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 (http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/b/Bryan_Family.html : 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  (http://millercenter.org/president/jqadams/essays/cabinet/170 : 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 (http://millercenter.org/president/jqadams : 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 (http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/d/Dickins,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 (http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hagner,Peter.html : available 8 July 2014).

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