Pension Application for John Backus
In order to obtain the benefit of the 3d Section of the Act of Congress of the 4th July 1836.
State of New York
Montgomery County SS
On the 2nd day of February 1838 Personally appeared before me David F. Sacia a Judge of Montgomery County Courts being a court of record, Magdelena Backur, Widow of John Backus dec’d, a resident of the Town of Starks, County of Herkimer, and State aforesaid, aged Eighty two years past who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on her oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the Provision made by the Act of Congress, passed July 4th 1836. That she is the Widow of John Backus dec’d who was a private soldier in the Militia.
Claiment further states that her husband did belong to the Company of Militia commanded By Capt Christop’r W. Fox, in the Regiment Commanded by Col. Jacob Klock & Peter Waggoner Lieut. Col., Gen’l Nicholas Herkimer’s Brigade of Militia and Commenced in rendering service in the early part of the year 1775 to aiding the friends of liberty and contending for Independence against the British Gov’t, that her husband often and frequently was ordered out with his company and otherwise, should say that her husband at least did under the length of 1 mo. & 15 d. service in his countries course for liberty and independence during said year of 1775.
1776 Claiment further state that he husband did render United States Service under the command of Capt. Christoph’r W. Fox, Col. Klock’s Regt. from the Commencement of said year until as appears 10th Aug’t [?] And that he has been often and frequently ordered out, his first service as understood by her husband & others, in said year when the whole Brigade were ordered out to Caughnawaga, under Gen’l Command of Gen’l [?] when joined Gen’l Schuyler early part in winter, when causing surrender by Col. John Johnson and as saith and understood, with from three to four hundred associate tories, Claiment believing her husband being gone on said tour, at least ten days.—10 days
And Claiment further state that duding the forepart of Summer same year until the 10th day of Aug’t as appears when her husband did enlist in a Company of Rangers, that during the Intermediate time from Spring until the aforesaid 10th day of Augt her husband often and frequently hath been ordered out on particular services and duties, on behalf of the United States as understood by her husband.
Once drafted to Fort Stanwix for four weeks forepart in Summer when he was gone at least that length of time, impossible on the part of Claimant to recollect each and every tour, but inclusive of this tour in the winter at the surrender of Sir John and his associates, and the tour to fort House forepart in Summer, Claimant saith that he husband at least did under the length of one months service in all two months and ten days during said space of time from beginning of 1776 to Aug’t 10 vizt same year. 2 months & 10 da.
And the applicant further states, that she knows that her husband did Enlist under a company of Rangers, as she understood for nine months under the command of Capt. Christian Getman, Jacob Sammons 1st Lieut, James Billington, 2nd Lieut, land appearing that he was Enlisted and Enrolled on the Company Roll on the aforesaid 10th day of August 1776, and continued in the United States Service faithfully for and during the fall and term of Nine Months she verily believing that her husband was not discharged until sometime in May 1777—and that he has rendered the full length of service to the United States of 9 Months under Capt Getman.
1777 The applicant further saith, that her husband as she understood by him her husband, was drafted to Unadilla believing latter part of June, under the Command of Gen’l Herkimer & Col. Cox at least 31 days.
6th Aug’t, Claimant declare and saith, that as always understood by her husband, that when ordered out in consequence of Gen’l orders, when her husband under the Emedient Command of Capt. Christoph’r W. Fox marching away from Palatine and Engaged in that ever Memorable Battle under the Gen’l Command of Gen’l Nicholas Herkimer, against the Army of Gen’l St. Leger from Canada at Oriskany, length of service during said campaign—21 days.---
That Claimant further state that during the Intermediate time from May until late in fall, that her husband often and frequently was ordered out, sometimes drafted, impracticable to specify but exclusive of the foregoing specification she being well assured that her dead husband did render at least 1 mo & 15 days. United States service in addition to the foregoing as specified.
1778 Claimant further states, that this was a searaous [serious] year, the inhabitants Continually alarmed by the Indians and Tories from Canada, and that the following places were made desolate, vizt, first sometime in July the gen’l conflagration at Springfield, ordered out by Regt under the command of Col. Peter Waggoner length of –8 days United S. Service.
