Pension Application for David Griswold
W.1854 (Widow: Jane)
State of New York
Tioga County SS.
Personally appeared before me the undersigned a Justice of the Peace in and for the said County of Tioga David Griswold who being duly sworn doth depose and say, in addition to and explanation of his Declaration hereto annexed, that from the first of October 1776 to the first of May 1777 he served in the field five months at least as a private in the company commanded by Capt. Baldwin and Lieut Jackson who received their orders from Genl. George Clinton.
From the first of May 1777 to the first of September of same year he served in the field four months as a private under the command of Capt. Joshua Whitney who received his order from Col. Van Ness.
From the first of April 1778 to the first of December same year he served in the field three months at least as a private under the Command of Capt. Whitney and Col. Van Ness before named.
From the first of April 1779 to the first of December same year he served in the field and garrison six months at least as a private under the command of the same officers last before mentioned.
From the first of June 1780 to the 10th of December same year he served six months in the field and garrison as a private under the command of Capt. Miller and Col. Livingston.
From the first of June 1781 to the last of August same year he served in the field one month as a private under the command of the same officers last before mentioned making two years and one month in the whole which & served in the grade of a private and for such services & claim a Pension. (Signed) David Griswold
Sworn & subscribed this 18th day of January 1833 before me. H. Gray J.P.
State of New York
Tioga County SS.
On this 5th day of September 1832 personally appeared in open court before the Judges aforesaid being a court of record because made so by the constitution and laws of the state having by Law a Clerk and Seal, now sitting David Griswold a resident of the Town of Southport in the County to Tioga and state of New York aged seventy one years the twelfth day of March last 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—That in the month of October 1776 he joined a volunteer Company of Rangers at Albany under Capt. Baldwin and Lieutenant Jackson—there were two companies of the same kind of troops raised about the same time to be under the command of such field officers from time to time as circumstances might require, but we considered ourselves then under Gen. George Clinton. It was the understanding at the time that we enlisted as such rangers for during the war—
We remained quartered at Albany till sometime towards the beginning of winter when we were ordered to embark on board a sloop and proceed down the North River. We were landed at Fort constitution on the east side of the River and nearly opposite to West Point—here we remained till sometime it the winter when a sickness broke out among the Troops—a number of men reported unfit for duty—this deponent was of that number—one had died—in this situation those unfit for duty had leave to be carried home remain till April following and then report themselves to their respective Captains at Albany. This deponent was conveyed home in a sleigh remained till April as directed, then reported himself to Lieutenant Jackson at Albany. Capt. Baldwin not being present—at this time it was ascertained that the paper currency which we had received in pay for our services had become so depreciated that what we received for pay was not sufficient for even a subsistence and it was proposed that these Volunteer Rangers should enlist into a permanent corps where they would be rationed and clothes by government. Most of the company did so enlist but this deponent chose rather to remain subject to calls upon the militia—the company, however, in that way was broken up and this deponent including the months of October and April had completed seven months service—
The next month May ’77 the militia in Columbia County (State of New York) were called upon to turn out and suppress the operations of the Tories who had become very troublesome in that quarter—This deponent among others volunteered for that object under Captain Joshua Whitney and soon succeeded in making prisoners of sixteen tories whom we took in from Albany where they were safely lodged in Jail—we were then march’d up to what was called the Saratoga Barracks not far from Gen. Schuyler’s where we staid some time and then had leave to return home but to keep ourselves in readiness for future orders—About the first of July same year, we were called upon under the command of Col. Van Ness and in the company of Capt. Whitney before named—we were march’d up to Fort Miller and Fort Edward—here at this time he became acquainted with Gen. Arnold and Gen. Schuyler and also with a Major Ford—he now understood that Gen. Burgoyne was on his way to Saratoga, and we were employed for some time in felling timber and breaking up bridges in order to impede his progress as much as possible and we also destroyed fields of grain that the enemy might not have it to subsist upon—after placing these [?] in the way of the foe we had orders to return and were dismissed at Albany about the first of September making four months service in these two last named expeditions—In the same month of September, was drafted to join the force against the enemy at Saratoga but being unfit for duty at the time by reason of ill health he was discharged by Col. Van Ness till further orders—
In the spring of ’78 the militia [?] and in the vicinity of [?] and in the vicinity of Hillsdale in the now County of Columbia at which place this deponent then resided were divided into Classes of one third each to be alternate tours up the Mohawk River for the purpose of keeping in check the Tories and Indians while those at home were to keep guard and sentry and be constantly under arms for any emergency in this service he spent the summer and fall of ’78 having in that time performed three tours through the Mohawk River country at three different times—was through Johnstown, Cherry Valley and the intermediate place was at Cherry Valley but a few days before the massacre of that village by the Tories and Indians under Butler and Brandt—this fall completed six months more of service under Captain Whitney before named---in the spring of ’79 he was ordered with the company to Old Schoharie Village where were three Forts our company was stationed at what was call’d Middle Fort—he remained stationed here about two months without any thing extraordinary occurring save a few skirmishes with the Indians and the burning of the town by them—our circumstance, however, he thinks worthy of