Morrison's Pensions

Pension Application for Jeremiah Mason

War Department
Pension Office
Dec 12, 1832
            The papers transmitted by you in support of your claim to a pension under the act of 7 June 1832 have been examined.  In your declaration you allege that you enlisted in 1780 and served 2 ½ or 3 years in Col Willett’s regt, having previous to that time performed military service upon emergency.  The account of your age made you 13 in 1780.  (1) No boy at that age could perform military duty in the ranks and the regulations respecting enlistments forbid the reception of such.  Your claim is therefore rejected and your papers retained on file.
TO: Mr. Jeremiah Mason, Johnstown

State of New York
Montgomery County
            On the 21st day of September personally appeared in open court before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas now sitting Jeremiah Mason a resident in the Town of Johnstown and County of Montgomery and State of New York who aged 66 years the first day of May next, 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.
            The following named officers and the time he entered the service of the United States is hereby fully stated and set forth.
            That he entered the service in the year 1780 as was as he can recollect in the month of May the day he cannot state. 
            That he was enrolled in Captain Tierce’s Company. (2) The other officers of the company does not recollect.  That during the time he served, there were several field officers who had the command of the Regiment in which he was, to wit: Colonel Willett, Colonel Levingston, Colonel Deighton, some previous to his enrollment and some subsequent.
            That he resided at Johnstown during the whole term of the war, and previous to his being enrolled was called out frequently in case of emergency, and was out now & then during the whole time of the war until he was enrolled in the military in 1780. 
            That his parents resided in the Town of Johnstown and in the village, and that his father and brothers were also in the army. (3)
            That he was in the battle fought by Colonel Willett at the Johnson Hall in Johnstown and was one who helped bury the dead after the battle.  That he was in the regiment that lay at Johnstown from the Spring or month of May 1780 until.  [word is inserted but illegible?] that Major Ross was the British officer who commanded at Johnstown was the British side when Willett commanded and the battle fought.  (4) That he still remained as a soldier of the said battle until there was ended and he cannot tell how long it was after the battle he remained in the service but according to the best of his knowledge thinks that he was in the service, enrolled about two years and a half or three years, but cannot tell which, thinks it was not far from that aforesaid time.
            That during the aforesaid time he was frequently and out in scouting parties in search of Tories and Indians, who were probing around that place and destroying the inhabitants when and opportunity occurred.
            That he was stationed at Johnstown to defend &protect that place from the enemy.  That some time in the year 1781 or 1782 that news came of peace being had between British and our people but that it was not very certain, and that they continued in the service a long time after that on account of the Indians and Tories frequently returning and attacking the inhabitants.  That he volunteered when he was enrolled.
            That he continued under the captain in whose company he was enrolled until the following winter 1781, and then the company was commanded by another captain whose name he does not recollect.  That he was under the command of several officers whose names he does not recollect.  That he has no documentary evidence of his services.  That he was born as the thinks in the year 1765 or 1766, at the County of Summerset, New Jersey.  That he has no record of his age but kept by himself.  That he lived in the Town of Johnstown and County of Tryon (now Montgomery County). (5) That he has lived ever since that time in the said Town of Johnstown and County of Montgomery.  That he never received a discharge from his services.  I hereby relinquish every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declare that my name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.
Signed, Jeremiah Mason
            Subscribed & sworn the day & year [torn] written.
Geo. D. Ferguson, Clerk

Montgomery County SS
            William Wallace, (6) being duly sworn deposeth and saith, that he was an officer in the Army in the Revolutionary service or War, and that he belonged to the Regiment that was stationed at Johnstown, and that he was at or about that place during the Revolution or was part of the time and that Jeremiah Mason, who has subscribed & sworn to the above declaration, was a soldier in the Revolution and [belonged to Colonel Livingston’s Regiment a part of the time was crossed out] a militia man stationed at Johnstown.  And this deponent further saith, that he knows, that the said Jeremiah Mason was in the service at least two years & a half or three years as stated in his declaration he [?] and hereto annexed, and this deponent further saith that the said Jeremiah Mason, was frequently with this deponent on scouting parties.  And this deponent further saith that he was that the said Jeremiah was in the battle fought at Johnston Hall in Johnstown for he saw him in the battle and gave him orders.
Wm. Wallace
            Subscribed & sworn this day of September 1832 [21]
Geo. D. Ferguson, Clerk

End Notes
By James F. Morrison

  1. Although under the age to serve as a private there is evidence that Jeremiah served but he was no on any official record i.e. muster rolls, pay rolls, etc. as serving.  He therefore was not paid for his military service but would be considered a volunteer.  Regiment even from England, France and Germany used volunteers in their own armies who paid their own way while in the service.  In the Mohawk Valley the shortage of men to guard the forts and scout the Mohawk Valley for the enemy used young lads as so called, “volunteers or substitutes for older brothers and or father” to perform these duties.  It is possible that this was a very common practice in the Mohawk Valley.  So far I have over 2 dozen testimonies from pensioners and or rejected applicants for pensions.
  2. Captain Peter B. Tearce did not join Colonel Marinus Willett’s Regiment of New York State Levies until 1782.  He would have been about fifteen in 1781 but Jeremiah was not sure of the year he was born so he could have been 16.  Birthdays were not a big celebration or even celebrated in the 18th century.  A record of one’s birth was usually recorded in the family Bible and maybe a church baptismal record.  Many pensioners actually ripped from their family Bibles these records in support of their age, marriages, etc. for their pension claims.
  3. John Mason was in Captain Garret Putman’s Company in Colonel Marinus Willett’s and was wounded in the Battle of Johnstown, Isaac only 14 years of age also applied for a pension also was at the Battle of Johnstown and their father was Jeremiah who served as a private in Captain Jellis Fonda’s Company of EXEMPTS in Colonel Frederick Visscher’s Regiment of Tryon County Militia [Third Regiment].  Their brother-in-law William Scarborough [Anna was his wife] was also in Captain Putman’s Company and was killed at the Battle of Johnstown.
  4. The Battlel of Johnstown was fought on the 25th of October 1781.
  5. Tryon County was formed from Albany County in 1772.  Montgomery County was formed from Tryon County in 1784 and in 1838 Fulton County was formed from Montgomery County.
  6. William Wallace in 1781 was a Sergeant in Captain Jellis Fonda’s Company of Exempts in Colonel Visscher’s Regiment.  Several pensioners claim that Wallace was in charge of the “young boys” at the Battle of Johnstown.  Although Jeremiah and Isaac Mason were not allowed a pension because of being under age at the time of their service, they never the less were PATRIOTS!
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