Revolutionary War Pension Application
Florida, Montgomery County NY
Contributed by James F. Morrison and Transcribed by Jeanette Shiel.
[Note: the text has been reformatted for ease in online reading.]
Auriesville, N. Y. 19 Oct 1835 J. L. Edwards, Esq. In your letter of the 24th May 1834 reference to the claim of Daniel McGraw for a pension was duly rec'd and reviewed in consequence of the ill health of the applicant and his inability to call and see me on the subject - your answers to state in your letter among other things as follows.
The claim of Daniel McGraw has been reviewed and suspended. The minute specification of so many terms of service (very few of which exceeded 10 days.) and would appear could not have been made by the best force of memory and if he was inabled to make it from the memorandum of a diary. The original "should be furnished."
Mr. McGraw has called at my office assured me then that he kept no diary of his services during the war and
that he made up his account by the forces of memory and committed it to paper on or about the time he made
the application to me to assist him in proving a Pension. That paper I now enclose to you. It carries evident
marks that McGraw is no scholar and his interventions and addition which appear in a different hand writing were
made by myself upon interrogations put to McGraw at the time I drafted his declaration. It was the memoranda by
which I wasinabled to state his case. I am sorry to say that your letter seems to reflect upon McGraw for being
too specific and minute in detailing his several services, whatever of censure may be made on that account,
is entirely attributable to myself. For I informed him that unless he was enable to make a clear and definite
statement, his application would be refused, That I had been previously instructed from the War Department
and under your own signature in the application of Peter Quakenboss that specification, was essential to a
favorable [ ]. Your letter to me of the 3rd of October 1833 in reference to the rejection of Peter I.
Quackenboss' claim amongst others things as follows: "It is indisputable that the character of each item of
service should be distinctly recited. And the period, Term and grade of each Tour, with names of Officers
and should be set forth in precise Language." Mr. Quackenboss claim was rejected because he could not remember
the presence of officers and make a perfect and full statement of the matter required by the department.
His loss of memory ensuing from age, and general debility, formed no apology in his case. Now it would seem
objectionable, that the department should exault Terms of so rigorous a character that when complied with,
doubts should be raised as to the veracity of the applicant. Daniel McGraw is a man of some property and fair
character and has [delayed] his application to first ascertain, how others succeeded. And his claim stands
on as fair a footing as the numerous loss of pensioner in this part of the County who are now receiving
regular pay from the Government. His Brother John McGraw performed his like services and is duly receiving
his pension. I am at a loss what further steps to take to meet the needs of the War Department. I should be
happy to receive further instruction in Daniel McGraw's case, if it would in any manner tend to further his
claim. I have not in my possession the various notes needed and regulations published by the War Department
in defense to Pensioner and would be glad to covenant that you would enclose me a full set together with such
further instructions be made and deemed proper in relation to Daniel McGraw's Claim.
