Morrison's Pensions

Pension Application for Smith, John Conradt

Born in Germany May 1751 or 1752, came from Germany as a British Soldier, entered US service at Claverack, NY.  Resided in 1803, Sharon, Schoharie Co. NY.  He is claiming disability.

State of New York
County of Schoharie
            On this fifth day of July, one thousand eight hundred thirty three, personally appeared in Open Court before the Honorable William Beekman, William Mann, Thomas P. Danforth, Henry Shafer and Morris Judd, the Court of Common Pleas in and for said county now sitting, John Conradt Smith a resident of the Town of Sharon, County of Schoharie and the state aforesaid aged 80 or 81 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 7th 1832.
            That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated.

  1. Was born in Germany in May 1751 or 1752 is now 80 or 81 years of age.
  2. Has no record of his age.
  3. Came from Germany as a British soldier and landed at Quebec in the fall of 1776 – was placed under Gen. Burgoyne, and continued under his command in the route from Quebec by way of water and land to Saratoga, came by way of Fort Ann, Fort George &c was under Burgoyne, Gen, at the time of the Battle of Saratoga against the Americans after the battle and before he surrendered his army he deserted Burgoyne’s Army and fled to the Americans at Stillwater, a short distance.  This was about Oct in year 77.(1) Rec’d a pass then went to Kinderhook and Claverack, (2)until April in the year eighty [1781]then listed in the American service under Col. Marinus Willet in New York State troops and in the line of said state, for the term of nine months, was under different officers during this term his Lieutenant’s name was James Cannon (3) afterwards made his Captain. Marched from Claverack up the Mohawk River to Fort Plain, the regt was then stationed at different forts, such as Ft Herkimer, Ft Schuyler, Ft Plank, Ft Clide [Clyde]and other forts.  Continued at said forts until about June.

                 June ’80 [July 81], Alarm now being made, marched in the night to Sharon at that time called Rhinebeck or Dorlach, (4) County of Schoharie, had a battle in the morning with the the [sic] enemy and kept the ground then returned to Fort Plain carrying the wounded.  A young woman being scalped (by the savages) [Miss Milelr] died on the way, the companies was stationed as usual again, continued on guard at the above Oct 80 [81] named forts until Oct, then his company marched to Fort Balltown (5) near Schenectady then staied [stayed] until his Term expired and was discharged by word from said 9 months service.
            Jany ’81 [82] Before said 9 months were quite out, he listed again for the term of three years (now Jany eighty-one) had a furlough or about two months. 
            March 81 [82] went where he plased [pleased] until in March when said nine months was ended and the three years were began Lieut James Cannon (6) was made his Capt and he (John Conradt Smith) was made Orderly First Sergeant and served his three years as such sergeant. 
            May ’81 [82] About May he and his company marched to Schoharie then staid [stayed] on guard until fall about [about is crossed out] fall, Sept ’81 [82] about Sept then marched to Fort Plain on the Mohawk River again, staid [stayed] there drilling and fixing barracks &c until April or May in the year 82. [83]
            May ’82 Forgets what took place until Jany 83.
            Jan ’83 [Feb] Then went to a place called Swego [Owsego] (7) belonging to the British at that time, two regiments Col. Willett’s and a Rhode Island Regiment, [First Regiment], cannot remember the officers of Rhode Island Regt went in the winter he is positive.  Remembers he crossed the Oneida Lake at this time on the ice his officers did not get a chance at this time to accomplish their calculation, then came back to Fort Plain.
            July ’83 Staid (Stayed) there til about July, then went to Fort Stanwix, built a blockhouse then returned to Schenectady and there remained until he was honourably discharged which was he thinks about the 6th of Jany in the year 1784.
            Jany ’84 was discharged by Capt Tiers [Peter B. Tearce], discharged by word.  When discharged he then went to Fort Plain, lived there about 4 years then came to the Town of Sharon, County of Schoharie and has resided in the same place and on the same farm to the present date.  His Capt, James Cannon also settled in the Town of Cherry Valley within 10 miles and at the same time, his Capt. James Cannon died about two years past.  Remembers his Adjt. [Adjutant] Name was called Gillaus Funday [Jelles A. Fonda] (8) who served as such during his 3 years service above stated.  Saith further that he by reason of old age and the consequent loss of memory cannot swear more particulary in respect of his commanding officers, but that he is confident he served the terms above mentioned making in all three years and nine months, three years he served as Orderly 1st Sergeant (9) and nine months as a private in the New York State troops in the line of said state and for such service as orderly Sergeant on fist he claims a pension, says he was first sergeant as above intended
            He further saith he was pressed by the British Authority in Germany and taken by force and brought to this country, but cannot give a better account of the name of the officers who pressed him.
            Saith that he did herein and serve three years under the commission as Orderly Sergeant and that James Cannon above mentioned was the person who enlisted him and the same that gave him his, thinks, and is very positive he never had any written commission, but was commissioned by word and did serve as such officer as above stated.
            In answer to the 7th interrogatory, he saith he can mention a number of persons who he might procure to testify to his character as to truth and veracity and the belief as to his service and to common report, among whoever will be found this honour William Beekman, first Judge of Common Pleas in and for said County and also Henry Shafer, one of the Judges of same Courty and County, William Ferris Lemuel Cross, Andrew Loucks, Zachariath Keyes and might mention many more if necessary and he further said he hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity except the present and declares his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.
            Saith he knows of no documentary evidence (10) and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his services except Benjamin Buley and William Rhineheart whose affidavits are annexed and that there is no clergyman residing in his neighborhood who has resided there long enough to have sufficient acquaintance to testify to his character on the common report in respect of his services.
Signed with his mark (John Conradt Smith)
Subscribed and sworn in open court the day and year aforesaid, John Gebhard, Jr. Clerk