Do  Oct., ordered out by Col. Klock with his Reg’t under Capt. Henry Miller at the time fof the Gen’l Conflagration on both sides of the Mohawk River, Herkimer and Garrison flats, all down along the Mohawk to Fort Dayton & Fort Herkimer, and all around the resfractive? Fort,s Murdering and Scalping & Prisoners taken, Claimant believing her husband being gone length of 3 weeks.
Do 11th Nov’r Ordered out at the time of the Gen’l Conflagration at Cherry Valley. The whole Reg’t under the Command of Col. Klock, length of 8 days. Claiment further saith, that she well recollects that her husband has not been absent of either of the foregoing mentioned cruel Occurrences, but consequently the Militia Constraint and necessitated continually being on the Alert from Spring until late in fall, and until winter.
Claimant further state that she finding it impracticable to mention the length of service rendered or the numerous times said occurrences her husband had to incounter during said year, but that she can say with safety that in being drafted, in watching & guarding the Inhabitants at forts situated on the frontier part of Tryon County, & when a home vizt generally at Fort Paris Constraint in rendering Garrison duty, and sometimes called out in consequence of Searous alarms, repelling the incursions of the Common Enemy, impossible to specify, as her husband has kept no memorandum of his services, written enabled in producing any Documents of the same excepting as claimant having been instructed that his hon’r the Commissioner of Pensions in his possession of an Muster Roll of the Company of Rangers Commanded by Capt. Christian Gettman from August 1776 and continued until late in the Spring 1777 as aforesaid in the foregoing and that Claimant feels Sanguine in stating that her dec’d husband at least did render the full length of three months & fifteen days United States Service during the said year 1778 Exclusive of the foregoing Specifications in said year vizt. 3 months & 15 days.
Claimant further saith that this was the year of Gen’l Sullivan and Gen’l Clinton’s Expedition to the West, only two different Sareaous Occurrences have had been perpetrated, by the Incendiaries from Canada; in the then old County of Tryon now Herkimer as to both places believing the first on the South side of the Mohawk river German Flats, at the time of the Gen’l Conflagration from Fort Herkimer down along the Mohawk river, and all fall hill, when the enemy causing a Gen’l Conflagration, Murdering, Burning and Prisoners taken to Canada, when her said husband was ordered out under the Command of Capt. Henry Miller, with the whole Reg’t under the Command of Col. Klock, as understood by her husband at the time believing in latter part of June or forepart of July being gone 3 week vizt. 21 days
Do, latter part in summer or forepart in fall again ordered out Regt as informed by her husband, at the time of the General Conflagration, at the Royal Grant, Snellsbush Neighbourhood of Snells bush, Kings bush, and Youkers Bush all at around the same time made desolate, by the Incendiaries from Canada, that her husband being gone with the Militia at least 2 weeks, vizt. 14 days
Do  Claimant further said that her husband during said year was drafted at different times, at a distance from home as she understood by her husband at the time thereof and after said tour having been performed, and after returning commonly stationed at Fort Paris and generally constant in rendering Garrison duty and of such services that otherwise specified, the husband of Claimant, she says at least did render the length of 2 months and 25 days at least. Vizt 2 months & 25 days.
1780 The applicant further state, that her Husband again was Enlisted in a company of Volunteers, Under the Command of Capt. John Casselman, Adam Empie 1st Lieut, and George G. Gettman 2d Lieut, and in which company as Claimant always understood that her husband was one of the acting Sergeants in said Company, she also saith that he was Enlisted for at least 8 months and that she the said Claimant doth say that her husband was in actual service for rendering the term of eight months on behalf of the United States, from sometime in Spring until the expiration of eight Months, late in fall, and that she has reason to belief that the said company was authorized and recommended by Col. Jacob Klock, Col. Waggoner & Maj’r Fox & [?] in incurrings Scouts and to meet all other occurrences as expediency did require, that in July Capt. Casselman with his company, with the Militia Reg’t with Col. Klock’s Regt and Col. Sam’l Clyde’s Regt of Militia under the command Gen’l Van Rensselaer after Capt Sam’l Gray with his company of Boatman & Boats happened to be waylaid and obstructed by Capt. Brandt with as understood about 400 Incendiaries from Canada for about 11 days when relieved, and guarded to Fort Stanwix.