State of New York}
That in the spring of the year 1776 this deponent was drafted from said Company and marched to Sacandaga and was first under the command of Col. Frederick Tinker and was employed in building a Block House at Sacandaga and Served there ten days and was then discharged: That in the fall of the year 1776 the deponent was drafted and marched to the Block House at Sacandaga and was placed on Guard under the command of Captain Walter Vrooman and served at that time twenty days. That sometime in the year 1776 or in the Spring of 1777 this deponent was drafted and went to Tribes Hill and stationed on Guard to watch the Tories and Indians, and went out on scouting parties for the same purpose under the command of Captain Pettingall and was in service at that time eight days and was then discharged. The deponent in the 1777 in the fall of the year was ordered out under the command of Captain Snook who had succeeded to the command of the Company formerly commanded by Captain Pettingall, he having been killed in the Oriskany Battle and marched to Ballstown in the County of Saratoga and took thirty Tories: one of the Tories he recollects had been accidentally shot through his thigh by some of their own men; The deponent served in that time ten days and returned home and was discharged. That in the latter part of the year 1777 he was drafted from Captain Snook's Company and stationed at Fort Johnson below Tribes Hill under the command of Captain Mabee; Lieutenant McMasters was also an officer under Captain Mabee; and his forces were placed on Guard waiting Tories and Indians, and the deponent served eight days and was then discharged. That sometime in the Fall of 1777 the deponent was drafted from Captain Snook's Company and stationed at the Stone House near Fort Hunter under the command of Lieutenant Benjamin Newkirk on Guard and continued there six days and was then discharged. That in the same Fall of 1777 the deponent was drafted from Captain Snook's Company and placed on Guard on Switser Hill at the House of one John Kitts under the command of Captain Snook to watch the movements of the British and Tories and continued there eight days in service and then discharged. That in the same Fall of the year 1777 this deponent was drafted from Captain Snook's Company and stationed on Guard at the house of Ephraim Wempler in Florida about two miles below Fort Hunter on the Mohawk River under the command of Ensign Van Horne and continued in service four days and then discharged. That in the year 1777 in the fore part of the month of September this deponent was drafted from Captain Snook's Company and stationed at Stillwater in the county of Saratoga under the command of Col. Veeder and Major Newkirk previous to the surrender of General Burgoyne. The American Army lay at Bemis Heights and this deponent served at that time thirty days and was ordered back to Montgomery County some few days previous to the Battle of Stillwater on account of some false alarms in Montgomery. That some few days after this deponent had returned to Montgomery he heard of the Surrender of Burgoyne and soon returned to the British Camp on a press made for Teams to transport the British prisoners and Baggage to Albany. And this deponent on that occasion volunteered, furnished himself with horses and waggon and spent fourteen days in transporting British prisoners and baggage from Burgoyne's Camp to Albany.
That in the Fall of the year 1778 this deponent was drafted from Captain Snook's Company and placed under the command of Captain Snook at the House of Yellis Fonda of Caghnawaga on Guard to the watch the movements of the Enemy and continued in service six days and discharged and in the same Fall 1778 this deponent was again drafted and stationed at Veeders Mills near Caghnawaga under the command of Captain Snook to prevent the enemy from burning the mill, which was the principle mill for supplying the American Army at that place with flour and served there eight days. That late in the Fall of the year 1778 this deponent was drafted from said Company and stationed at the Block House in Sacondaga on Guard twenty days. John Wemple was Lieutenant and Conradt Steene was Ensign and was then discharged. That some time in the year 1778 he cannot relate the particular time this deponent was ordered out by Captain Snook with others of his Company and went to Curry Fly now called Duanesburgh in Schenectady County to take some Tories who were lurking about at that place as spies. This deponent was about four days in the service. That in the year 1778 the precise time does not remember this deponent was ordered out by Col. Veeder to go on a scouting party through Stone Arabia in Palatine to Canajohary and [Tarr...] at the House of one Rooff a number of days; the party was only three in number and had no commanding officer. This deponent served eight days at this time. That in the same year this deponent was out on a scouting party to the North River North of Sacondaga by Col. Veeder and was absent eight days and then returned to Johnstown and found the Company of Captain Snook who then went off with his Company.
That in the year 1778 about the commencement of the wheat harvest this deponent was ordered out by Captain Snook with a part of his Company and marched up the Mohawk River near the place called the Nose at the House of Abraham Yates and was stationed there on Guard, and sent out on scouting parties at this time he served eight days. That during the same year the particular time he cannot remember he was ordered out by Captain Snook and marched to Currytown in company with the Captain and stationed on Guard at the house of one Lewis and continued in that service seven days and was then discharged. And very soon thereafter this deponent was again ordered out by Captain Snook and marched up the Mohawk River to the house of one Robert Yates and stationed on Guard under the command of his Captain for the term of six days and from thence he was ordered by his Captain to go through Currytown and turned west about six or eight miles to the House of one Hartman. The place was then called Hartmans Burruh and lay there three days on Guard. From there he went by the order of his Captain up the Mohawk River as far as Fall Hill at the house of Warner Dygart and lay there on Guard four days under the command of Captain Snook and was discharged and returned home. That during the year 1778 this deponent was ordered out by Captain Snook and stationed at the house of one Matt Van Alstine near Canajoharie on Guard under the command of his Captain for the term of at least forty days; that he was also stationed in like manner under the command of his Captain at the house of Gotia Van Alstine at Canajoharie Village on Guard for the space of thirty days.
