Morrison's Pensions


Pension Application for Hugh McMaster

W.16645
State of New York
Montgomery County SS
            On this thirtieth day of August in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two personally appeared before John Hand Esquire one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in and for the County of Montgomery.  Hugh McMaster, a resident of Florida in the County of Montgomery and State of New York, aged eighty years 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 the said Hugh McMaster was born in the month of December in the year 1752, in Princetown in the County of Schenectady in the year 1752, in Princetown in the County of Schenectady and State of New York, that he once had a record of his age kept in a Bible, but that it is now lost, or destroyed, that sometime in the year 1776, but in what month he cannot now recollect he entered the service of the United States as a private soldier & as a volunteer in a company of Militia under the following officers, to wit, David McMaster Captain, Ianus McMaster Lieutenant & David Beverly, Ensign, that this company was attached to a regiment called the Militia of Tryon County commanded by Col. Frederica Fisher, the Major’s name was Newkirk, that he served in said company upon the time he so entered the same as a private soldier till the close of the Revolutionary War in the year 1783.  That at time he entered the said service he resided in the said Town of Florida & County of Tryon now Montgomery and has resided in said town ever since.  That this company was composed of thirty or forty privates of whom he knows but three survivors besides himself to wit Henry Staley Albert Van Housen & John Servoss, by all of whom he can prove his own service that during the whole time he so served the company was continually on the march, sometimes in a body in times of alarm, at the other times in detached parcels, a few miles distant from each other to guard the most dangerous passes from the continued attacks of the tories and Indians Scouts, that he cannot give a regular history of the marches or movements of this company, or the other companies attached to the same regiment as the movements were altogether directed by the nature of the alarms, and the command of the officers, which were governed by the fears & apprehensions of the inhabitants residing on that then frontier.  That the following places were among the number, where during the war the said Militia were at different times quartered, to wit: Florida, Fort Hunter, Fort Plain, Fort Stanwix, Canajoharie, Bowmans Creek, Fish House, Johnstown, German Flatts, Herkimer, Caughnawaga, & the whole line of the Mohawk river and the County of Tryon which was their frontier, that he was in the battle of Oriskany that his Captain & nearly all the company were in that battle.  Captain Snooks or Captain Pettingals company were there & he thinks all the companies in the regiment, Captain Pettingal was killed in that battle, this battle he thinks was in the month of August 1777.  Recollects General Herkimer was wounded in that battle & didd of his wounds Col. Cox was also killed in that battle, that owing to the timely assistance of Col. Willett & his men coming from Fort Stanwix to their relief the destruction of the whole militia was prevented, that subsequently after Schoharie was burnt, a company of British Indians & Tories under the command of Sir John Johnson came across the country committing depredations, murders &b burning houses & destroying property the enemy were met by the Militia under the command of General Van Rensselaer at Nellis Flatts Canajoharie where a Battle ensued, in this battle he was wounded with a musket ball through the body from which wound he was unable for three months to do duty; after his recovery he returned again to duty & continued in the service until the end of the war, that he is unable to state the year in which this battle accrued, that after the war for several years he drew a pension of twelve collars a year on account of this wound, that a man by the name of Shurtleff acted as his agent in drawing this pension, but whether it was drawn from the State or General government he cannot tell that the said Shurtleff, his said agent, who resided in Schenectady lost his pension papers as much as Eighteen or twenty years ago, and since that time he has never received it.  That he has no written discharge or other documentary evidence of his service, that he is unable by reason of bodily infirmity to attend any court of record to make this declaration.  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 only the State of New York, of that he is not certain except the pension above mentioned is so entered on the roll.
(Signed) Hugh McMaster
            Subscribed and sworn to the day & year first above mentioned before me John Hand one of the Judges of the Montgomery County Courts.
            Mr. Robert Casey residing in Florida in the County aforesaid and Alexander Murray of Princetown in the County of Schenectady residing within three miles of the above named Hugh McMaster do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with the above named Hugh McMaster who has subscribed & sworn to the above declaration and we believe him to be eighty years of age & that he is reputed & believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier in the Revolution & that we concur in that opinion.  Robert Casey, Alexander Murray.
            Subscribed & sworn to the day and year aforesaid before me.  John Hand one of the Judges of the Montgomery County Courts.

Letter in the pension folder.
February 17, 1940
Mrs.Frank Hotaling
3 Daniel Street
Amsterdam, New York
Dear Madam:
            Reference is made to your letter in which you request the Revolutionary War record of Hugh McMaster (1852-1837), who served from Montgomery County, New York, and the Civil War record of Philip Conover of the same county.
            Reply has been made in regard to Philip Conover.  The record of Hugh McMaster follows, as found in the papers on file in pension claim, W. 16645, based upon his service in the Revolutionary War.
            High McMaster was born in the month of December 1752, in Princetown, Schenectady County, New York; the names of his parents were not given.  His brother, David McMaster, was an officer in the Tryon County New York militia in the Revolutionary War.  Hugh resided in Florida, Tryon County (later Montgomery County), New York, during the period of that war.
            Hugh McMaster volunteered sometime in the year 1776, served at different times until 1783, amounting in all to at least one year, nine months, as private in Captain David McMaster’s company, Colonel Frederick Fisher’s New York regiment.  (One James McMaster was lieutenant in Captain David McMaster’s company, but no relationship to them was not stated.)  During his service, Hugh McMaster assisted in the defense of the north frontier, was at Fort Stanwix, Fort Hunter, Fort Plains was in the battle of Oriskany in August 1777, in which he was wounded, was also in the battle when Canajoharie was attacked by the British and Indians, burning houses and destroying property, at which time he was severely wounded by a musket shot which entered his left side and passed ten inches through his body, and was extracted.
            On account of disability resulting from the above noted wounds received in service, he was allowed pension of $12 per annum.  He received that pension until March 4, 1812.
            Hugh McMaster applied August 30, 1832, for pension under the Act of June 7, 1832, due on account of his service in the Revolutionary War.  He resided then in Florida, Montgomery County, New York.  He died there September 25, 1837, survived by his widow, Martha McMaster.  The pension which was due at the time of his death was allowed his widow, Martha.
            The maiden name of this soldier’s wife, Martha was not given, nor the date and place of their marriage.  Reference was made to his family but no names were stated.  Martha McMaster was living in Florida, New York, in March 1838.
            Very truly yours,
            A.D. Hiller, Executive Assistant to the Administrator.

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