Pension Application for John Hilts
State of New York
On this third day of October one thousand Eight hundred and forty three before the court of Common Pleas of said county before the Judges thereof in Open Court the same being a court of record personally came Jacob Hilts a resident of the Town of Herkimer in the said County who being first duly sworn according to law does on his oath say that his mother Susannah Hilts – widow of John N. Hilts both deceased was a pensioner of the United States under the act of July 7, 1838. That her pension was first allowed and paid at about twenty two dollars per annum and that afterwards an additional certificate was issued to her. That his mother said Susannah Hilts—died on the Eighteenth of August one thousand Eight hundred and forty three in the said town of Herkimer that she left the following children and heirs her survivors to wit Margaret Colvin, wife of Joseph Colvin, George J. Hilts, Elizabeth Colvin widow, Anna Cook wife of Israel Cook, John N. Hilts, Godfrey Hilts & this deponent which are her only children and heirs her surviving and who are each over twenty one years of age. That all the other children and heirs have assigned their interest in and to all pension money to which their said mother was entitled under the Act of March 3, 1843 up to the time of her death with full power to apply for and receive the same to this deponent as will appear by the assignment annexed hereto and this application is made for an allowance to this deponent of the said monies from the 4th day of March 1843 to the 18th day of August 1843, and this deponent says that the certificate be issued payable to him solely.
(Signed with his mark) Jacob Hilts
Subscribed & Sworn in open court Oct third 1843. E. A. Munown Clerk
For and in consideration of one dollar to each of us in hand paid us do severall assign sell and let over to Jacob Hilts all our right title and interest in and to all claims or arrears for pension due to our mother Susannah Hilts deceased from the United States in pursuance of the Act of March 3, 1843 of any previous act of Congress to have and to hold the same with said Jacob for his own use and we do hereby authorize the said Jacob to apply to the War Department or pension office for the allowance and payment of the same, and we further authorize and direct the Commissioner of Pensions to issue the said Certificate or such part thereof as would be coming to us to be made payable to him and in case the said certificate should be made payable to us respectively with him or other hairs then we authorize the pension agent or deponent to pay the same to the said Jacob without any further power of attorney from us as either of us, all children and heirs of the said Susannah Hilts.
Sworn under our hands & seals this 20th day of September 1843.
(Signed) Joseph Colvin, (Signed with her mark) Margaret Colvin, (Signed) George J. Hilts (Signed with her mark) Elizabeth Colvin, (Signed) Israel Cook, (Signed with her mark) Anne Cook
State of New York
County of Herkimer SS.
On this seventeenth day of April one thousand eight hundred and forty personally appeared before me Charles Gray a Judge of the Herkimer County Courts of the degree of Counseller in the Supreme Court—Susanna Hilts—a resident of the town of Herkimer in the County & State aforesaid aged Seventy Six or Seventy Eight and whether seventy six or seventy eight years she cannot now state the record of her age being lost and being first duly sworn according to law, doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed July 7th 1838 Entitled “An act granting half pay and pensions to certain widows”. That she is the widow of John Hilts the son of Nicholas Hilts and who was in the after part of his life called John N. Hilts that he was sometimes called Hunaris Hilts that her said husband was a soldier in the Service of the United States in the state troops & militia in the Revolutionary war. That she herself with her fathers family the spring after Herkimer was burnt, resided at Fort Dayton from the year 1779 to the close of the war. That during the time she remained at Fort Dayton she often and during the whole war saw the said John Hilts her said Husband on duty as a drummer that he was the only drummer at the fort. That he served as such drummer under Captain’s Mucks, Damuth, usually called Hon. Marks Damuth that he served under Captain McKean, also under Captain Harters, also under Ensign John Bellenger [above the line is written very faintly “Capt. Henry Barton (?) also at the fort at this time”] and there was also a Captain then by the name of Ellsworth. That she frequently saw him beat the drum & do with the soldiers from the fort & return that when at the fort he used to beat the drum daily early in the morning and again at early night was with [?] three kinds of drum. That he informed her that he was on service in the year in which the Oriskany battle was and previous a said battle as Oriskany to block up wood Creek but she does not recollect how long he was out at that time. That he informed her also that he was selected to carry letters from fort Dayton to Fort Stanwix which he did do, leaving Fort Dayton in the morning on foot and return at night that he would travel about sixty miles a day in the performance of such duty, that he was very springy on foot being able to outrun any person in the vicinity, that he used to run foot races with the Indians and beat the Indians, which was the cause of his being selected for that duty she further says that one Adam Helmer was also an officer under whom he served as she was informed and she further says that her maiden name was Susanna Miller that she was married to the said John Hilts in the month of February the first winter following the close of the war the precise day she cannot now recollect neither can she state the years but is certain it was the winter after the close of the war. That her marriage took place at Fall Hill to which place they the said Susanna & the said John in Company with George Hilts the brother of her said husband and one Lany McComb & some others went for that purpose, the Reverend Abraham Rosenantz Solenmized the marriage—that her husband the aforesaid John Hilts died on the third day of May in the year one thousand Eight hundred & thirteen that she has not intermarried since but remains the widow of the said John Hilts. That she was not married when prior to his leaving the service but the marriage took place previous to the first day of January one thousand seven hundred & ninety-four viz at the time above stated. That although she cannot state the precise year of her marriage she knows that it was the twenty first year of her age when she was [?] and knows it was the winter of the year the year he was discharged? That she also knew Andrew Piper & Sarah Piper his brother in the said war. That they served in the same Company with her said husband as she has been informed and always understood that Jacob Piper was killed by the enemy and that he also knew Frederick Baum in the said war and that he also served one season in the same company with her said husband and she would refer to their statement hereto annexed and she further saith that she cannot write her name and that she never could write at all and that she has always signed by making her mark which is the only way in which she is now able to sign this her declaration which was read and explained to her by Charles Gray was made by the said and guiding of the said Charles Gray. (signed with her mark)n Susanna Hilts.