That in the year 1779 this deponent was ordered under the command of Captain Snook and marched up the Mohawk River to Fort Plain and stationed there on Guard thirty days; during the same year he was drafted and stationed at Fort Plank under Captain Snook on Guard thirteen days; He was also drafted and stationed at Fort Windecker in the year last aforesaid under the command of Captain Snook on Guard four days on alarm. In the same year 1779 this deponent was drafted from said Company and marched to Fort Herkimer under the command of Captain Snook and served there on Guard ten days. This deponent then marched from Fort Herkimer in the Company of Captain Snook, the whole of the American forces were there under the command of George Clinton who had come from Albany and pursued on west in pursuit of Sir John Johnson and Col. Butler, whom it was then supposed were seven or eight hundred strong; the march was preferably through the woods, and the British took two companies of Rangers belonging to the Americans at the time this deponent served thirteen days and then returned home. That some time in the year 1779 he cannot state the exact time this deponent was drafted to go to Oneida to build a fort and went on as far as Connoleys Tavern when the Company was to send of [ ] under under Captain Robert Yates who did not arrive and the expedition was given up and this deponent returned home. He served five days at this time.
That in the winter 1777 this deponent was ordered out by Captain Snook to meet Col. Fishers with a view to draft a corps of men to go to Ticonderoga. This deponent met Col. Fishers and a body of men was raised as volunteers and ordered to Ticonderoga but this deponent after the Company was formed by permission returned home having served at this time six days. That in the year 1778 this deponent was ordered out by Captain Snook and marched with others of the Company up the Mohawk River and crossed below Fort Plain on the North side of the Mohawk River and stationed at the house of one Garret Walradt on Guard under the command of Captain Snook. This deponent served seven days was then discharged.
That in the latter part of the year 1779 or 1780 cannot say which, this deponent was ordered out by Captain Snook and marched up the Mohawk and crossed on the North side and stationed at a place called Foxes Creek where one Charles Newkirk resides and stationed on Guard three days under command of Captain Snook and then discharged. That in the year 1781 at the time Warrensbush was burnt now called [line cut off]
joined Captain French's Company and they marched for Johnstown and found Col. Willet's forces at Johnstown and arrived there just as the Battle was over between the British and American forces. Willet commanded the American and Major Ross the British, at this time this deponent served four days. That in the year 1780 in the month of May when the village of Caghnawaga was burnt by the British this deponent volunteered and went to Johnstown and joined the forces commanded under Major Newkirk, and Sir John Johnson commanded the British. The Americans found themselves too weak and made no attack on the British, the deponent served four days and was dismissed.
In the year 1778 Captain Snook's Company was ordered out and marched to Stone Arabia on an alarm at that place. This deponent believes that Col. Veeder commanded the American at this time. This deponent served six days and was discharged.
That in the 1780 Captain Snook's Company was ordered to the German Flats and stationed on Guard and deponent served another twelve days. He believes that Col. Dayton had the command to the best of his recollection. From the German Flats they were ordered as far back as fort Dayton and lay there tendays under the command of Col. Dayton and dismissed. That in the year 1778 this deponent was ordered out with Captain Snook's Company and marched to Stone Arabia a second time on an alarm and placed on Guard and served eight days under the command of Col. Veeder. That in the same year Captain Snook's Company was ordered out a third time on an alarm and stationed in Stone Arabia at the house of one Harvey Cook in Stone Arabia under the command of Col. Veeder. This deponent served at the time nine days and was discharged.
