Thursday, July 24, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File, Part 9

"Battle of Eutaw Springs,"engraved abt. 1859
South Carolina, September 8, 1781
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Update: The North Carolina Continentals
The last section I read of this book was Chapter 18, Eutaw Springs.

There seems to have been several changes in command for the 2nd North Carolina Regiment. I'm hoping to find another source that can elaborate on where these men were during the battle and what their contributions were. Till then, I'll have to set my notes next to the reading and see if I can make any connections.

Nearing the end of this file
We've come to the last few documents of Isaac Perkins' pension file. One might think that this is the end; however, it is just the beginning. After the documents are transcribed, in order for them to be purposeful in building Perkins' story line, they must be abstracted and the details put into a chronology.

But first, lets take a look at the last three images in the record set.

Isaac Perkins: Image 33/35
Under the act, entitled, "An Act for the relief of certain surviving Officers and Soldiers
of the Army of the Revolution," approved 15 May 1828.
24 Dec 1828

The annex paper relating to the claim of Isaac Perkins
under the abovementioned act, is respectfully referred to the Secretary of War, with a
request that he will be pleased to cause me to be informed whether it appears, by any
records in the War Department, that the Claimant has received, or is entitled to receive,
the bounty in land granted by Congress for service in the Continental Line of the Army
of the Revolution.

R. Rush

The Hon. Secretary of War

War Depart.
Bounty Land Office
The records of this office to not show that Isaac Perkins
of the North Carolina line ever received or is entitled
to bounty land in the United States

Robert Taylor
27 Decr 1828

Isaac Perkins: Image 34/34
For the purpose of obtaining the benefit of an "Act for the relief
of certain surviving officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Revolution"
approved on the 15th May 1828. I Isaac Perkins of the County of Craven
and the State of North Carolina do hereby declare that I enlisted in the
Continental line of the Army of the Revolution for three years or and for and
during the war and continued in its Service until its termination;
at which period I was a private in Captain Clement Hall's company
in the second regiment of the North Carolina line.--- And I also declare
and that I afterwards or was entitled to under a resolve
of Congress passed the 15th May 1778.---And I further declare that
I was not on the 15th day of March 1828 on the Pension List of
the United States.
Sworn to before me                                                  his
Geo. A. Hall, J.P.                                             Isaac   X   Perkins

Before me Geo. A. Hall, a Justice of the Peace of
the County of Craven and State of North Carolina personally appeared
Thomas H. Daves and John R. Good of the Said County who did
Severally make oath that Isaac Perkins by whom the forgoing
declarations was Subscribed is generally reputed & believed to have been
a private in the Army of the Revolution in manner as therein stated.----

Witness my hand this ninth day of August 1828.
Isaac Perkins: Image 35/35

Geo. A. Hall, J.P.

[Handwritten on the back of the preceding document]
I James G. Stanly Clerk of the Court of the County of Craven
in the State of North Carolina do certify that George A. Hall Esq before
whom the foregoing affidavits were sworn was at the time a Justice of
the Peace and duly empowered to administer oaths.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and affixed the seal of the said Court this
13th day of August One t in the year One thousand
eight hundred and twenty eight.
J.G. Stanly C.C.

I suppose it would have been more beneficial time-wise for me to have abstracted each record immediately after transcribing it. Hindsight, they say, is always 20/20. So my next task will be to go back over the documents and abstract them. And once that is completed, I will begin a chronology for Isaac Perkins' life events.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File, Part 8

Update: The North Carolina Continentals
To date I am half-way through reading Chapter 17: South Carolina, 1781. The author provides interesting details of military communications and actions, as well as the day-to-day effects of this prolonged war on our North Carolina troops, fighting outside of their state boundaries. It explores their inner conflicts of service to country vs. the needs of their families at home, especially during planting and harvesting seasons, which counted significantly in the continuous rate of desertion.

We are coming near to the close of Isaac Perkins' pension application file. Today we'll be examining a collection of communications which causes questions to arise in regard to the identities of several of those who contributed documentation in the attempt to restore Perkins' name to the pension list.

As we view the lapse of time just represented here--September 1828-December 1829--we can only imagine the mounting frustration this man and his family experienced in his attempts to receive the gratuity which was rightly his under law.

Newbern Decr 21st 1829
Isaac Perkins: Image 26/35


I have the honor herewith again to enclose for the
further examination of the Department, the documents
of Isaac Perkins, attached with every explanation
required & instructions of the 24th [         ], which I hope may
receive your Approbation, flattere'd in this by the very
benevolent and Speedy attention paid to the claims
of the poor Old Soldier when presented under date of
18th [         ], but unfortunately proving informal then,
as deficient in the requirements now furnished
And permit me, to claim for him your attention
to the circumstance, for his not making his application
after the present form sooner, that he was led to believe
by the parties attached to his Schedule, with their
Attestations, was the proper requisite to be transmitted
to the department, and which he had expected had been
Sent on by some of his friends here, (with whom he found
it on hand at the date of his present application
which is most respectfully submitted
With great respect,
Your Obed't Servant,
Sam Gerock

the Secretary
of War
United States

Isaac Perkins: Image 27/35
Office of Revolutionary Pensions
Treasury Department

Isaac Perkins: Image 28/35

H.R. Decr 23 1828


Some time ago I forwarded from Newbern
N. C. applications under the act of the last Session
(relative to soldiers of the Revolution who had ser-
ved till the close of the War) on behalf of Michael
Ellis _______ Perkins _______ Thomas x________ King. -----