Do Claimant further States and saith that in the early part in winter forepart in the year 1780, also Enlisted as a Volunteer in a Small Company, Composed of Minute Men, including Capt. Christian Gettman, who had the Command of the said small band who were authorized as always, understood by their Field Officers of the Reg’t Vizt, by col. Jacob Klock, Lieut. Col. Peter Waggoner, and Maj’r Christoph’r W. Fox, Calculated in rendering Scouts on Snow Shoes in spying the Enemy, accordingly the said little band were divided into three sections and commenced serving on or about the 1st of January 1780, and continued regularly and faithfully until the full term of three months for which they were Enlisted and engaged, Vizt.
Claimant further saith, that while Enlisted under Capt. Casselman, in the 19th day of Oct 1780 that she often heard her husband say how he happened in what is called Col. John Brown’s Battle in Stonearabie Town of Palatine, and that the applicant verily doth belief that her dec’d husband, was so engaged in said Battle, and also satisfied or also understood by him that emediatly after said battle under Col. Brown in pursuit of Sir John Johnson with his incendiaries from Canada again engaged in Battle on Klocks and Failings field the aforesaid occurrence occurring while Enlisted under the command or belonging to Capt. Casselman’s Company.
1781 The applicant further declares that he husband this year again belonging to the Militia believing in Capt. Henry Miller’s Company and certain belonging to Col. Klock’s Regt., that this was a season very distressing to the Inhabitants generally through the county of Tryon, more particularly, Town of Johnstown, Canajohary, and Palatine, the Militia on the alert almost continually from April until late in fall. Claimant being assured that her husband had and did render two thirds of his, the space of time from April until late in November in rendering United States Service, impossible to specify all, apparently or if he hath been engaged in the United States Service during the whole season, from April to December but claimant beg I gave morally to make [?] of the most prominent occurrences having transpired during said years,
July 1st or 2d, at the time of Col. Willett’s Battle at Turlough, ordered out with Col. Klookc’s Regt to reinforce Col. Willett, Again on the 29th same month, Engaged in Battle Generally Generally [sic] called Landmans Battle under the Command of Capt. Henry Miller. And again believing forepart in October at the time of the Gen’l Conflagration, then in Palatine now Oppenheim, all around, Fort Timmerman at a distance up and down the Mohawk River and all around Fort Timmerman, under the Command of Col. Willett in pursuit of the Incendiaries.
And again on the 25th October same year, at the time of Col. Willett’s Battle at Johnstown, when under the Command of Col. Willett against Maj’r Ross with his Incendiary Army from Cananada and went in pursuit of Maj’r Ross & Butler to the West Canada Creek, where Capt. Butler was killed in.—
And the applicant further saith that in conversation with her husband and he when in conversation with others, did declare at different times, that he had been Engaged in Said Engagements & Battles as mentioned in the foregoing, and many other occurrences which she could not remember, or recollect, but do know that he has been drafted to Forts erected and situated at a distance from his place of residence, and when returning home, generally stationed at Fort Paris, and there rendering Garrison duty, and Claimant says that he husband did render at least the length of five months United States Service during course of this year vizt 5 months.
1782. Claimant further saith that during the course of this service from early part in spring until late in fall, the common enemy did not appear so peaceful than formerly, only with small parties from spring during the whole season until late in fall, continually sculking and lurking around the old settlements, murdering, burning and a number of Prisoners taken to Canada, when nothing short of [?] of such occurrences have happened in the Town of Palatine during said period, and much the same on the south side of the River, Col. Clydes Regt, Town of Canajoharie, Consequently the inhabitants generally seeking for Protection in their respective forts, and the Militia Continually Allarmed pursuing the Enemy, watching and Guarding in rendering Garrison duty, in their respective Forts, and the applicant declares that her dec’d husband at least did render the length of three months service to the United States during the course of this year, Vizt—3 months.
She further declares that she was married to the said John Backus on the tenth of December 1772, and that her husband, the aforesaid John Backus died on the 5th day of June 1823, and that she has remained a widow ever since that Period, as will more fully appear by reference to the Proof hereto annexed that she was married by the Rev’d Abraham Rosecrantz. (Signed with her mark) Magdelana Backus
Sworn to and Subscribed on the 2nd day of February 1838 before me. D. F. Sacia Judge ofMontgomery County Court.
