
Name of claimant: Isaac Seaver 3d
Pvt. Company H. 4 Reg't Mass. HA.
Address of board: FITCHBURG, MASS.
Claimant's post-office address: Leominster, MASS.
Date of examination: OCT 17 1900
Cause of disability: Varicose Veins of both legs - disease of heart - rheumatism - trouble of urinary
organs having symptoms of enlarged prostate gland and results -
carbuncle on back of neck.  He receives a pension of eight dollars per month.
He makes the following statement upon which he bases his claim for increase -
Veins knot-up, legs get tired walking - short of breath -
palpitation - not much rheumatism now - gets up 3 times nights
to pass water & every 2 hrs daytime - carbuncle on neck 14 years ago
not trouble now - Blacksmith - not worked past 6 yrs. except chores
about house - sleep various - appetite not good - bowels loose lately.

We hereby certify that upon examination we find the following objective conditions:
Pulse rate, 72-100-102 (sitting, standing, after exercise), respiration 18-20-20 (sitting, standing, after exercise), temperature 98.6,
height 5 feet 8 1/4 inches; actual weight, 150 pounds; age, 77 years.
Hands soft,- tongue white - shows his age - His
small varicose veins andorsum right foot and about
ankle and involving internal saph????? vein tok???-
also large veins andorsum left foot and about
ankle tok??? on inner surface of leg - novedema.
Heart irregular - murmur atrophy inattXXXismitted
apex not seen - area increased to nipple line -
revorduma cyanosis or dysphoria -
no muscle joint or tendon affected by rheumatism
Urine - yellow - acid - 1015 - no albumin no sugar.
Prostate gland - very large - not very tender. no evi-
dence of carbuncle.  no other disability found to
exist. We find that the aggregate permanent disabil-
ity for earning a support by manual labor is due to
varicose veins of both legs - disease of heart and en-
larged prostate gland - not due to vicious habits
and warrants a rate of $12--

A J Hitchcock, Pres. E L Fiske, Sec'y. E.P. Miller, Treas.

The doctor's handwriting of the medical terms is difficult to read in spots.  

Comparing Isaac's height and weight between his 1892 examination (page 38 of the Pension File) reveals that he has lost weight (163 pounds in 1892 down to 150 pounds in 1900) and height (5 feet 10 inches in 18923, only 5 feet 8 inches in 1900).  He still has varicose veins, heart problems and prostate problems, but his carbuncle and rheumatism have gone away.

Isaac received the increase from $8 to $12 as a result of his application and this examination. 

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