Have the goodness to let me know the [            ]
of these applications. -----

Respectfully [   ]
Jn H Bryan

Commentary: Who was Jn H. Bryan?
A Google search led me to The Southern Historical Collection's holding, Bryan Family Papers 1704-1940. The abstract reads as follows:
Bryan and related...families of New Bern, N.C., and vicinity. Prominent family members included John Heritage Bryan (1798-1870), congressman and lawyer of New Bern and Raleigh, N. C. .... [1]

Newbern Novr 18th 1829
Isaac Perkins: Image 29/35


I have the honor to enclose for the consideration
of the Department, the Declaration and the Schedule
annexed of Isaac Perkins, a Negro Man, an Old
Soldier of the Revolutionary Army in Order to be restored
to the Pension List, the Decision of his appeal may
be addressed to me for his information and is
Respectfully submitted,----
With great respect
Your Obed't Servant
Saml Gerock

The Secretary
of War
United States

Isaac Perkins: Image 30/35
Revolutionary Claims.
Under the act entitled, "An act for the relief of certain surviving Officers and
Soldiers of the Army of the Revolution," approved 15 May 1828.

Treasury Department
5 Jany 1829
The annexed paper, relating to the claim of Isaac Perkins
under the abovementioned act, is respectfully referred to the Secretary of War, with a
request that he will be pleased to cause me to be informed whether a discharge, and, if
so, what discharge, was received at the War Department, from the claimant, on an
application stated to have been heretofore made for him by a pension.

Richard Rush [signature]

The Hon. Secretary of War

Letters from the War Department [  ] January 1829.

Commentary: Who was Richard Rush?
From the appearance of this signature directly above the title, "The Hon. Secretary of War," I had first imagined that Richard Rush held that office at the time this document was generated. I'm glad, however, that I followed my instinct and Googled "U S secretary of war January 1829 Richard Rush," because the information I found showed that he was, in fact, not the Secretary of War, but served
from 1825 to 1829 as secretary of the treasury during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. [2]
By clicking the link John Quincy Adams Front Page, the list of cabinet members found on the lower right side of the page reveals that James Barbour held the title of Secretary of War from 1825-1828, and that Peter B. Porter had served that office from 1828-1829. [3]

Isaac Perkins: Image 31/35
897.                927.
Ref. Pension Office [Handwritten]

Sept. 2, 1828

Isaac Perkins, of                          in the County of
Craven, in the State of No Carolina, has applied to the Secretary
of the Treasury for the benefits of the act, entitled "An Act for the relief of certain surviving
officers and soldiers of the Revolution," approved 15th of May 1828. He states that he
enlisted in the Continental line of the army of the Revolution, for and during the war, and
continued until its termination, at which period he was a Private in captain
Hall's company, in the Second regiment of the No Carolina
line; and that he received a certificate for the reward of eighty dollars, provided by the resolve
of the 15th of May 1778; and further, that he was not on the 15th day of May, 1828, on the
pension list of the United States, and that he has received as a pensioner since the 3rd of
March, 1826, nothing.

The Third Auditor is requested to report how far the several statements are corroborated by
the records in his office.

By order of the Secretary
A. Dickens 

9 September 1828

It further appears that Isaac Perkins is not now on the pension list of any agency, and has not been so since 3 March 1826.

The name of Isaac Perkins cannot be found among those of the North Carolina line, to
whom Certificates for the gratuity of Eighty Dollars
were issued.

Peter Hagner, Auditor

Commentary: Who was A. Dickens?
By Googling the name, "A. Dickens," I located several transcriptions for other documents bearing the above highlighted quote, and one other bearing the additional initial, "F. A. Dickens." Next, I searched, "F. A. Dickens office of the treasury 1828," and discovered numerous PDFs including the terms, "By order of the Secretary," "Treasury Department," "1828," and "F. A. Dickens." Scrolling down just below the PDFs, I found "Francis Asbury Dickens Papers: 1729-1934." Reading the abstract, I found some perplexing information:
Fanny was employed by the Confederate Treasury Department in 1862, at Richmond, and, in 1863, she moved to....1828, land grant of John Forsyth, Governor of Georgia.....March, May 1865, oaths of allegiance and amnesty of F.A. Dickens.
By reading the collection overview of the Francis Asbury Dickens Papers, I learned that he had served as an agent for the U. S. War and Treasury departments, and as a Washington D.C. lawyer, "specializing in government claims....against the U. S. government, particularly pension claims lodged by veterans of various wars." He was the son of Asbury Dickens, and had married Margaret Harvie Randolph: "Fanny," as referred to above, was their daughter, Frances Dickens: the second of five children. [4]

Commentary: Who was Peter Hagner, Auditor?
When in doubt of deciphering the correct spelling of a signature, I have found it always best to approximate the spelling in a Google search. Originally, I searched for what appeared to me to be "Peter Hagman;" but, the results brought up an immediate correction of "Peter Hagner, Auditor." As with F. A. Dickens, I located an entry for "Peter Hagner Papers, 1730-1940. --UNC Chapel Hill Libraries." The first sentence of the collection abstract was very intriguing:
Peter Hagner (1772-1850), native of Pennsylvania, known as the "watchdog of the Treasury," was a clerk in the accounting office of the United States War Department, 1793-1817, and third auditor of the United States Treasury, 1817-1849. [5] 

Isaac Perkins: Image 32/35
897.                              Isaac Perkins
I. Perkins
recd 2 Sept. 1828
[       ] same day

Commentary: Non-chronological order of dated materials
As you look through the various documents posted here, you will note that I have highlighted the dates of each in light blue. If you look closely, you will note that although these documents have been placed in this order, they present themselves non-chronoligically:

Image 26/35: 21 Dec 1829: from claimant;
Image 27/35: no date;
Image 28/35: 23 Dec 1828;
Image 29/35: 18 Nov 1829;
Image 30/35: 5 Jan 1829;
Image 31/35: 2 Sep 1828;
Image 32/35: 2 Sep 1828.

