THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE.
The National Tribuno.
GEORGE E. LEMON & CO,,
JSfiitov ntl lroprietrs.
Washington, D. C.j December, 1877.
JTERMS TO SUBSCRIBERS, PAYABLE IN ADVANCE.
Ge copy One Year -Five
The December nihnber as a specimen copy sent to
amy address on receipt of one three cent postage
Terms for advertising Tarnished upon application.
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most surely avoided if tfiese directions are followed.
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to agents, which must be at the rislc of the subscriber.
t3F" Communications, subscriptions, and letters upon aV
Imsiness matters relating to the National Tribune, should
be addressed to
GEORGE E. LEMON & CO.,
JSilitors and Proprietor a,
V. O. Drawer S25. 016 P Street, WASHINGTON, D. O
Proposed Changes in the Examination of Pen
sioners and of Pension Claims.
SEDUCTION OF SUBSCRIPTION.
"We are so determined to bring the National
Tribune within the reach of every one that we
mow reduce the price of subscription from One
Dollar to Piety Gents per year.
This latter amount is the lowest possible fig
ure at which a paper o'f this style and size has
been or can be furnished, and it can only be
maintained at this i)ric;& to regular subscribers
and on a large subscription roll. Again we
urge upon our friends the duty of prompt ac
tion in subscribing and canvassing for this pa
per. "We shall arrange with our subscribers at
the old rate as they may prefer, by extension of
the time or by sending two papers for one, but
we very much prefer that each of our old sub
scribers send us an order for another paper.
Hereafter the National Tribune will not be
sent to any but its regular subscribers, and those
who need it will find it to their advantage to sub
scribe at once and forward their names and the
amh to the publishers.
. ' GEORG-E E. LEMON & CO.
P. O. Drawer 885, Washi7igton City.
"We invite correspondence from surgeons and
others on matters of general or special interest.
Views and suggestions of practical men are
"We of course can pay no attention to anony
mous communications; but shall always hold
all communications addressed to us as strictly
confidential, unless the writer permits the use of
If you have made application for Pension
and it has been delayed in settlement, The Na
tional Tribune explains the trouble and sug
gests the remedy' Subscribe for it
Every new measure for the soldiers7 benefit
introduced in Congress is noticed in the Na-
The publishers and editors of the National
Tribune know very well that many slight and
ill-conducted papers purporting to be devoted
to the cause of the soldier have fluttered for a
brief hour and perished, and that this fact oper
ates against the immediate success of any paper
advocating the same cause.
We refer with a just pride to the numbers of
our periodical already published, as containing
articles of pith and moment upon tilings and
measures of immediate and palpable import
ance. "We do not hesitate to criticise fearlessly any
measure, no matter what its source, and to ex
press our honest opinion upon the probable
"We admire and regard Mr. Bentley, and con
sider him one of the very best officers we have
ever known, but we have believed him to be in
error, and we ehoo3e to say bo because it is our
And so we say that so long as we control this
paper we shall lose no opportunity to attack
what we believe to be wrong and to defend
what we believe to be right.
The one claim that we make to public confi-4
dence and support is bold and intelligent dis-'
cussion of measures proposed and manly assertion
of our own carefully considered views.
"We know that we have had an experience in
matters of pensions that few have reached, and
believe we can readily see the advantages or
evils of changes proposed.
All these qualities we mean to put into our
paper, and we do it first for the benefit of our
subscribers, and, second, for our own.
"We do not wish to publish at a loss. "We
prefer very greatly that the paper shall be self
sustaining, and we will not break our hearts
should it actually make money.
"We send out again a large edition, very con
siderably larger than our permanent snbscrip-tion-list.
"We send it that all may have an
opportunity of judging of it. "We send it in
the hope and expectation that all to whom
wTe send it will .become permanent subscribers,
aud thus do us a double favor, by furnishing
the benefit of their subscription-money and re
ducing at the same time the heavy burden of
"We ask every man and .woman who shall
read this number, and who believes in the im
portance of the matters contained in it, to sub
scribe at once and forward their subscription to
us. The financial condition of a paper is not
the only thing benefited by a large list; its
influence is largely measured by its number of
One effort by the friends of the cause will
put all difficulties out of the way and give us
all the strength we want to pursue vigorously
our appointed way.
"We mean to make-the paper such in character
and spirit that no man interested 'in the subjects
of which we treat who has once enjoyed the
reading of the National Tribune shall ever be
content to do without it.
The question is with you, readers. "Will you
help or will you give us the, cold shoulder ?
"Will you give us the aid of the money asked
for fighting your cause? Will you give us the
strength of your names on our subscription-list,
so that we may speak in your names and by
your authority ?
Decide fairly, frankly, and at once.
"Within the reach of 'all The National
Tribune, at fifty cents for one year.
It is officially announced that a bill .is in
preparation in the Department of the Interior,
to be presented to Congress, to change the mode
of medical and other examinations, in conform
ity with the plan heretofore proposed by the
Commissioner of Pensions.
"We have already given to our renders some
of the most palpable objections to the plan pro
But the changes advocated are so sweeping
in their nature aud so destructive in thoir effect -that
they need scrutiny and criticism in full.
As at present organized, the Pension Depart
ment has prepared certain forms and established
certain rules, which must be strictly complied
with by claimants.
Familiarity with these forms and rules is ab-
solutely necessary oil the part of those who repr
resent the claimant, and that familiarity cai.
only be obtained by careful study, not only ot
tjhe law but of the rulings and decisions of the
office. These forms and decisions are now gen
erally known and acted upon by claimants, their
friends, and the local agents and officers. The
business is done by correspondence, at small cost
and with no serious outlay of time and money
to prepare the necessary proofs. The conven
ience of the pensioner is considered, the fact
that he is generally of small means is recog
nized, and a vast amount of business is readily
and easily done, which cannot so really and
easily be done in any other way.
To break up all the existing arrangements m
cases now pending would be to throw away the
money, time, and labor already spent, and to
compel the Pension Committees of Congress to
be burdened beyond toleration by applications
for special relief. .
No such loss or danger to the United States
is or can be shown as woi$d justify this whole?
sale change in established practice.
Second. Under the present system the neces
sary local medical and surgical examinations oj?
the'claimant are made by examining surgeons
who reside in the vicinity, who are readily ac
cessible by the claimant, who can learn facts
from the neighbors, and who report to the Pen
sion 'Office the result of their examination.
Now it is the duty of these examining sur
geons to report facts the actual physical condi
tion of the claimant with much detail, so as
to cover all the existing facts of each case ; but
they do not make the final decision and award.
By the rules of the office these reports are sub-
mitted for review and decision to the medical
officers of the Pension Office, under the charge
of the Medical Referee, who, in the language of
Bentlcy's Report, p. 9, "has general supervision
of the' medical questions, THE RATING OF
PENSIONERS, and of the appointment of pen
sion examining surgeons." '
It is by the Medical Referee here in "Wash
ington that the final adjudication is made, and
the examining surgeons only gather tacts to
gether on which he is to give final decision.
It requires of the examining surgeons simply
that general knowledge Of the profession that
all well educated physicians have to make a
clear and intelligible statement of the actual
state of the man examined by them, the dis
eases or wounds by which he is afflicted, the ef
fect of such diseases or wounds, and the symp
toms actually observed and seen.
Now the examining surgeons of the Pension
Office are selected by the Medical Referee and
the Commissioner, They are and ought to b
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