special note—a considerable body of the enemy were supposed to be in the neighborhood to ascertain their numbers and complexion as nearly as possible because an object of solicitude with the garrison—a beat up for volunteers to form a reconnoitering detachment of discovery was made and this deponent with 29 others volunteered for that purpose—we had not proceeded many miles before we discovered the main body consisting as high as we could judge of about eight hundred Indians, Tories and British we apprehended so near them that we could distinguish the Tories by their green coats and the British by their red ones—we then started to rejoin the Fort by a different direction from the one we came an dhad not proceeded far before we fell in with a foraging party of the enemy of at least one hundred and fifty and we came very near being surrounded by them—the only chance of escape was to make battle and fight on the retreat which we did and the most of us had the good fortune to reach the Fort—The company being relieved we had orders to return home but to remain in readiness to receive fresh orders whenever given and in the mean time to act as scouts, guards and spies as circumstances might require—In this manner he spent six months more in the service drawing ammunition for the whole time, but rations only while away from home—about the last of May or first of June 1780 he volunteered for three months under Captain Miller and a brother of his (the Capt) was Lieutenant we were under the command of Col. Livingston of Dutchess County and Adjutant Fonda of Albany—it was understood at the time that he force was designed to operate upon the city of New York then in the possession of the British—we were march’d on to West Point—crossed the River—went down as far as King’s Ferry then crossed over to Stoney Point—then went down to Dobb’s Ferry where there was a battery to obstruct the passage of rebels upon the River—After remaining here a few days we were ordered back to King’s Ferry—then embar’d in boats went up to FishKill where the whole force embarked on board of sloops and proceeded up to Albany where we had a halt—Capt. Miller with one other company was ordered to Middle Fort, Old Schoharie and this deponent remained at Middle Fort till sometime after the expiration of this three months enlistment—our company then received orders to go up the Mohawk Country. This deponent still continued in the service without any new enlistment and went on in the expedition—was through Stone Arabia—was at Fort Plain and at Fort Herkimer—on our way back through Stone Arabia we buried Col. Brown at that place with the honors of war—he was kill’d by the Indians this deponent was one of the pall bearers—In this expedition Gen. George Clinton was along and had the main command—we returned and were dismissed at Albany in the forepart of December making upwards of six months service during the summer and fall of 1780 including a few days of December of that year—In the summer of 1781 he was ordered out and performed one tour of duty up as far as Stillwater in Saratoga—was out about one month which closes the services of this deponent in the Revolutionary War—that he has no documentary evidence of his said services—but has one living witness to the general nature of them so he is Sibil Kinyon.
And in answer to the several interrogatories put to him by the court he says that he was born in the Town of Tyringham in the County of Berkshire and State of Massachusetts on the twelfth day of March in the year 1781—that he has a record of his age in his large family Bible which he set down as he received it from his parents—that at the time when he first entered the service as aforesaid he lived in the Town of Hillsdale now County of Columbia and State of New York—after the close of the Revolutionary War he lived a few years at the same place then settled as his present residence in Southport where he has lived about 44 years—that in every instance of his being called upon as before stated in the service of his country he was a militia volunteer save the one instance already mentioned in which he was drafted and excused as being unfit for duty—that he has already named most of the officers and Regiments he was acquainted with in the service—in addition he would state that he knew Gen. Clinton—Col. Dubois and Col. Malcom—that he never received and other discharge than a verbal dismissal from the service at the several respective times—as to persons who are acquainted with his reputation for truth and veracity and for their belief in the truth of the foregoing declaration he would refer to Caleb Baker, William Jenkins, John Fitzsimmons, Jacob Miller, Samuel Tuthill, and John Sly all his neighbors and living in Southport aforesaid and who have all been acquainted with him upwards of forty years—that he 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—(Signed) David Griswold
Sworn to & subscribed the day & year aforesaid. Green M. Tuthill, Clk.
Letter in the pension folder inquiring about this soldier’s service record, dated September 17, 1924.
I have to advise you that from the papers in the Revolutionary War pension claim, W. 1754, it appears David Griswold was born March 12, 1761 in Tyringham, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
While residing in Hillsdale, New York, he enlisted and served as a private in the New York Troops as follows—
From October 1, 1776, five months in Captain Baldwin’s Company.
From May 1, 1777, four months in Captain Joshua Whitney’s Company, Colonel Van Ness’ Regiment.
In 1778, three months in the same company and regiment.
In 1779, six months in same company and regiment.
From June 1, 1780, six months in Captain Miller’s Company, Colonel Livingston’s Regiment, and was in Governor Clinton’s expedition to the Mohawk Valley.
From June 1, 1781, one month in Captain Millers’ Company, Colonel Livingston’s Regiment.
He was engaged in several skirmishes with Indians and Tories.
He was allowed pension on his application executed September 5, 1832, while a resident of Southport, Tioga County, New York, and he died there March 20n or 27, 1847.
Soldier married in the summer of 1799 at Newtown, New York, Jane Stull, she was born February 19, 1773, and she was allowed pension on her application executed December 4, 1848, while living at Southport, New York.
Children by soldier’s first wife (her name is not stated).
Mary born March 22, 1783, married March 1799 Benjamin Smith
David Jr. born January 1, 1787.
Thomas born February 23, 1790.
Children by soldier’s second wife, Jane Stull
Nancy born December 28, 1800.
John born May 22, 1803.
Sally born August 22, 1806.
Jonas born April 16, 1810.
Return to opening page of Morrison's Pensions