Morrison's Pensions

Pension Application for John DeGraff (DeGraf)

State of New York
County of Onondaga
            On this twelfth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two personally appeared at a court of Chancery held at Onondaga before Daniel Moseley Esq., Vice Chancellor of the 2nd Circuit now sitting John De Graff a resident of the Town of Camillus in said county aged seventy two 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 was born in the then town, now City of Schenectady in said State in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty.  That he has no record of his age except that contained in his family Bible which was burnt with his father’s house.  That he this claimant lived in said Town of Schenectady at the time he was called into the service of the United States.  After the Revolutionary War closed, he moved to the Town of Amsterdam in the now County of Montgomery and resided there for the term of fifteen or sixteen years.  Then moved to the fourth ward of the City of Schenectady, aforesaid, now Town of Glenville, lived there fifteen or sixteen years, thereupon moved to Schoharie where he lived about one year and about one year ago came to the said Town of Camillus where he now resides.
            He entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated.
            In the summer of the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven, he was enrolled as a private in a company of militia commanded by Captain John Mynderse (1) in the regiment whereof Abraham Wemple Esq. was colonel.  His other company and field officers whom he recollects, were as follows, Lawrence Mynderse first Lieutenant, James H. Peek second Lieutenant and Abraham I. Truax, Ensign, Abraham Swits & Myndert Wemple, Majors.  He continued to serve in said company whenever called upon until the termination of said war.
            He was with the detachments of militia from said regiment that were from time to time ordered out, besides being out on several occasions as a scout and in small reconnoitering parties among the Tories and Indians.  He served for a longer or shorter period every year of the war but how long he served each year, and at what particular military posts or forts, he cannot possibly recollect yet honestly and sincerely believes, that the time he served his country in the War of the Revolution exceeds four years –
            He served in the year 1777 under Generals Schuyler, Gates and Arnold (2), for the term of three months at Fort Edward, Stillwater, and places in that vicinity, previous to and at the time of the surrender of General Burgoyne and his army to the American forces.
            In the fall of the year 1778, one third of the militia of this state being ordered out, he was among the number that were stationed at Fort Paris in Stone Arabia.  He was at that fort also on other occasions, he had likewise performed garrison duty at Fort Hunter, Fort Plank and Fort Plain; at Fort Plank he thinks in the fall of the year 1779.  He has performed military duty different times at the lower and middle forts at Schoharie, Schenectady, and Cobles Kill.  Was at the last named place immediately after it was destroyed by the Tories and British and assisted in burying the dead.  He has also performed military service at Canajoharie, Palatine and Johnstown.  Sir John Johnson having burnt all the buildings and destroyed the property of the Whigs at Caughnawaga (3), passed up the north side of the Mohawk River, and destroyed everything in his course, he was there with the militia in pursuit of Sir John Johnson.  He was at Ballston (4) when it was burnt by the enemy in the year 1780.  He was then under the command of Major Swits, and Major Michell (5) was at Beaverdam a place very much infested with Tories who made that a place of rendezvous.  He assisted on one occasion in taking about one hundred of them prisoners.
            A noted Tory by the name of Jo. Bettis was continually communicating intelligence to the enemy.  Parties of militia were often out in pursuit of him and his associates.  The claimant in company with others of the militia was several times in search of them, at Norman’s Kill at the Heldebergh and at Ballston, he believes in the year 1782.
            He knew Generals Schuyler, Van Rensselaer (6), and Gates, Colonel Van Schaick, Colonel Van Dyck and Captain Fink, Colonel Willett and many other officers besides those named in this declaration.
            He never to his knowledge received any written discharge from the service, and is not aware that such discharges were at any time given to any of the members of his company, or in fact to any of the militia.
            The following are the names of persons to whom he is known in his present neighborhood, and who can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier in the army of the revolution.
            He has no documentary evidence, and knows of no persons other (then those whose testimony he has procured to verify above) now living whose testimony he can procure, who can testify to his service.
            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 with his mark) John DeGraff
            Subscribed and Sworn to the day and year first aforesaid.  Daniel Moseley,Circuit Judge & Vice Chancellor.

End Notes

  1. Captain John Mynderse’s (Mynderseon, ect.) Company in Colonel Abraham Wemple’s Regiment of Albany County Militia (Second Regiment).  All of the other officers mentioned in this paragraph were as he states, in Colonel Wemple’s Regiment.
  2. General Philip Schuyler, Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold all served in the Northern American Army.
  3. Sir John Johnson with his British forces and Indian Allies burned Caughnawaga and the surrounding area on May 22, 1780.
  4. Ball’s Town (Now Ballston Spa area) was destroyed by British forces on October 1780.
  5. Major Andrew Mitchell was in Colonel Jacobus Van Schoohoven’s Regiment of Albany County Militia (Twelfth Regiment).
  6. Brigadier General Robert Van Renssalaer, Colonel Goose Van Schaick and Lieutanant Cornelius VanDyck both of the First New York Continental Regiment, Captain Andrew Fink of the First New York afterwards (178101783) as Brigade Major in Colonel Marinus Willett’s Regiment of New York State Levies.

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