Endnotes by James F. Morrison

(1) This means between 7th Oct and the 17th Oct.
(2) The time period between Oct 1777 and April of 1781 is a blank in his lifetime.  He does not appear to have served in any of the local militia units during that time.
(3) Smith actually enlisted in Capt. Elihu Marchall’s Company for nine months and he was appointed corporal.  Payroll for Marchall’s Company shows John Conrat Smith had a certificate for £21..10..2 (about 3 months pay) due but had sold it to Abraham TenEyck (Pay Master of Willett’s Regt).  This was a common practice.  TenEyck most likely paid very little in hard money (coins) for the certificate.  TenEyck did not get paid until 28 of Oct 1785 for this certificate.
(4) New Dorlach now is present day Village of Sharon Springs and the Town of Sharon, Schoharie County.  The battle was fought on 10 July 1781.
(5) On 21 May 1781, Willett’s Regimental orders the following arrangement of officers were Capt Elihu Marshall, Lieut James Cannon, Lieut Peter Loop and Lieut John Lowe.  On 21 June John Lowe was transferred to Capt. Benjamin Debois’ Company as his two lieutenants have not joined his company.  Also the company was ordered to remain at Johnstown (Fort Johnstown).  Source: Colonel Marinus Willett’s Letter and Orderly Book Fort Rensselaer 1781 – Doc. No. 15705, New York State Library, Albany NY.
(6) Smith was enlisted for the 2 years service, on the 17th Dec. 1781 by James Cannon, Capt.
(7) Lt. Col. Comdt Marinus Willett had set out in mid-February 1783 with 500 men consisting of soldiers from his regiment and the First Rhode Island Continental Regt.  Many of the Tryon County Militia were along driving sleighs with provisions and troops.  This attempt to take Fort Oswego was ambitious for that time of year which contributed to the failure of this expedition.
(8) Jellis A. Fonda was Lt & Adjt in 1781 and until November 1782 when he was promoted captain to replace Captain Abner French who retired from the service.  Lt. Pliney Moor was promoted to adjt in Fonda’s place.
(9) The first sergeant was always the orderly sergeant.  He had to be able to read and write as one of his jobs was to report to the adjt every night to copy down the daily orders (usually for the next day) and work details.  He was to keep the orders and other records for his particular company.  A sergeant or corporal is a non-commissioned officer and therefore he would not receive a written commission.
(10) Other records of service found in the National Archives, Washington DC are as follows.—
Pay abstract of a Regiment of New York State troops in the service of the United States Commanded by Colonel Marinus Willett for the year 1783.
Captain James Cannon’s Company