Subscribed and Sworn to this 11th day of April 1840 before the Subscriber a Judge of the Herkimer County Courts, and the undersigned do further certify that the said applicant Susanna Hilts from bodily infirmity is wholly unable to attend Court and that she is a person of good character and her statements entitled to full credit, and I certify also that the said Susanna Hilts besides other bodily infirmity is laboring also under blindness and that it became necessary in order to make her mark that she had to be aided by some person and that the undersigned also therefore guiding the pen for her she having had to thereof at the same time with him, and the said Susanna in making her mark to this her application. Charles Gray, Judge
State of New York
Herkimer County SS.
On this 14th day of February One thousand Eight hundred and forty personally appeared before the under named Justice of the Peace of the said County, Andrew Piper of Frankfort in said County aged Eighty years who being first duly sworn on his oath says that in the Revolution War he was well acquainted with John Hilts a son of Nicholas Hilts at Fort Dayton that during said war and this deponent thinks and is quite sure. Either in the 1778 or 1779 he was Enlisted and served at Fort Dayton under Captain Marks Damuth four men? is and that during that time the said John Hilts served in the same company as drummer that the said Hilts was the only drummer in the Company at that time and this deponent knows that the said Hilts then served the whole time of four months during which time this deponent was then there in said service. But that this deponent cannot state how much longer the said Hilts served—that this deponent also saw the said Hilts in the said service of the United States at different times and in different years during the Revolution War but he cannot now state the particulars of any of the said service except the four months before mentioned—that the said John Hilts afterwards married Susannah Miller. (Signed with his mark)
Subscribed & sworn Feb’y 14, 1840 before me. John N. Rasbad Justice
State of New York
Montgomery County SS
Be it knowing that on this 13 day of February one thousand eight hundred and forty personally appeared before me Jacob J. Snyder Esq, a Justice of the Peace of the County of Montgomery—Frederick Baum of Oppenheim in the County of Fulton Aged Seventy Seven years who being duly sworn on his oath says, that in the Revolutionary War he was well acquainted with John Hilts son of Nicholas Hilts of Herkimer—that in the year 1778 that the said John Hilts was in the Service of the United States at Fort Dayton that he this deponent was then there also in the said service that he this deponent was inlisted and served in a Company Commanded by Capt. McKean & Lieut. John Smith and that the said John Hilts was in service in the same company and did duty and drummer and that there was no other drummer at the Fort during that Season whilst this deponent was there that this deponent whas [was] then in the service in Said Company nine months and that the said John Hilts was then there in service in said Company when this deponent came there and that the said John Hilts remained there in the Said service after this deponent left that he does not know how long the said John Hilts then there served in said Company but he knows that the said John Hilts then and them served in said company nine months during wich [which] time this deponent there then served in said Company and that the said John Hilts was their only drummer then at Fort Dyton [Dayton] that the said John Hilts afterwards married Susan Miller and they resided in Herkimer County in said State of New York when the said John Hilts died more than twenty five years since leving [leaving] the said Susan his widow who now resides in Herkimer County as this deponent is informed and believes true, that the said John Hilts when a man and during the Revolution was a very active man that he was very Springy and Could out run any of the other persons – the reason of him not writing his name was that he never could write his name. (Signed with his mark) Frederick Baum
Jacob G. Snyder Justice
This may certify that I am personally acquainted with the said Frederick Baum I believe him to be a man of truth and veracity and his testimony is intitled to full credit. Jacob G. Snyder Justice.
Herkimer NY Sept. 18, 1840
From your letter of the 27th ult it appears that the papers of Mrs. Susanne Hilts have been examined & filed—You state also that in her claim “It is alleged that the claimants husband served the command of Capt.Marks Damuth as a drummer and that he was afterwards in the Service under Capt. Helmer and others—and further that “there is no evidence of the Service of Capt. Marks Damuth Capt of a Company of Rangers after the month of March 1777.”
