Pension Application for Nathaniel Foster
(No. 1 Declaration)
I, Nathaniel Foster of the Town of Edinburgh in the County of Saratoga, in the State of New York, do according to the Act of Congress of the United States of America, entitled “An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War” make the following declaration under oath, that is to say:
I do solemnly declare, that I am a resident citizen of the United States, to wit the town and county and state aforesaid and that by means of my reduced circumstances in life, I am in need of assistance from my country for support.
I do further declare that I was a soldier in the War of The Revolution and that I served as such in the said War of the Revolution against the common enemy, that I enlisted on the fifth day of May 1778 for nine months and served until the sixteenth day of May 1779. That I belonged to the company commanded by Capt. TenEye (1) in Colonel Courtland’s regiment and in the Line of New York and I do further declare that I entered the said service the fifth day of May one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight and left the said service on the sixteenth day of May one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine having left the same by reason of being discharged after the expiration of his term of service.
That I am seventy eight years of age, that I have a wife of the age of seventy eight years, infirm and helpless and myself a labourer.
And I do further declare that I hereby relinquish all claim to any and every pension heretofore allowed me by the laws of the United States or any individual state.
Witness my had this 25th day of August in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty three.
Signed Nathaniel Foster (though not marked with an X, the handwriting is the same as in the rest of the application)
Sworn to in open court before me this 28th August 1823.
(signed) Thomas Palmer, clerk
I, Thomas Palmer, Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas the of the County of Saratoga do hereby certify that the foregoing affidavit and the schedule thereto annexed and truly copied from the record of the said court and I do further certify that it is the opinion of the said court that the total amount in value of the property exhibited is that aforesaid schedule is forty three dollars and seventy five cents.
In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and the seal of said court this 29th day of September 1823.
(Signed) Thomas Palmer, clerk
Inventory of the estate of Nathaniel Foster within named. He has no real estate.
Personal Estate, he has:
1 cow $18; 1 bed and bedding $10, 1 axe $1=$29.00
1 hatchet 50 cts, 5 chairs at 3 [per] $1.87 + ??? = $2.75
Other household furniture worth about $8.00
Drawing knife and tools about $4.00
Sworn to in open court this 28th August 1823
Signed Nathaniel Foster
(Signed) Thomas Palmer Clerk
Several affidavits follow, short ones, saying they served with Mr. Foster.
To William L. Marcy, Secretary of War.
I am about to address you on a subject that really concerns me. My father was a soldier of the revolution and drew a pension the ten last years of his life. He died the 7 of January 1835 and I was his youngest child. I was caring for him until his death as my mother having been gone some time. Now I am told that there has been a law passed in Congress by which the children of such pensioners receive a certain sum of money and as I do not know what measures I must take to obtain it, knowing you to be secretary of the war department and I could think of no better way than to address a letter to you which will account for my presumption in thus troubling you and I earnestly entreat you to assist me if you can. A certain friend of mine wrote to congress soon after father’s death and obtained an instruction for me to proceeded I was to forward father’s certificate to Washington which I did and if you will take the trouble to look over the certificates of that war you find his. His name was Nathaniel Foster of the state of New York. It will also tell all that it is necessary for you to know for by it you will see that he drew no back pay. Now I also wish to know if there is agents appointed by Congress to attend to such thing and if so their names and residence. Now there is one thing more which is about the soldier’s bounty land as I understand there is something done about that. Father never received any land neither did he sell or alienate his bounty land so that his children have an honest right to gratitude of their country. Now sir if you will assist us direct your letter to Ridgebery, Bradford County Pennsylvania to Joel Chapin.
Your humble servant
Ridgebery August 6th, 1876
NB The reason of my not writing sooner was because of the Rheumatism in my hands which will in some measure account for my poor writing.
To His Excellency James K. Polk, President of the United States
Pardon my dear sir, my thus obtruding myself upon your notice that I wrote to the secretary of war department requesting information concerning my father’s pension for he was in his lifetime a pensioner having served in the War of the Revolution and as he never drew any back pay I thought that there might be something done about it as there was a man in york state who pretended that he was appointed by congress to attend to such pensions and having written to??? to that effect, and as I had assisted my father to obtain his pension in the first place and had taken care of the old gentleman ever after he drew his pension, my sister wrote to me informing me of the man and desired me to send our father’s certificate and other papers, but as I had instructions from Washington how to proceed I had sent on his certificate to the Pension Office and I therefore concluded that man must be an imposter or he would know where the papers was. Well I wrote to the secretary of war asking him about the affair and also if there were agents appointed to attend to such business and their names and place of residence, and also about the land which the old soldier should have had as my father being one of the first men in the state of New York who took up arms in defense of his oppressed country, yet he had never received any land nor had he ever sold or forfeited it in any other way, if there is anything of the kind we his heirs should be very glad to know, Now I wrote as above stated but the secretary said nothing about the agents or the land so that I am as much in the dark as ever and indeed I know not what to do, but thinking thereof like the immortal Washington whose place you fill, that you might feel an interest in the fate of those who periled their lives in winning for their descendants the freedom and happiness which we gratefully enjoy, and honored sir no less than me. I have addressed this to you in hopes that you would take the trouble direct to Joel Chapin, Town of Ridgebery attention of Brigadier Bradford County State of Pennsylvania Bridgbery Post Office.