One theory is that they were place in the file randomly. Another might be that they represent the various attempts by the various individuals and department officials, crossing paths over time. At this point, I am not certain of the reasoning; so, for now I will just make a mental note of it and move on.

Next time we will examine the final three records contained in the pension file of Isaac Perkins.

[1] Bryan Family, "Collection No.: 00096; Collection Title: Bryan Family Papers, 1704-1940," in UNC University Libraries, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library ( : available 8 July 2014).

[2] Margaret A. Hogan, consulting editor, "Richard Rush (1825-1829): Secretary of the Treasury," in Miller Center, University of Virginia. American President: A Reference Resource  ( : available 8 July 2014).

[3] Margaret A. Hogan, consulting editor, "American President: John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)," in Miller Center, University of Virginia.  American President: A Reference Resource ( : available 8 July 2014).

[4] Francis Asbury Dickens, "Collection No.: 00218; Collection Title: Francis Asbury Dickins Papers, 1729-1934," in UNC University Libraries, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library (,Francis_Asbury.html : available 8 July 2014).

[5] Peter Hagner, "Collection No.: 03117; Collection Title: Peter Hagner Papers, 1730-1940," in UNC University Libraries, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library (,Peter.html : available 8 July 2014).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File: Part 7

Washington at Valley Forge
E. Percy Moran, 1862-1935, artist
Courtesy Library of Congress
Update: The North Carolina Continentals
Chapter 6, Valley Forge, 1777-1778

This chapter brings to light some answers to questions I had formed from working with a member of the North Carolina Society of the Sons of the American Revolution who had contacted me about participating in the Forgotten Patriots project.

In regards to military service in the 10th North Carolina Battalion under the command of Captain Abraham Sheppard,
he had mentioned that late in the war the records were ill-kept and many who were not under the direct command of Capt. Sheppard were, in fact, lumped together with other soldiers, leaving it to us these two-hundred thirty-odd years later to sort out. Chapter 6 helped with the sorting.

The problems seemed to start with the recruiting officers in Abraham Sheppard's Tenth Regiment who recruited "bodies" to fill the ranks who were often too sickly to fight. Signing bonuses of twenty shillings for each officer to meet his enlistment quota did not help in selecting the most fit men for the task. Their deadline for signing on three hundred men was July 1, 1777. His orders were to march them north to meet up with Washington as soon as the ranks were full. Rankin states,
Sheppard's record-keeping was so sloppy that it was not only difficult to determine just how many men had been enlisted but equally hard to ascertain the actual number in camp with him....Although Sheppard was supposed to march directly to Richmond to await further orders from Caswell, by October 6, he had moved no farther than the Roanoke River, two miles from Halifax. Sheppard...left his troops encamped on the banks of the river and returned to his home in Dobbs County....When Sheppard finally began his march he was forced to leave forty-seven behind who were too ill to take the rigors of a long march. [1]
Note below that Isaac Perkins recalls his commander to be Col. Benjamin Sheppard, perhaps from a faulty memory.
There had been two rather shocking revelations. Benjamin Sheppard, paymaster of the Tenth, and Alexander Outlaw, the quartermaster, were declared unworthy of holding office when they were suspected of counterfeiting. [2]
The conditions of the regiment continued to cause delays, chiefly due to illness. was little more than a skeleton unit; in addition to the 47 left behind at the beginning of the march, 118 men had deserted along the route....A large number had fallen ill, and 20 had died and had been buried in shallow graves along the way....Only six men died as a result of the [smallpox] inoculation, but a much larger number were lost as a result of the measles epidemic that swept through camp....The unit was soon to fade into obscurity as a result of continued desertions. [3]
At that point, the remaining men of the Tenth Regiment were divided up between the First and the Second Regiments.

Transcription of Declaration of petition for pension
Isaac Perkins Image 23/35
In Order to be restored to the Pension list under the
Act of first March 1823 Craven County [      ]
On the 12th day of November 1829, personally appear
ed, in Open Court of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
of the County of Craven and the State of North Carolina, being a Court of Records which proceeds according to the Course of
the Common Laws with a jurisdiction unlimitted in [power]
of A[         ] and Keeping & Record of its proceeding
Isaac Perkins a resident of aforesaid County
aged Seventy three years who being first duly
sworn according to Law, doth make Oath to the
following declaration in Order to obtain the
provision made by Congress of 18th March 1818
and 1st May 1820. That he the said Isaac
Perkins, enlisted for the term of Three Years
about the Month of May 1778 in the State of No
Carolina in the Company commanded by Capt
[Silas] Stevenson in the tenth Regiment, Commanded
by Col Benj Sheppard in the Line of the State of
No Carolina on the Continental Establishment
that he continued to serve under different
changes of the Corps and captured at Charleston
until discharged in the State of No Carolina by
Col Patton. That his name has been placed on the Pension
list & dropped therefrom on account of his property
And in pursuance of the Act of 1st May 1820 I do
solemnly swear That I was a resident Citizen of the