On looking at the testimony of George Hilts in his affidavit accompanying the claim you will find that he testifies positively that the said Claimant’s husband was Enlisted and served one year as a drummer. That he the witness often saw him during the year in the service at Fort Dayton—the testimony also of Andrew Piper substantiates the same a portion of that time (not having a copy I speak from recollection) it appears he served in the same company a part of the year—and the testimony of Fred’k Baum is also positive that the said Hilts served in a company under Capt. McKean or Mc Gee as he is sometimes called as a drummer he states that he the witness was enlisted and served in the company 9 months and the said Hilts was in service when he entered and continued when he left so that the said Hilts must have served more than nine months on that over [?] –which affidavits accompany the Claim—the certificate of the comptroller also gives six terms of service as a private & drummer.
It would therefore seem that of the service spoken of by the three witnesses was all the same service that must be at least one year—But I submit whether the service spoken of by Baum in his testimony is not a different and additional service from & to that spoken of by Geo. Hilts & Andrew Piper—if so there would be positive testimony of service of at least one year and nine months besides the service spoken of in the comptrollers certificate.
The witnesses all speak positive of the service two Baum and Piper were Enlisted and Served a the same terms in the same company with Hilts—and Geo. Hilts gives reasons why he recollects and states that he often saw his brother in the service testified to by him.
It appears from the statements by the persons who served in the Revolution in this section of country that many times the Companies were divided and stationed at different places, so that many times they did not see the Captain during a season—a portion under the Captain and a Portion under the Lieut, and a portion under the Ensign and that many times the officer in the immediate Command was called Capt.—
Mrs. Susanna Hilts the Claimant would like to have the Claim re examined and if there are defects in any of the testimony to have them particularly noted to her that the same may be supplied.
I am respectfully your Obe’t Servant I. A. Rasbach
I.L. Edwards Esq
Herkimer Oct 22, 1841
Since the receipt of your letter of the date of Sept. 23, 1840 in relation to the claim of Susanna Hilts for pension in which you state that the witness must be mistaken as to the service of said John N. Hilts the husband of the claimant under Capt. Marks Damuth—I have received the affidavit of Conrad Widing in support of the claim, which affidavit is herein Evidenced and would have been forwarded before but was delayed as amount of first [?] to find the payroll of Capt. McKean and while have not yet been found the comptroller has been unable to find them in his office. And Giles F. Yates who has for several years been engaged in collecting all the documentary evidence of Revolutionary services has him applied to and he says the pay rolls of Capt. McKean cannot be found—Captain McKean was killed in battle and it is very probable that his pay rolls were not returned.—
The certificate of the comptroller heretofore was unlisted to the Pension Office show that said Hilts was allowed & had for services as private under Lt Damuth & Capt. Harter £6.18.6 1/3 and for services as Drummer £5.7.6 1/3—From the evidence of Frederick Baum, on file, it appears that the said Hilts must have served as drummer in 1779 over nine months for he Baum says that he himself served 9 months that year in the same company with Hilts. That said Hilts was in service in the company when he Baum entered and remained and continued in service when Baum left—George Hilts the brother of said John in his affidavit also on file, testifies that in the fall of 1778, the said John Enlisted to service as drummer for one year and that he served the said time—Andrew Piper also testifies to the first of his Enlistment and service, and the affidavit of Conrad Widrig herein Enclosed also shows that said Hilts must have served in 1789 [1779?] over 9 months—and take them all together it does appear that there could hardly be a doubt but that he must have served certainly over 9 months under that Enlistment and that he then served one Year—The witnesses all substantiate the service. Although there is some little difference as to the officers, which is caused by the fact that the company under Capt. McKean was divided and stationed in different places, and consequently the whole company was not at all times under his immediate Command but the different divisions thereof were under the Command of the Lieutenants or Ensign, and they were usually called captains which appears evident from the fast that Lt, Damuth was generally and is now generally called Capt Damuth—Now Mr. Baum testifies the said service of over 9 months of said Hilts as drummer was under Capt. McKean. Mr. Widrig testifies to the same service and gives some minute circumstances and says also that Capt. McKean was occasionally there (that is at Fort Dayton) where and in the vicinity of which place the service was performed—so that from the whole it ‘A’ until seen that the evidence would the full belief that said Hilts must have served one year as drummer besides the evidence contained in certificate of the Comptroller hereto sent and on file.
It is alleged that he served also in 1777 & 1778 but as no evidence has as yet been found to substantiate them is designed to leave that with the hope that the service before named is fully substantiated.
I am Sir very respectfully Your Obe’t. Serv’t John A. Rasbach
Hon. I.L. Edwards, Comp. of Pensions.