PS If you will assist us kind sir we shall pray that you and yours many health and happiness here and may ever after have an ??? ministered unto you among the saints in light.
I am dear sir, your most humble servant to command.
NB My Father’s name was Nathaniel Foster
Ridgebery, Oct 10th 1876
To William L. Marcy, Secretary of War.
Pardon my obtruding myself upon your notice again, but as I wrote to Mr. Edwards upon the subject that I wrote to you about, and he not answering me, I thought perhaps I had made a mistake, but as he answered my letter I thought there was no need; of so much enumeration, but I would write to him at once supposing he would it to your notice at once. But I heard nothing from you or him. Mr. Marcy were you not appointed by government to attend to such business; is it because I am poor and have no one to go forward in this business; that you neglect me, my poor old father’s head [illegible word before pillow] a pillow of earth and I rejoice that it is so for had he lived to feel himself neglected by the generation for whom he imperiled his life and fortune he would doubtless have realized what has been often said that republics were ungrateful, but as it was he died rejoicing in his country’s happiness, little thinking that the time would come when his children should ask remuneration for his services and be unanswered that he did not serve but 9 months for which he received his pension, altogether a mistake for he enlisted for a year and staid (stayed) 13 months for which he should have had land, but as the country needed all of her land to discharge the national debt, her brave defenders might cultivate what they had before the war as few or none were able to buy any with anything they received for their services to their country; in my younger days I knew several who like my father had served their country and received a pension which was not one half the sum that the government owed them, but they received it thankfully knowing their country’s necessities. But as the nation becomes more prosperous many were actuated by the same republican spirit of the men who first spurned the yoke of a foreign despot and wish to come forward and recompense the children as far as may be for what their fathers have no visible remuneration of the glorious spirit of the immortal Washington.
My father served between 7 and 5 years in defence of his country on land and water. I have asked, this is the 7 time, if there were agents employed by the nation to attend to such business and if so what are their names and place of residence.
Mr. Marcy if you are a man of honor and a descent of the war of honors please give this your care and attention for which no doubt you will receive an adequate reward.
I am with deep respect your Adeline Chapin
Rridgebery, Oct ??? 1877
State of New York
Essex County SS
James Reynolds (2) of the Town of Willistonrough [?] in the county of Essex and State of New York to me known to be a man that sustains a good character as to truth and veracity being duly sworn deposeth and saith that Nathaniel Foster enlisted in the army of the United States in the War of the Revolution on or about the first of May in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight for the term of nine months in the company commanded by Capt. Ten Eycke in Colonel Courtland’s Regiment in the New York Line and that this deponent served with the said Foster upwards of nine months when he hired a substitute and obtained his discharge leaving the said Foster in the Army. That this deponent was in the service at the same time and generally a messmate with the said Foster that he lived a neighbour to the said Foster in the nine partners in the County of Dutchess (3) both before and after the said service and further saith not.
(Signed) James Reynolds
Sworn and subscribed this 10th day of November 1823 before Hon. Thos. Stower Justice of the Peace of the county aforesaid.
State of New York
Dutchess County SS
Personally appeared Ceaser Dunmore (4) of the County aforesaid and being duly sworn deposeth and saith that Nathaniel Foster of the then Town of Amenia in the County aforesaid now Town of Edinburgh in the County of Saratoga enlisted in the Continental service in the War of the Revolution for term of nine months in the company commanded by Capt. Ten Eycke in Col. Courtlands Regiment in the New York line that he inlisted the fifth day of May 1778 and served nine months—that the said Nathaniel Foster who was a neighbor of mine both before and after this service and that I this deponent served the time in the same brigade with the said Nathaniel Foster and further saith not.
(His Mark) Cezor Dunmore
Subscribed and sworn before me and I also certify that the aforesaid Ceaser Dunmore sustains a good character as to truth and veracity.
Leonard Barton one of the Commissioners for the taking of affidavits &c in and for said county dated July the 12th day in the year of our Lord 1823.
End Notes for Nathaniel Foster
By James F. Morrison
1. Nathaniel enlisted for nine months in the Fifth Company [Capt Barent TenEyck] as a private on 5 May 1778. Re-enlisted 29 November 1778 and deserted 16 May 1779. The 2nd NY Continental Regiment was commanded by Col. Philip VanCortlandt.
2. James Reynolds enlisted 12 May 1778 as a private for nine months in the Third Company [Capt. Charles Graham] in the 2nd NY. He was discharged at the end of his nine months.
3. There is a Nathaniel Foster in Captain David Heacock’s Company in Colonel John Field’s Regiment of Dutchess County Militia [3rd Regt] as a private.
4. Caeser Dunmore enlisted 5 May 1778 as a private for nine months in Captain Israel Smith’s Company [Fourth Company] in the Fourth NY Continental Regiment. The colonel was Peter Regnier. He was discharged 5 February 1779.