Isaac Perkins Image 24/35
United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that
I have not since that time by gifts sale or in any manner
disposed of my property, or any part thereof, with
which thereby so to diminish it, or to bring myself
 within the provision of an Act of Congress, entitled an
Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the
Land & Naval Service of the United States, in
the Revolutionary War, ha[- - ]ed on the 18th day of
March 1818, and that I have not, nor has any person
in trust for my, any property, or securities, contracts, or
debts due to me, nor have I any income other
than what is contained in the Schedule hereto An
nexed, and by me Subscribed, My Occupation
being that of a Farmer, and my ability to pursue
in very uncertain. Owing to my great bodily
infirmity under which I labor, my family
now consists of myself and my wife Deborah
who is now Sixty Six years Old and not able to support
herself. The changes of my property since 18th March
1818 Are as follows: I sold 150 Acres of Land for forty dollr
part of which have ever been paid me and used towards
my support along with some of my Stock
being heretofore able to support myself by my labour
Is the reason I did not apply sooner to be restored
to the pension List. The number of my pension
Certificate granted on the 30th Novr 1818 is [5]66.
Sworn to and declared on the 12th day of Novr 1829.
attest James G Stanly          Isaac     X   Perkins

Isaac Perkins Image 25/35
Pen. to Con.     28 Dec

Recd from S Gerock
             Newbern, N.C.
             28 Dec 1829


[1] Rankin, pp. 129, 130, 131.
[2] Rankin, p. 133.
[3] Rankin, p. 138.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File: Part 6

Update: The North Carolina Continentals
Major General Nathaniel Greene,
Commander of Washington's Left Wing
Courtesy Library of Congress

It is amazing how a vacation...a week away...though filled with activity, offers opportunity for reading without distraction! I finished the chapter entitled, Charleston, 1780 (Chapter 11), and then read Chapter 7, Monmouth and the New York Highlands.

As I read, I highlight the details which might have effected my ancestor directly, or may have been aware of. I then check the footnotes, and work on tracing the information back to its origins, some of which include Writings of Washington, The Diary of James McHenry, Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens, and Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn. Even though the ancestor was unable to read a newspaper, keep a diary, or correspond with his spouse, the eye-witness accounts of those serving close by offer a glimpse at shared events, the difference being a matter of individual perspective.

By making notations on the first page of the chapters of the names of those ancestors who participated in the battles, I am able to gain a quick glimpse of who was serving together, and in what capacity, militia or Continental Line.

Checking out the backstory: A letter bearing reference to character
As you will see below, this letter contains the combined testimony of Joseph Physioc and John S. & Cherry Whitehead. When considering the judgment of a person's character as written in a letter such as this, background knowledge of those giving testimony has the potential to supply greater depth to the quality of the individual's characterization.

Joseph Physioc, I remember from prior research, was a Quaker and a member of the North Carolina Manumission Society. The Physioc Family Tree states that he was born about 1786 to Peter and Abigail (---) Physioc. He married first on 30 August 1805 to Contentnea Evans, and married second on 1 April 1839 to Eliza Hope Borden Cox.[1]

Joseph Physioc Estate File:
Image 21/79
His estate file (1841) reveals some bits of interest concerning his dealings with manumission. The letter to the left, written at Rocky Hill on 20 Dec 1841 by Thomas Kennedy, states second hand knowledge of Physioc's recent death, and makes mention of his last will and testament,
Joseph Physioc Estate File:
 Image 12/79
in which he has directed that his Negroes should be Freed; leaving funds for the purpose of Transporting them and Colonizing them in Liberia, that he has appointed me with others, to carry his Philanthropical views into Effect--
The Inventory of Slaves records the names and ages of twenty-five slaves from the Joseph Physioc household.

The other men whose signature is affixed to the character reference of Isaac Perkins were John S. Whitehead, and Cherry Whitehead. While John S. Whitehead's (1832) estate file contains only two pages, Cherry Whitehead's file (1832) contains 100 pages. I had originally assumed that Cherry was John's wife's name; but, when I looked into the estate file, I discovered that Cherry Whitehead was the husband of Sarah. I was unable to locate any marriage record of a "Cherry" Whitehead in Craven County Records. Searching, however, revealed a document of interest: Jeremiah (Alias Cherry) Whitehead, md. Sally Rice on 1 Jan 1828.

Now I am beginning to wonder what happened in 1832 that both of these Whiteheads died in the same year....

In any event, these three men were Isaac Perkins' neighbors as can be seen on their 1790 U.S. Census enumeration.

Transcription of letter of character

[Note: All spelling and punctuation is as found within the pages of this letter.]

Craven, at Woodville 15th Decr 1829

Dear Sir,
     Your letter of the of the 12th Inst. came
safe to hand in which you State that is is necys-
-ary  that myself together with another of my
Neighbours should make a statement of sorts
with Respect to the conduct and Expenditures
of our Old Neighbour Isaac Perkins, as Also
how he may have Diminished his little property
since the year of 1818---
     With Respect to his property we know of
no means used by him to Diminish it---
true he did sell one yoke of Old oxen six or
Eight years ago to John Franklin of Newbern,
but at what price we do not now recollect.
It is also true that he sold to Isaac Carter in the
foregoing part of the year of 1827 one hundred
and fifty acres of poor sandridge land bordering
on the flat pocoson for forty Dollars-- of which
a part of the purchase money was paid in adv-
-ance by the said Carter. By work and labour
done on the premices of the said Isaac Perkins
in the repairing of his fences and puting his
little farm in order -- but we think to the
best of our recollection that the said Perkins
has acquired this Same 150 Acres of land since
the year of 1818 -- by a grant or patent in
his own name ---- Exclusive of this above we
know of no property sold or diminished by the


