(SF Chronicle) Charles Hoffman was a common soldier killed somehow, somewhere in what was then a 4-year-old war for independence from Great Britain.
His death left his widow with a household of sorrow and plenty of needs. So she asked Pennsylvania lawmakers for financial help — and got none at first.
The official notation of her request begins: “A petition of Rachael Hoffman Widow of Charles Hoffman late a Soldier in the Pennsylvania Troops, setting forth the difficulties . labours and praying relief …”
The fledgling Legislature, meeting in Philadelphia as the Revolutionary War raged in New Jersey, New York and elsewhere, let her petition “lie on the table.” That meant it did not vote to help her that day, but eventually passed a law granting “half pay” to the widows of “freemen of Pennsylvania,” just as it had been doing for officers’ widows. Read the full story on San Francisco Chronicle.