Pension Application for Niel McNiel or McNeil or McNeal
Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress, passed June 7, 1832.
State of New York
Herkimer County SS.
On this tenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two, personally appeared in Open Court, before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Herkimer, now sitting, Neil McNeil a resident of the town of Danube in the County of Herkimer, in the State of New York, aged seventy two years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.
That in the early part of the month of June 1776, this deponent was appointed first Lieutenant in a company commanded by Capt. Samuel Hodge of Little White Creek in the Count of Albany, in Col. Yates Regiment of Infantry of the Militia of the State of New York; that this Deponent was appointed by the Committee of Safety for the town of Schaticoke in the County of Albany in the State of New York, that at the time of his appointment as aforesaid was a resident of said town, that this Deponent and the whole company volunteered their services for the term of five months, and the term of service expired on the first day of December of that years—that the company was at Fort Edward and Deponent who had command of the company discharged them there on that day; that this deponent does not recollect of having received a commission but the chairman of the Committee Samuel Rowland Esqr gave this Deponent a Warrant or Certificate of said appointment, and he was sworn in before Tice Fisher Esqr of the City of Albany, who was duly qualified as this Deponent was informed to administer said oath—that this Deponent retained said warrant for a number of years but the same was destroyed when this Deponent’s House was burned on the tenth day of March 1812 or 1813 but of which of these years this Deponent does not recollect—That during said Term he was not engaged in any Battle, that they were employed most of the time on fatigue at Fort Ann in building and repairing said Fort, drawing in and saving up lumber & other services of the like nature—and was also at Fort Edward during a part of the above time, and the company done but little duty except to mount guard.—
And this deponent further says, that in the month of June or May, but which of these months he is not positive in the year 1779, Deponent was elected captain of a company in Col. Stephen S. Schuyler’s Regiment of Infantry of the Militia of the State of New York, that this Deponent then resided at the Manor of Rensselaer in the County of Rensselaer in the State of New York, that this deponent was sworn in before said Tice Fisher Esqr of Albany, and duly commissioned as such Captain under the Seal of the State of New York, and signed by George Clinton, then Governor of said State—that this Deponent had command of said Company two years, nine months and five days when this Deponent removed to the town of Pittstown in said County of Rensselaer, out of the beat of his Regiment—That while this Deponent had command of said company Lt. Col. Henry VanRensselaer marched up the Mohawk River as far as Fort Herkimer or Fort Schuyler, that Deponent and his company were left below at Fort House & is not certain the distance he (VanRensselaer) came up the River. That Deponent was absent on this excursion nearly two months, and he thinks about one month and three weeks, that while they were on this expedition they had two or three slight engagements with the enemy who were on their retreat—That this Deponent was also out twice to Schenectady when that place was threatened by the Indians, but did not spend many days at either of these times—that the company was called out over to Saratoga and over to Fort Ann but were only absent a short time—that the company during the time Deponent was Captain done duty at Company Parades and Muster of the Regiment—That this Deponent removed to Danube in the present County of Herkimer about thirty years ago—that he brought his certificate as Lieut & his Capts Commission with him—that in 1812 or 1813 his house was burned as above set forth & his commission certificate & most of his household stuff destroyed.
And to the several interrogatories of the Court, this Deponent answering says--:
That this Deponent was born in the town of McRishay in the County of Autrim in the Kingdom of Ireland, in the year 1760, as he calculates, from his age, on the 18th of April. That this Deponent’s book which contained the record of his age was destroyed when his house was burned—
That this Deponent resided in Pittstown in the then County of Albany now Rensselaer when he entered the Service—Since the Revolutionary War he resided at Pittstown about nineteen years and he has lived in Minden now Danube about thirty years & he still resides there—That Deponent was a Volunteer—That Deponent was Capt. Darrow, Lieut Frey of the Artillery—Col. McKinister of the nine months service with Genl. Arnold – Genl. Schuyler & some others—
Deponent never received any discharge as he was an officer.
That this Deponent has John Herkimer, Jacob Wilcox & others who can testify to his character for truth & veracity--& their belief of his serivcs. (Signed in a shaky illegible script) Niel McNeil
Sworn in Open Court this 10th day of Oct. 1832. F. E. Spinner Dept. Clerk
25th Congress 2d Session.
Ho. Of Reps.
Rep. No. 154
Neil McNeil (To accompany bill H.R. no. 179)
December 22, 1837.