Said Perkins Except perhaps a Sow and
Piggs or the like -- but how he may have
spent or disposed of his little moneys from
time to time it is impossible for us to say.
Other than for the support of himself
and his family --- from a long and Inti-
-mate acquaintance with the general con-
-duct and Character of the Said Isaac
Perkins we do not hesitate to declare
that (though a man of Colour) we do
believe him to be to honest in principal
to practise any thing like a fraud.
and we are well asured that he has not
attempted it ---- he is now Old and infirm
his infirmity orriginates no doubt, from
severe Exposures in the Revolutionary Army
in which it is notoriously believed that he
was a faithful soldier -- he is not able to
labour -- and it is Evident that he must
Suffer (Should he Exist) if he is not assisted
by the fostering hand of the General Government
or by the humain Charity of his friends and
Neighbours--- Respectfully
                        Your obedient servants
                        Jos Physioc
                        John S. Whitehead
                        Cherry Whitehead

P.S.  in Regard to the 150 Acres of land sold
by I. Perkins as stated in the foregoing. There
will appear a mistake of ten Dollars between
the face of the Deed, and the price stated above,
the cause is thus accounted for, I drew the
Deed at the request of Perkins. before I had
properly understood the Bargained price -- and
drew it for fifty Dollars, whereas the Bargain-
-ed price was but forty Dollars -- I also drew
the note given by Carter for the same, for
forty Dollars. and at the request of the parties
some few months afterwards I gave credit
and said note for fifteen Dollars, partly
as I understood for labour done by the said
Carter in advance           Very respectfully
                                             yours Jos Physioc

Two years after date I promise to pay
to the order of Isaac Perkins the Sum of
forty Dollars for Value Recd this 30th day
of January 1827--            his
 Attest                      Isaac  X  Carter
     Jos Physioc               mark

Recd fifteen
Dollars in
part of the
within note
Decr 4th 1827
seven Dollars and fifty
cents in part of the
within note.

[upside down]
Isaac Carters note

[1] Rowan, Carla and Peter, compilers; from the records of Elinor Fletcher. Physioc Family Tree and the Descendants of Joseph Edward Physioc. <http.//>, available 20 May 2007.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File: Part 5

Historical Background
Watercolor painting by Charles M. Lefferts
Courtesy of

As I pondered the idea of one day assembling a complete narrative for the 1st and 2nd North Carolina Continental Line, focusing on the men serving in the same battles our Carter and Perkins ancestors fought, my mind drifted to their common denominator: military pension application files. For those I have already transcribed, each veteran had received their pension on the merit of having served for the minimum time prescribed (at least nine months), but had not necessarily been wounded in battle. Their maladies were related to their current state of indigence, and a grateful country's financial response.

Below you will find a listing of several online resources offering the basic guidelines for the military pension application:

While several of the above are very good sites which describe the legislation of and basis for obtaining a military pension, one of the best online resources I have found is the National Archives Microfilm Publications Pamphlet Describing M804 entitled, Revolutionary War Pension Bounty -- Land -- Warrant Application Files, and a description of Revolutionary Pension Files is available at

For a more comprehensive treatment of the topic, the book entitled, The History of Military Pension Legislation in the United States, by William Henry Glasson, can be found at The book can be viewed online or a PDF version can be downloaded to your computer. Always make sure you save it to a file where you can find it easily when needed.

Update: The North Carolina Continentals
I am currently reading this book during lunch breaks at my day job, and have nearly completed Chapter One: War Comes to North Carolina. I am focusing on any pertinent information that would help me develop a true picture of news developments my husband's ancestors were privilege to, as well as their first-person military experience in the battles mentioned in their pension files.

So far I have read about the formation of county Committees of Safety, how news of Lexington and Concord arrived to the people of Craven County, raising the brigade, and the uniforms and provisions prescribed for local militia and the Continental Line. The detail offered is outstanding, and I would highly recommend this book for anyone searching for details of their ancestor's North Carolina Revolutionary War experience.

In addition to the author's description, the footnotes prove a very good source for tracing the author's critique back to the original sources.

Back to the Pension Application: A Land Indenture
When I first began reading this land indenture, the memory of having read it prior to obtaining this file sprang forth. I had photocopied the certified copy of this indenture from the volumes at Craven County Register of Deeds several years ago. So, I checked my family surname binders and located the document. I noticed that I had neglected to cite the volume number on the back of the photocopies.

Craven County Register of Deeds Staff have always been wonderful in answering my queries, so I emailed them the pertinent details of the document and the page numbers which appeared in the upper corners of the pages. I also attached the pages of the indenture from the pension file.

The very next day, Michelle Toth, the Assistant Register of Deeds,  emailed her reply. In addition to the question of which volume these pages appear, I had also wondered about a difference in the dates posted on the certified copy obtained at the Register of Deeds and the copy found within the pension file. The former copy stated,
This Indenture made and executed this 3rd day of January 1827 between Isaac Perkins...and Isaac Carter....
while the pension file's copy stated,
 This Indenture made and Executed this 30th day of January 1827. Between Isaac Perkins...and Isaac Carter....
The handwritten copy of the original, is written in a different hand that the derivative, and the format of the latter differs as well in both style, spelling and punctuation. I had asked the Register of Deeds which would be the most reliable, and she responded that the copy found in their office would be the more precise.

With that information, I will transcribe the derivation below, making any significant differences between it and the copy in brackets as such: [   ].

