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.