Mr. Morgan, from the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, made the following REPORT:
The Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, to which was referred the petition of Neil McNeil, report:
That Neil McNeil, of the county of Herkimer, in the State of New York, the petitioner, aged seventy-two years in October, 1832, was in Jun, 1776 appointed first lieutenant in a company commanded by Captain Samuel Hodge, of Albany, in Colonel Yeates’s regiment of infantry of the militia of the State of New York, by the committee of safety for the town of Schaticoke, in the then county of Albany. That petitioner and the whole company volunteered their services for the term of five months; that this term of service expired on the 1st day of December of that year; that the company were at Fort Edward; and the petitioner, who had command of the company, discharge them on that day. Petitioner does not recollect of having received a commission; but the chairman of the committee of safety, Samuel Rowland, Esq., gave petitioner a warrant or certificate of his appointment, and he was sworn in by Tice Fisher, Esq., of the city of Albany, who was duly qualified, as petitioner was informed, to administer said oath. That petitioner retained said warrant for a number of years; but that it was destroyed on the 10th day of March 1812, in the house of petitioner, which was, at that time, destroyed by fire.
That he was employed in building and repairing Fort Ann, and in drawing and sawing up lumber, and other services of the like nature.
The petitioner further says, that in May or June, 1779, he was elected captain of a company of infantry in Stephen S. Schuyler’s regiment of infantry of the militia of the State of Ne York, and duly commissioned as such captain under the seal of the State of New York, and signed by George Clinton, then Governor of said State. That the petitioner had command of said company two years nine months and five days; that whilst the petitioner commanded the said company, Lieutenant Colonel Henry VanRensselaer marched up the Mohawk river as far as Forts Schuyler and Herkimer.
The petitioner was absent in this expedition nearly two months nearly two months, and, during this tour of service, was in two actions with the enemy, who were on the retreat. He was also out on several short tours of service at Palmerton and St. Croix; that he was also out, during the time of his holding the captain’s commission, twice: at Schenectady, when that place was threatened by the Indians, at one time, one month and fourteen days; and at another, at least fourteen days. The his whole service as a lieutenant was five months, and as a captain four months and eighteen days.
That during the time of holding said commission, he was a member of a court-martial which convened at Greenbush, and was also held at Lansingburg, at which the colonel presided, for the space of three weeks at Greenbush, and two at Lansingburg.
That his commission as captain was also consumed by fire at time the time his house was burnt, in 1812.
Proof of Service.
Several affidavits have been submitted to the committee, all of which are property authenticated, and the deponents certified to be men of good character, and entitled to full credit.
A certificate from the Secretary of State of the State of New York, showing that on the 20th day of February, 1776, Stephen S. Schuyler was appointed colonel of a regiment of militia, in the county of Albany; and Henry VanRensselaer, on the same day, was appointed lieutenant colonel of the same regiment; and the officers of seven companies in the said regiment were also appointed on the same day. On the 28th of May, 1778, the said colonel and lieutenant colonel were reappointed in the said regiment, and many of the olds subaltern officers also. That on the 1st day of July, 1780, the said Stephen S. Schuyler tendered his resignation, which was accepted, but no one was appointed in his place; so that Lieutenant Colonel Henry Van Rensselaer was the commandant of the regiment, and continued so until the end of the war.
The certificate further states, that on a careful examination of the records in the office relating to the appointments of militia officers by the provincial Congress and the council of appointment, no record could be found of the appointment of Neil McNeil as a lieutenant or captain in the said regiment of militia, or any other.
Adam Lohnis, aged 81, deposes that he was in the service during the recolutionary war, in a company of militia commanded by Neil McNeil, now of the county of Herkimer, in a regiment commanded by Henry VanRensselaer. That deponent was an ensign in the same company, and at the same time Neil McNeil was captain. That said Neil McNeil continued in the command of said company, from the time of his appointment, in the month of May or June, 1779, until he removed from the place of his residence, which was about two years after he received his appointment of captain. Witness recollects that Neil McNeil performed military service at different times, and deponent with him marched up the Mohawk river as far as Fort Herkimer, in the present county of Herkimer. That they were then stationed at a fort, or block-house, in the present county of Montgomery, three or four weeks. That they were out on this expedition seven or eight weeks. That said Neil McNeil was also out with his company in the actions at Schenectady, and also at Saratoga, Fort George, Fort Ann, and Fort Edward, a different times; but the length of period of each service deponent cannot recollect. That he was detached from the company several times as a scout, and was absent several days. That the deponent was duly commissioned as an ensign in said company, and said Neil McNeil was also commissioned as a captain at the same time, and sworn into office as such captain. That deponent knows that said Neil McNeil did actual duty as such captain for about the term of two years.
Deponent further states that he now receives a pension under the act of June, 1832, as such ensign, for services rendered in said Neil McNeil’s company.
Abraham Roberts, also a revolutionary soldier, aged 80, deposes, that he is well acquainted with the petitioner, Neil McNeil, and knew him well during the revolutionary war. That he knows he was duly appointed and commissioned as a captain under Colonel Schuyler, and saw him take the oath required of captains to take on entering the service. That deponent was also commissioned a lieutenant under said Neil McNeil, and served under him in his company. That he took the oath of office at the same time that said Neil McNeil too the same, and served with him.