Name and Rank
John C. Smith Sergt

Sums Received

Mo  Ds

Balance Due
£ 80..0.0

Amt of Pay

A Return of Recruits Inlisted in pursuance of two Acts of the Legislature of the State of New York for raising Troops on Bounties of Unappropriated Lands passed the 10 March 1781 & the 23 or March 1782.
When enlisted                By Whom                      Name                Term
17 Decr 81                    Capt Cannon                  Coenradt Smith    (blank or torn)
3 others from Marshall’s Company were enlisted on the same day by Capt. Cannon.  They were, Jacob Stopplebene, Henry Speed and John Saunders.
Both records can be found on Revolutionary War Rolls, series M246, Roll 78.
16th August 1832.
            I, Zachariah Keyes of the Town of Cherry Valley do certify that I am 57 [?blotted] years of age and have been acquainted with James Cannon Captain so called in this place about 35 years past, said Capt. Cannon died about 3 years past, have no doubt but the same Capt. as the one John C. Smith who has sworn to the above declaration was a sergeant under—And I further state, that about sixteen or seventeen years past I lived within two miles of John C. Smith, at the same time, Col. Marinus Willett called at my house (Publick Inn) and then made enquiries about some of his old soldiers who had been with Burgoyne and others, I informed him of a number among the rest John C. Smith was mentioned he Imediately Replied that J.C. Smith was one of his under officers, wished him to be sent for.  I immediately feched [fetched] him (J.C. Smith to my house and seen them meet together heard them discourse of the Battle of Rhinebeck now Sharon and their troubles during the war, so as that I was fully satisfied that they had served together a Considerable length of time in the Revolution.  The above according to best of my memory.
(Signed) Zachariah Keyes
            I, Silvanus Parkinson one of the Justice of the Peace in and for the [blotted] do certify that Zachariah Keyes subscribed [?]  [?] and  [?]  [?]  [?]  [?]  [?]  [?] [?and] the whole line is blotted.  He is a man of truth and veracity.  Dated this 16th Augt 1832.
(Signed) Silvanus Parkinson

State of New York
County of Schoharie SS
            Adam Empie a resident of the County of Schoharie and state aforesaid aged [?]2 years, who being duly sworn deposeth and saith he has been acquainted with John Conradt Smith who has made oath to the within application about 30 years last past and knows him to be a man of truth and veracity and has ever had the character of an honest man generally and that it has been commonly reported in this place that he was a Revolutionary Soldier, and that he [?] in that opinion
            Dated the fifth July 1833
(Signed) Adam Empie
            Sworn in Open Court the day and year aforesaid.  John Gehard Jr. Clk

State of New York
County of Schoharie
            William Rhinehart of the Town of Sharon, County of Schoharie being duly sworn according to law before Mr. Silvanus Parkinson one of the Justices of the Peace in and for County of Schoharie, deposeth and saith that he is about 68 years of age.  Saith he was acquainted with John C. Smith who has subscribed and sworn to the above Declaration, during the last part of the war and that the said J.C. Smith was Orderly Sergt in Capt. James Cannons Company in Coll Marinus Willetts Regiment of New York State Troops and that he knows that the said JC Smith did serve as such Orderly Sergt nearly three years previous to the Declaration of Peace or previous to his discharge.
(Signed with his mark) William Rhinehart
            I certify that William Rhinehart subscribed his name by his mark and made oath to the above before me this 17th Augst 1832.  I now certify that after making enquery I am satisfied that his is a man of truth as a witness, did not know him at the above date.
Silvanus Parkinson, Justice

            Isaac Hutton of the Town of Sharon do certify that I am acquainted with William Rhinehart who has subscribed and made oath to the above declaration and say I think he is a man entitled to the character of truth and veracity and out to be believed when under oath.
(Signed) Isaac Hutton
            I Silvanus Parkinson [certify crossed out] one of the Justices of the Peace in and for the County of Schoharie do certify that Isaac Hutton is a man of truth and veracity and that he subscribed his name and made oath to the above certificate before me the 17th Augt 1832.
(Signed) Silvanus Parkinson, Justice

State of New York
Schoharie County SS
            Benjamin Buley of the Town of Marbletown Ulster County being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith that he is 67 years fo age and that he [?] acquainted with John C. Smith who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration at Fort Plain on the Mohawk River at which time he was then Orderly Ser’t under Capt. James Cannon in Coll Marinus Willetts Regiment of New York State Troops [I further certify that I served – crossed out] and further certifies that he served under said John C. Smith in the same company tow years and more and was present at Schenectady at the time of his discharge, and knows that said Smith and himself was discharge on the same day by word of mouth.
(Signed) Benjamin Buley
            I Silvanus Parkinson one of the Justices of the Peace in and for the County of Schoharie do certify that Benjamin Buley subscribed his name by making the two  first letters and made oath to the above declaration before me the 17th Augt 1832.
(Signed) Silvanus Parkinson, Justic

Depositions from Zacheriah Hayes, Adam Empie, William Rhineheart, Benjamin Buley, Sibilius Parkmans, Abraham G. Hardenbergh , William Beekman (Print these to read)

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