TRANSCRIPTION: Vol. 47, pp.16 & 17
Image 16/35
This Indenture made and Executed this 30th [3rd] day
of January 1827. Between Isaac Perkins of the
State of North Carolina and County of Craven
of the One part, and Isaac Carter of the State and
County aforesaid, of the other part, Witnesseth that
I the said Isaac Perkins, do for and in Consideration
of the Sum of Fifty dollars to me in hand paid by
the said Isaac Carter at and before the sealing and
delivery of this [these] presents the receipt whereof I do
hereby acknowledge [whereof is hereby acknowledged]
have given, granted, bargained
sold, released and confirmed enfeeoffed[1], and do
and by this presants [these presents] give grant bargain sell release
and confirm enfeeoff, &, I -----  [      ] the said Isaac Carter
his heirs and assigns forever a certain piece or
parcel of Land situated in the state and County
aforesaid on the south side of Neuse River and on the
head of Handcocks Creek. Beginning at a Gum on
the West side of Mococks branch John Whiteheads
corner, running thence with Whiteheads line So 45 Wst
108 poles to a pine in his other patent line, thence
with the said line South 140 poles to a pine at the
pocoson [interlined in derivative: side, then with the various courses of the pocoson] South Easterly 128 poles to a pine at the
No. 15 Et. 24 poles to a pine, then No. 48 Et. 22 poles to a
pine in the Pocoson. then No. 2 Wt. 60 poles to a pine
near the head of Mococks branch. thence with the said
branch to the beginning. Estimate to contain One
hundred and fifty Acres more or less, which was
granted by Patent to the said Isaac Perkins, dated

Image 17/35
the 15th decr 1814 To have and to hold with all
and singular the previlidges [privileges] and profits thereinto [thereunto]
belonging or in any wise appertaining to the only
proper use and behoof of him the said Isaac Carter
his heirs and assigns for ever, and the said Isaac
Perkins do for myself my heirs Executors or Admin
istrators, covenant and agree to the Warrant and defend
above described tract or parcel of Land free and
clear of any person claiming any right or title thereto
by through or under me, my Heirs Executors and Adminis
trators or Assigns, and no further to him the said
Isaac Carter his heirs and assigns forever.
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and affixed my seal, the day and date first above              
Written                                                       Isaac    X  Perkins
Signed sealed and                                                mark
delivered in presants [presence]
of us---
Attest Joseph Physioc
           William Simpson

State of North Carolina )
December 12th 1829    )
This was the execution of the foregoing Deed acknowledged
before me in due form of Law, by Isaac Perkins the Bargainer
                                                                Let it be registered
                                                                              J R Donnell J.S.L.D.C.


NOTE: I am unable to find the meaning of JR Donnell's credential. On this derivative it appears to be "JSLDC," yet on the copy it appears to be "J.S.L.H.E." Please contact me if you have knowledge of this credential and its meaning.

Image 18/35
I Borthick C Gillespie Register of the County
of Craven in the State of North Carolina
certify the foregoing to be a true copy from
the Records of said County book No. 47 folio 16&c
December 15th 1829)                    B. C. Gillespie Regr )

State of North Carolina )
   Craven County             )
           I James G Stanly Clerk
of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of
Craven County hereby certify that Bortherick
C. Gillespie Esquire is Register of Craven County
and the foregoing is his signature
In testimony whereof I hereunto
set my hand, and affix my seal
of said Court at New Bern, this
17th Day of December A.D. 1829
            J G Stanly Clerk

[1] enfeoff, trans. vb. (en fef): (Law) property law (a person) with possession of a freehold estate in land. Collins English Dictionary. To put into possession of land in exchange for a pledge of service.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File: Part 4

An addition to my
When I began my in-depth research on the battles and skirmishes in which our free black Patriots from Craven County, North Carolina had participated, I came across a book title contained within an end note of a book on the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse. I quickly checked on the Barnes and Nobel and sites to compare availability and prices and found what I was looking for! Not only was I able to purchase a "Like New" hardcover copy of this book, but much to my joy, it arrived at my mailbox two days later!

Available at
The book's title is, The North Carolina Continentals, by Hugh F. Rankin. Check it out on's "Click to Look Inside!" feature. It appears to be quite thorough in its footnotes and bibliography, which is great for me, because I'm always checking sources to glean additional details.

Contained within its twenty chapters, I found information concerning every battle in which the free black Patriots of Craven County, North Carolina had fought. I'm looking forward to this being a very good read!

Part 4 in the Pension File of Isaac Perkins
Isaac Perkins 10/35

[Transcription, page 1]
41 953
File No. 41.953
Isaac Perkins
Pvt.  Rev War
Act. 18 March 18
Index. Vol. 3, Page 890

[handwritten note on right side of document]
1930-Aug 8--Hist. to
Adj. Gen. See 
[N]ewbern copy in 
Misc File under
C. H. Bridges, EEL

Isaac Perkins 11/35

[Page 2]
1828 papers 
to be filed
with Ad OW
Inv. File# 

Isaac Perkins 12/35

 [page 3]
Isaac Perkins   Pvt.
N. Carolina

No. Carolina

Inv. File No. 41.953

Isaac Perkins 13/35

[page 4]
10th Regiment
Isaac Perkins pt. 16th May 1777. 3yrs
The above is a true abstract from the Mus-
ter roll of the North Carolina Continental line
in the revolutionary war.
Given under my hand 10th July 1818
Wm Hill  Secretary
of State

Isaac Perkins 14/35

[handwritten notation on left side of page]
See letter to Sec. of War Jan. 6. 1828
See letter Nov. 24. 1829 to S. Gerock
North Carolina
Isaac Perkins
In the Army of the United States during the Revolutionary War.
Inscribed on the Roll of North Carolina
at the rate of 8 Dollars per month, to commence on
the 9th of June 1818
Certificate of Pension issued the 30th day of November 1818
J. E. Shanlet Esq. Clerk
of the [C--] of Craven Co. N.C.
Arrears of 4th of Sept 1818: 2 26/30 mo. $22.93
Semi-anl. all'ce ending 4 Mar 1819              48      
{Revolutionary claim
{Act 18th March 1818.}

Isaac Perkins 15/35

 [page 6]
Saml Gerock
N. C.