Charles Pomeroy deposes, that prior to the burning of petitioner’s house, Neil McNeil showed him a captain’s commission, which he held during the late war. That said commission had a wax seal, with a red riband attached, which he believes was the seal of the State. He is certain it was a captain’s commission; but the date, or regiment, he does not remember. That Neil McNeil’s house was burnt, and everything in it, in March 1810; and that he resided about two miles from the house of said Neil McNeil at the time it was burnt.
A copy of the deposition of Cornelius Francisco which give a more detailed account of the services of the said Neil McNeil, is annexed.
State of New York, Herkimer county, SS:
Cornelius, of the town of Frankfort, in the said county of Herkimer, aged nearly seventy-seven years, being duly sworn, doth depose and say: That he is acquainted with Neil McNeil, of the town of Danube, an applicant for a pension under the act of June, 1832; and that he was acquainted with the said Neil McNeil in the early part of the revolutionary war; that in the fore part of June, 1776, the said Neil McNeil, being a resident of the town of Pittstown, in the county of Rensselaer, volunteered for five months, and went to Fort Edward, and that he acted as a lieutenant; that deponent saw the said Neil McNeil several times while he was out on this tour of service at Fort Edward; that deponent was out at the same time at Fort Edwards, but belonged to another regiment; that, according to deponent’s best recollection, the said McNeil must have served out the said five months; that deponent, in the summer of 1777, saw the said Neil McNeil at the Halfway brook, between Forts George and Edward, while the Americans were retreating before Burgoyne, and that the said Neil McNeil was then in the service; that deponent, afterwards, in 1780 or 1781, saw the said Neil McNeil at Fort Edward, and that he then served as a captain, he having a company; but deponent does not remember who commanded the regiment, deponent having at that time been in another regiment, which was out, and which was commanded by Colonel Yates; that deponent was out about three weeks on this tour of service, but he is unable to say how long the said Neil McNeil was out; that deponent saw him every day while deponent was out on said tour of service at Fort Edward; that deponent remembers one Thomas Wager, who was a private in said Neil McNeil’s company. And deponent further saith, that the said Neil McNeil belonged to the regiment of militia commanded by Colonel Knickerbocker, at the time he went out as a volunteer lieutenant for five months, as before stated; but that the said regiment did not go out at this time, but only those who volunteered. CORNELIUS FRANCISCO.
Sworn this 19th day of November, 1836, before me, JOHN DODGE, Commissioner.
I certify that I am acquainted with Cornelius Francisco, who has made the foregoing affidavit, and, for aught I know, he is a man of truth. JOHN DODGE.
I, John B. Dygert, one of the judges of the court of common pleas of the country of Herkimer, do certify, that I am well acquainted with Cornelius Francisco, who has made the foregoing affidavit, and that full credit is due to his deposition. Dated November 21st, 1836. JOHN B. Dygert.
State of New York
Herkimer county, SS:
I, John Dygert, clerk of said county, do certify that John Dodge, before whom the foregoing affidavit of Cornelius Francisco was sworn, and by whom the foregoing certificate was made, was, on the day of the date thereof, a commissioner of deeds, &c. in and for said county, duly commissioned and qualified; and that I am well acquainted with his hand-writing, and verily believe the signature of “John Dodge,” subscribed to the said affidavit and certificate, is genuine.
I also certify, that John B. Dygert, by whom the foregoing certificate was made, was, on the day of the date thereof, a judge of the Herkimer county courts for said county, duly elected and qualified; and that I am well acquainted with his handwriting, and verily believe the signature of “John B. Dygert”, subscribed to the said certificate, is genuine.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal [L.S.] of said county, this 22d day of November, A.D. 1836, by A. MONSON, Deputy Clerk, for JOHN DYGERT, Clerk.
Christopher Norton, another witness, deposes in substance to the same facts. The difficulty in granting a pension to the petitioner, as an officer, for the services performed by him in the capacity of lieutenant and captain, seems to have originated in consequence of his name not being found on the rolls of the State troops of New York. It seems that the Commissioner of Pensions was clear that the petitioner was entitled to a pension, but doubted whether, under the peculiar circumstances, he ought to be paid as an officer. The committee are of opinion that the petitioner has clearly made out service, in the whole to the amount of nine months and eighteen days; and, as there may be some doubt whether he ought to be paid as an officer, they think that he should, at any rate, be put upon the pension list for nine months and eighteen days’ service as a private, and have reported a bill accordingly.
25th Congress 2d Session.
December 22, 1837
Read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow.
Mr. Morgan, from the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, reported the following bill:
An Act granting a pension to Niel McNiel. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representative of the United States of American in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby authorized and required to place the name of Niel McNiel, of the county of Herkimer, in the State of New York, upon the list of revolutionary pensioners, and to pay him the sum of thirty-one dollars and ninety-seven cents per annum, commencing on the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and thirty-one, and to continue during his natural life.
[In handwriting] Approved, June 28th 1838. A true copy compared with the roll in this office. Dept. of State, June 30th 1838. A. Vail Chief Clerk.
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