That in the year 1777 in the latter part of the season after the Oriskany Battle this deponent was ordered out in Captain Snook's Company and stationed at Fort Hess in the town of Palatine four days. Captain Snook did not go at that time, and this deponent is unable to remember who commanded the Fort after serving four days this deponent was dismissed. That in the year 1779 a part of Captain Snook's Company including this deponent was drafted and stationed at the house of Andrew Wemple on Guard a little above Caghnawaga on the Johnstown Road and the forces were under the command of said Wemple then being a Captain. This deponent served at this time six days. That in the year 1781 this deponent was stationed at Fort Hunter near Schoharie Creek under the command of Captain Putman and this deponent then served on Guard six days and was dismissed. That during the year 1781 this deponent was sent on a scouting party by the order of Captain Snook in Warrens bush and went towards Schoharie and was absent in the service five days.
That in the year 1779 or 1780 cannot remember which, this deponent was ordered out and stationed at the House of Samuel Gardner on the Mohawk River in the town of Glen under the command of Captain Snook and served there on Guard three days. And by the same orders this deponent was stationed at the house of John Wemple near Caghnawa in Johnstown under the command of Captain Snook and served there four days and was then discharged.
That in the year 1781 this deponent was ordered out by his Captain and marched up the Mohawk River to Van Eps Mills on the south side of the Mohawk and stationed on Guard under the command of his Captain and served two days.
In the year 1778 this deponent was ordered out in Captain Snook's Company which was then commanded by him and marched to Bowman's Creek and stationed on Guard, served eight days and was dismissed. That in the same year 1778 this deponent volunteered and went to Johnstown and joined forces under the command of Major Newkirk. And then went back to Johnstown and took some Scotish forces and brought them into Johnstown - at that time he served five days and was discharged.
That in the year 1777 and 1778 this deponent has been drafted and has repeatedly served on Guard at the Picket Fort around the Johnstown Jail as much as seventy five days at the least. ut this deponent cannot with any accuracy detail in succession the events as the were in order took place; the services at the Johnstown Jail being so often repeated, and being similar in character, it is impossible to identify the several tours with more precision. That Captain Walter Vrooman commanded some part of the time at the same Fort; that Lieutenant Joseph [Prentiss?] also commanded a portion of the time; Captain Henry Snook commanded at other times and Jacob Simmons also.
And this deponent further alledges that in the year of 1778 this deponent volunteered with his team and took a load of beef from the City of Albany and delivered it at Fort Stanwix for the American Troops and after delivering the beef he carried and assisted in sawing timber to create Pickets around the Fort and then returned to Florida in this service he was employed seventeen days. In the fall of the year 1778 he also volunteered and drew a sack of Beef to Fort Dayton from Caughnawaga and was about five days - that the whole time this deponent served as before specified amounts to five hundred and five days according to his estimate of the same.
And this deponent says that he was born 23rd July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty four in the town of Florida in Montgomery County and had a record of his age in his family bible taken from his fathers' Family Bible which has been destroyed by fire. That he lived in the town of Florida when called into service; That after the war he continued to live in Florida for some time and from thence moved to the [ ] of Amsterdam in said County where he now resides. That he was drafted into the service, or ordered out by his Superior Officers part of the time and he states volunteered. That he recollects the names of General Fish, Col. Willet, General Gates and General Arnold or some after of the officers, who were occasionally among the American Troops. In the militia were Col. Frederick Fisher, Col. Volkert Veeder and Major Newkirk. This deponent never received a written discharge from his service. That he expects to prove some of the services by him rendered by John McGraw, Henry Snook Garret Newkirk, Thomas Harrison and Francis Putman who can testify to this deponent's character and of their belief of this deponent's services as a soldier of the Revolution.
This deponent hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares
that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the agency of any state -