Came to hand
20th Decr 1819

For Additional Consideration
I have seen the name, Samuel Gerock, several times before in other documents; but, this is the first time I have seen the rank of Captain attached to his name. The link provided and entitled, "North Carolina Pensions, (119-121)" states that he had been employed at the Bank of New Bern. It also details in his pension application that he had enlisted for service in the Revolutionary War in Maryland. An overview of his service record also appears. A brief description of his appearance in latter years can be found here.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File, Part 3

Encampment at Valley Forge
It is difficult to imagine the conditions, the time and energy expended by these heroic soldiers from New Bern, North Carolina, who were marched some 463 miles to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and then another 670 miles to Charleston, South Carolina,only to be taken as prisoners of war and held on a prison ship in the harbor.

By today's standards we think of a trek of this nature in terms of hours; but, in the 18th Century we're looking at months of walking, waiting, fighting, and walking some more.

As we look at the next documents in Isaac Perkins' Revolutionary War pension application, we begin to see the framework of his military experience. We are also introduced to a new participant, one Osborn Clark.

A quick search at uncovered a pension file for this soldier, who fought in the same regiment as Isaac Perkins on his second tour of duty. You can find more about Osborn Clark here.

Isaac Perkins 7/35
[Transcription, page 1]
United States of America
To the Honorable the Secretary at
War of the United States
The Petition of Isaac Perkins a
Citizen of the United States sheweth, That
he enlisted as private soldier in the tenth
North Carolina Regiment in the Continental line
in the year One thousand seven hundred
and seventy seven, in the Company commanded
by Captain Silas Sears Stevenson, was marched
to Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, where the
tenth Regiment was distributed & deponent
passed into the Second Regiment and into the
Company commanded by Captain Clement Hall.
he served in that regiment in its Northern
Campaigns, marched with it to South Carolina
and was taken prisoner at Charleston--he
escaped from the enemy and returned to North --
Carolina & served until peace in the Militia
of the State. His whole service in the
Continental line of the State of North Caro-
lina against the Common Enemy exceeded
three years -- he never received a discharge
deponent is now sixty one years old
has a family, and is reduced in circumstances.

Isaac Perkins 8/35
[page 2]
and needs the assistance of his Country for his
support--he prays the benefit of the Act
of the last Session of Congress providing for
his care.
                                            his        +      mark
Sworn to in open Court
9th June 1818
J S Stanly

Osborne Clark maketh Oath that he knew
the petttioner (sic) Isaac Perkins a private soldier
in the North Carolina Continental line in the
War of the Revolution--deponent knows said
Isaac Perkins served three years as a soldier
in the Continental Line of North Carolina
against the Common Enemy.      a s b o n  C C [signature]
Sworn to in open Court
9th June 1818                  State of North Carolina
J G Stanly CC                     Craven County
                                          Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
                                           June Term A.D. 1818
                           The foregoing affidavits of Isaac Perkins
and Osborn Clark being taken and subscribed to in open
Court. It is ordered that it be certified to the Secretary
at War of the United States that it appears to be the satis:
:faction of this Court that the petitioner Isaac Perkins did
serve in the revolutionary war against the Common Enemy
as stated in his petition, and that the said Isaac Perkins is
now in reduced circumstances and needs the assistance
of his Country or his support.
Witness     James G Stanly  Clerk of the Court
aforesaid under the Seal of this Court at Newbern
this 30th day of June A.D. 1818
James G Stanly CC

Isaac Perkins, 9/35
[page 3]
In reply to your request of ___________, received__________
for a statement of the military history of Isaac Perkins <a negro man> a soldier of the REVOLUTIONARY WAR, you will find below the desired information contained in his (or his widow's) application for pen-sion on file in this Bureau.               S41,953

Enlisted: 1777 May '78.  Served: 3 years. Rank: Private. Captain Silas S Stephenson 10th N.C.Captain Clement Hall, Colonel Patten 2nd N.C.
Also served in Militia till Peace--no officers stated.
Served in the Northern Campaign, marched to South Carolina where
captured at Charleston, but escaped and returned to the North.
Battles engaged in _____________________________________
Resident of soldier at enlistment, Enlisted in North Carolina
Date of application for pension, June 9, 1818  His claim was allowed.
Residence at date of application, Craven Co. N.C.
Age at date of application: 61 yrs, 73 in 1829
Remarks: In 1829 he referred to his wife, Deborah, 66 yrs of age.

not used [handwritten]


Isaac Perkins: Revolutionary War Pension Application File, Part 2

Pension Applications can give us insight to the everyday life of our ancestors.
The following documents include an inventory of Isaac Perkins' real and personal property used to determine if he was truly an indigent veteran of the Revolutionary War, a certificate sworn by the clerk of courts that the names of the men who conducted the inventory were true, and a sworn statement that the inventory itself is true. They were signed and sealed in April and November 1829.