State of New York
Herkimer County SS.
On this 9th day of October in the year one thousand Eight hundred and forty three before the undersigned a Justice of the peace in and for said County personally came Magdalena Backus widow of John Backus deceased a resident of the town of [?] in said County who being first duly sworn according to law does on her oath make the following declaration and claim supplemental in addition to her declaration heretofore made to the pension department in order to obtain an addition to the amount of pension now accorded to her and to which additional allowance she believes and is confident the services of her husband the said John Backus in the Revolutionary war justly entitle her. That she often heard her said husband say that in the early part of the war he was Enlisted and served in Captain Getman’s (sometimes called Kitman) Company of rangers from nine months to one year. That he was engaged in the Oriskany battle where one of his neighbors was shot down by his side by a shot of the enemy. That afterwards he was Enlisted under Capt. Casselman and served under Capt. Casselman but she cannot recollect the time or duration of said service. She was herself acquainted with Captain Getman who has been dead many years. That she often heard him say he was in the Batteau service and in that service was at Stillwater on the Hudson River and she thinks in that service he was Enlisted for one years but was not gone quite a year. Well recollect that before his return from that service his family supposed he was dead and that when he returned the family were very glad to see him alive. She recollects also of hearing him speak of serving under Capt. Cook (then called Koch in German) heard him say he served under different Captains in Col. Klock’s Regiment. Heard him say that he served as orderly sergeant. That he was engaged in several hard battles with the Enemy recollects hearing him tell of the hard battle in what col. Brown was killed also of the Dorlach Battle and of the Battle with Butler and to pursuit of Butler to the Canada Creek when Butler was killed also of the Johnstown Battle in all of which he was engaged, heard him speak of Col. Webster and Major Armstrong and Van Alstyne and Capt. Childs and others. That he was in the service under Capt Bigbread that he served under Col. Willett who at one time roasted an ox and got a barrel of Rum at Fort Plain and said to the soldiers “now help yourselves.” Also that he served under Captain House and [?] That he served as orderly Sergeant in Captain Getman’s Company also in Captain Empie’s Company. That he was out in the service at one time in cold weather & froze his feet and that his feet were always afterward troublesome and sore in consequence of then having been frozen, heard him speak of Capt. Richter & Richtmayer and she feels confident from her knowledge of and what he told her of his services in the Revolutionary War that she is not allowed as much as her said husbands services entitles her to that she believes she should be allowed and is entitled to a full pension. (Signed with her mark)
Sworn to & Subscribed the 9th day of Oct 1843 before me, Lui Weeks, Justice Peace.
State of New York
Herkimer County SS.
On this twenty fifth day of August one thousand eight hundred and forty three before me personally came Christian Walter a resident of Springfield in the County of Otsego near the Herkimer County line aged eighty-five years who being duly sworn on his oath says that in the Revolutionary War he was well acquainted with John Backus was in the service in the Revolutionary war in the service of the United Stated an served as a private and as a Sergeant. This deponent also served with said John Backus in the early part of the said war in a Company of Rangers along the Mohawk River under Captain John Kasselman that the said Backus Enlisted and Served nine months in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty when Col. Brown was killed the said Backus was Enlsited under Captain Suffreness Cook for nine months and served his time in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty one, the said Backus was several times Enlisted in the Services of the United States during the whole Revolutionary War the said John Backus was married to Lany or as she was sometimes called Magdelany Dockstader in the Revolutionary war that he died some year agoe leaving the said Lany his widow who now resides in the town of Stark in Herkimer County within four miles of this deponent and further says that said Backus was engaged in helping take Butler on the West Canada Creek and further that said Backus served under Captain George Getman nine months and during the whole Revolutionary War this deponent is verry well satisfied that the said John Backus has rendered more service than he has above stated. (Signed with his mark) Christian Walter
Dated this 25th day of Augus[t] A.D. 1843. J.T. Hall witness to his mark.
I certinfy that I am personally acquainted with Christian Walter the above deponent and that he is a man of good moral character and that his statements are entitled to full credit and belief. J. T. Hall, J.P.
Subscribed and Sworn before me one of the Justices of the Peace of the County of Herkimer this 25th day of August A.D. 1843 J. T. Hall. J.P.