Morrison's Pensions

Pension Application for Barent Becker

State of New York
Schoharie County
            On this fifth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty three, personally appeared in open court before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Schoharie in the state aforesaid, Barent Becker a resident of the Town of Middleburgh in the said County of Schoharie & State aforesaid, who being first duly sown according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.
            That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein after stated.(1)
            That in the year 1780 this deponent lived in the town of Schoharie & County of Albany now called the Town of Middleburgh situate in the County of Schoharie, that in the month of October of said year to wit 1780, (the particular day this deponent does not recollect), he this deponent volunteered as a militia man in the service of the United States & was stationed at the Middle Fort in the Town of Schoharie and County of Albany, since changed into the Town of Middleburgh & County of Schoharie.
            That this deponent as such volunteered and served under one Col. Peter Vrooman.
            That this deponent does not recollect the names of the under officers, that this deponent together with others, volunteered his services for the defense of said Middle Fort & to repel the attacks of one John Johnson (3) who with about eight hundred men was endeavoring to take & get possession of said Middle Fort.  That Col. Peter Vrooman succeeded one Major Woolsey(2) in the command of the militiaman stationed at said fort.
            That said Major Woolsey was about surrendering said Middle Fort into the hands of the British & Tories under command of said Johnson when the aforesaid Col. Peter Vrooman took command of the soldiers then stationed & defended said fort and prevented it from falling into the hands of the British.
            That this deponent is confident & therefore expressly declares that he served faithfully as such volunteer full two months being from the middle of October until the middle of December 1780.
            This deponent further declares that on the first of April 1781 he this deponent enlisted into the army of the Revolution for the period of nine months.  That he served principally in that part of the State in New York then called Schoharie in the County of Albany but since erected into the County of Schoharie.  That he served under one Captain Hale. (4)
            That said Captain Hale’s Company was stationed principally at the Middle Fort aforesaid.  That said Fort during the nine months service of this deponent was commanded by one Col. Peter Vrooman.  That during said term of service.  He this deponent was in the battle fought against the British and Indians near the head of the Delaware River.  That this deponent was under the command of Capt Hale (5) in said battle. That this deponent was one of a scouting party who surprised said party of Indians and Tories at a place then called Harpersfield.
            That there was a battle took place between the scouting party of which this deponent was one, & the Tories & Indians at said place.  That the party to which this deponent belonged as aforesaid, were repulsed with the loss of two men.  That said scouting party retreated untill they met Col. Peter Vrooman with his army.  That then the army under command of Col. Peter Vrooman advanced to the attack of said party of Indians & Tories but upon reaching the place then called Harpersfield near the head of the Delaware River, they discovered that said party of Indians & Tories had retreated & left that place.  That then Col. Peter Vrooman with the Soldiers under his command returned to the said Middle Fort.  That this deponent during said nine months service was frequently out as one of a scouting party sent out to discover the situation of the enemy forces.  That at the expiration of his said term of service to wit, the first of January 1782, he this deponent was honorably discharged but that his discharge is now lost and cannot be found.
            And this deponent further declares that in the month of May 1782 he this deponent was ordered out as a militiaman and served under Captain George Rytchmeyer & in Col. Peter Vrooman’s Regiment.
That this deponent was stationed the principal part of the time at the Middle Fort in Schoharie aforesaid.
That he frequently served as sentry at said Middle Fort & was frequently sent out in scouting parties in various parts of the counties of Tryon and Albany.
            And this deponent further declares that he faithfully served as such militiaman for the full period of seven months being from the first of May until the first of December 1782.
            And this deponent further declares in answer to the Interrogatories presented by the War Department that he was born in the Town of Schoharie & County of Albany.  Since changed into the Town of Middleburgh & County of Schoharie.
            That he was born about the year 1762 but he cannot state positively how old he is, but to the best of his information and belief he is now about 70 years of age.  That he has no record of his age and his parents have long been dead nor does he know of the existence of any church or other record of his age.
            And this deponent further declares that he is now infirm and in indigent circumstances; that he has for a long time been affected with a Rheumatic affliction, which has deprived him of the use of his limbs & entirely incapacitated him for any kind of labor, & this cut him off from his only source of support.
            That petitioner hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present & declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
John Gebhard Jr., Clerk
Signed by Barent, Becker

Barent Becker End Notes
By James F. Morrison

  1. I did not find any service for Barent in the Militia although he would have been 16 years of age in 1778.  Captain George Richtmyer was a Captain in Colonel Peter Vrooman’s Regiment of Albany County Militia [fifteenth].  Becker is often misspelled as Backer, Bicker and Baker.  It also is possible that Barent is a middle name used to distinguish him from another Becker who may have had the same first name.
  2. Major Melanchton Woolsey of Colonel Morris Graham’s Regiment of New York State Levies, 1780.
  3. Lt. Col. Sir John Johnson attacked the Schoharie Valley on the 17th of October 1780.
  4. Barent actually enlisted in Captain Benjamin Debois’ Company in Colonel Marinus Willett’s Regiment of New York state Levies.
  5. Captain Aaron Hale of Willett’s Regiment was in Command of the first skirmish or until Colonel Vrooman arrived on the scene.

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