Isaac Perkins/Image 3/35
At the request of Isaac Perkins of Craven
County in the state of North Carolina
an old Revolutionary Soldier and a claimant
for a petition under the former act of
Congress Granting petitions for the releaf [sic]
of Indigent Soldiers of the Revolutionary
war--we the undersigned have met and
have valued all the property he the said
Perkin[s] is now [           ] off--which we apprise
and value as follows--  --that is to say
100 acres of poor piney land)       $25.00
valued at 25 cents per acre    )
11 head of cattle val'd at $2.00)
each upon an [E]verage --         )      22.00
32 head of hogs, mostly pigs)
[E]verage 5/ Each --               ) --     11.00
House hold & kitchen furniture
 valued in toto of $15--                     15.00
A small canoe valued at 10/                 1.00
3 head of sheep valued at 10/              3.00  

[From here I would search the deeds at Craven County Register of Deeds for a detailed description of this piece of land, and its location; however, the deed itself is contained within this pension file: Images 16/35 and 17/35. I would also search for his estate file, which may include a list of the items of household furniture and any farming implements in his possession that could provide clues of his living conditions.]

Isaac Perkins/Image 4/35
We the undersigned haveing [sic] been long
acquainted with the above claimant, Perkins;
as well as also with his Resources and means
of support--his age and infirmities-- over--

[page 2]
believe him to be deserving & also entitled to
assistance from the Bounty of his Country
we hereby Certify that we have valued
his property fair and Equitable to the
best of our Judgments and abilities
and we find it to be worth at most of this
this time of [           ] --not exceeding the sum
Seventy Seven Dollars in money.
Given under our hand and seals this
25th day of April 1829---
                      his                            Abner W. Seabrook [seal]
                  Isaac X Perkins                              Wm Physioc [seal]
mark                             John S. Whiteham [seal]
Saml Gerock                  Meshack A [                    ]  [seal]
Jos Physioc JP [seal]

Isaac Perkins/Image 5/35

Let a  Certificate to
above be presented--
North Carolina
Craven County court S. November Term AD 1829
William Physioc & Joseph Physioc whose names are 
subscribed to the foregoing schedule made oath in open
court & in due form of law that the facts noted
in said schedule are true.                      
 Attest J.G. Stanly Clerk of Craven County Court

[Page 3]
I James G Stanly Clerk of the County Court
do hereby certify that it appears to the satisfaction
of the Court that the said Isaac Perkins did serve in the
Revolutionary War and stated in the preceding declar
ation against the Common Enemy for the term of
Mine Months, and one engagement, on the Continental
establishment. I also Certify that the foregoing Oath
and the Schedule thereto annexed, are truly copied
from the Records of the said Court, and I do further
Certify that it is the Opinion of the said Court that
Isaac Perkins/Image 6/35
the total amount in value of the property exhibited in
the aforesaid schedule is seventy seven Dollars
and ------ Cents
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and affixed the Seal of said Court this 12th day
of November 1829                            J G Stanly Clerk

[Page 4]
Isaac Perkins

Friday, May 16, 2014

Incorporating Military Histories to Piece Together Overlapping Service

Available at

As I read military histories about the skirmishes and battles in which our ancestors fought, I try to look for specific information about their regiments so I can piece together the movements and experiences they might have had. For instance, I am currently reading the book, Monmouth Courthouse 1778: The last great battle in the North, by Brendan Morrissey.

From our last post, you'll note that we found the names of Isaac Perkins' commanding officers: Captain Stevenson and Colonel Sheppard (North Carolina Militia), and Captain Clement Hall and Colonel John Patten (2nd North Carolina Regiment). According to Morrissey, Col. John Patten and the 2nd North Carolina were part of the main body of General George Washington's troops, serving in the right wing under Major General Nathanael Green (p. 86). There were seven Brigadier Generals commanding the right wing:

  1. Brigadier General William Woodford (Virginia), 
  2. vice Brigadier General Lachlan McIntosh (North Carolina), 
  3. Brigadier General Enoch Poor (New Hampshire and New York), 
  4. Brigadker General Jedediah Huntington (Connecticut), 
  5. Brigadier General William Smallwood (Maryland and Delaware), 
  6. Brigadier General Peter Muhlenberg (Virginia and German Battalion), and 
  7. vice Brigadier General George Weedon (Virginia).
McIntosh's troops were made up of the 1st North Carolina (Colonel Thomas Clark) and 2nd North Carolina (Colonel John Patten). 

Additional information about Asa Spelmore/Spelman
In looking back at Asa Spemore's Pension Application File, it was stated that he was a 
Private in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Davidson of the N. Carolina line....[that] he enlisted in the company commanded by Captain Quinn in the Tenth North Carolina Regiment Continental Establishment Commanded by Colonel Davidson.
It appears, however, that Asa Spelman possibly made an error in his recollections as Captain Michael Quinn was associated with the 8th and the 3rd North Carolina Regiments; and, Asa Spelman appears on the roll of the 8th NC Regiment. Note also that Quinn resigned his commission 14 Dec 1779 and became a traitor for the British cause, was captured in Edenton, NC in 1781 and was executed. Following his resignation, the remains of the 8th Regiment were added to the 2nd North Carolina Regiment.

According to the list of Lt. Colonels on The American Revolution in North Carolina website, Lt. Colonel William Lee Davidson changed regiments several times in his career. Starting out in the 4th North Carolina Regiment as a Major, he received a promotion to Lt. Colonel and transferred to the 5th, the 7th, 3rd, and then the 1st, all between the years of 1777 and 1779. It was noted that he served at the Battle of Monmouth as well. So while Isaac Perkins swore that he saw Asa Spelman while on duty in White Plains, they were both at Monmouth as well.