Morrison's Pensions


Pension Application for James Van Atter
Contributed by William G. Loveday, Jr., Stone Arabia Battle Chapter, SAR

S42599
State of New York
Rensselaer County
            On the 10th day of April 1818 James VanAtter came personally before me and being duly sworn according to law testified that the foregoing declaration by him declared was true according to the best of his recollection and belief—and I do hereby certify that it appears to my satisfaction that the said James Vanatter did serve in the Revolutionary War as stated in the preceding declaration against the common enemy and I now transmit the proceedings and testimony taken and sworn before me to the Secretary of the Department of War pursuant to the directions of the aforementioned Act of Congress.  That said James VanAtter  ______  ______  _____  ______.
            Jas. Mallory, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Rensselaer—State of New York.

State of New York
Rensselaer County
            I certify that James Mallory whose signature is affixed to the foregoing certificate, was on the 10th day of April inst. was one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas for said county.
            In witness whereof I have hereunto set my name and affixed the seal of the said court this 18th day of April 1818.  Benj. Smith Deputy CLK.

State of New York
Albany
Rensselaer County
            John Wheeler of the Town of Watervliet in the County aforesaid being duly sworn doth depose & say that he served in the Revolutionary War as a private soldier in the New York Regiment commanded by Col. Marinus Willett in a Company commanded by Capt. James Cannon that he enlisted in the said Company & Regiment in the year 1780 & continued till the year 1783 during which time the deponent was well acquainted with James Van Atter who was a private in the same regiment in a company commanded By Capt. Teirce and this deponent further says that he is not directly or indirectly interested in the said Van Atter’s application for a pension.  August 15, 1818 (Signed with his mark)  John Wheelter
            Sworn before me, Abijah Wheeler, Justice of the Peace, Albany County.
            I hereby certify that on the 15th day of August 1818 the above named John Wheeler (who is a credible witness) came personally before me.  I made solemn oath to the foregoing affidavit.
           
            Abijah Wheeter, Clerks Office City & County of Albany, Justice of the Peace for the County of Albany, State of New York.
            I do hereby certify that Abijah Wheeler is a Justice of the Peace in and for the City and County of Albany and I verily believe the two preceding signature are in his own proper hand writing & in testimony whereof I have herewith affixed the Seal of the County of Common Pleas of the said City and County on this 31st day of August 1818.  George Merchant (Muchaut?)

County of Albany
            Henry Bulson being duly sworn saith that he served in the Revolutionary War as a private soldier in the New York Regiment commanded by Col. Willett in a Company commanded by Captain Teirce that he enlisted in said Company & Regiment in April in the year 1781 & continued till the year 1782 being more than nine months during which time this deponent was well acquainted with James Van Atter who was a private in said Regiment & company and this deponent further says that he is not directly or indirectly interested in the said VanAtter’s application for a pension.  (Signed with his mark)  Henry Bulson.
            Sworn before me this 19th day of August 1818.

            H. Wendell Jun. Justice of the Peace for the City & County of Albany I hereby certify that on this 19th day of August 1818 Before me came the above named Henry Bulson to me known to be a credible witness & made solemn oath to the above affidavit.
            H. Wendell Jun. Justice of the Peace, Albany.

Clerks Office, City and County of Albany
            I do hereby certify that H. Wendell Jun. by whom the above affidavit was completed and the above certificate is a Justice of the Peace in and for the City and County of Albany and the above signature is his own proper hand writing.  In testimony whereof have caused the Seal of the Court of Common pleas of the said City and County to be hereunto affixed this 19th day of August 1818.
            George Merchant [Muchant]

Tryon 28 Sept. 1818
            I again return the applications of Grace & Van Atter—with the additional testimony of Col. Willett who states the manner of raising the Regiment commanded by him.
            I submitted last spring through Mr. John P. Cushman the following question to the Dept. of War:
            “What latitude will be given to the words “Continental establishment?”  The answer was “Any force raised by an particular state of by Congress for the term of nine months or longer & paid by the United States”.  Respectfully, James Mallry
Hon. John C. Calhoun, Secty of War, Washington

Testimony in the case of James Vanatter (1) an applicant to be placed on the Pension List under the Act of Congress of 18 March 1818.
State of New York
Rensselaer County
            James VanAtter, a resident of the Town of Schaghticoke in the County of Rensselaer and State of New York being duly sworn, doth depose and say that in the spring of the year 1777 (2) he enlisted as a private soldier for nine months in the continental Army in a Company commanded by Capt. Lawrence Gros, (3) in a Regiment under the command of Col. Marinus Willett, the said Regiment belonging to the New York Line.  That this deponent continued in said Company & regiment for nine months & was honorably discharged.  That he again enlisted for nine months in the aforesaid Regiment in a Company commanded by Capt. Frinch (4) [French].  This deponent continued in the said Company about three months to wit from April 1780 untill June or July 1780—when this deponent enlisted for three years in the aforesaid Regiment in a Company commanded by Capt. Teirce [Peter B. Tearce] (5) – That this deponent continued in the last mentioned Company and Regiment until the month of January 1781 when he was honorably discharged at Albany in the state of New York.  That the discharges which this deponent obtained in 1777 and in 1781 are lost and not now in existence.  And this deponent further says that by reason of his reduced circumstances in life he is in need of assistance from his Country for Support.  (Signed with his mark)  James Vanatter

End Notes—James Van Atter, by James F. Morrison

  1. James is listed in various documents as Jacobus [Dutch for James] Van Etten, Van Atter, Van Etter, etc.
  2. James was serving in Captain Henry Miller’s Company in 1779 in Colonel Jacob Klock’s Regiment of Tryon County Militia [Second Regiment].  Willett’s Regiment was not formed until 1781.
  3. Jacobus enlisted as a private on the 22 May 1781 in Captain Lawrence Gros’ Company in Lieutenant-Colonel Marinus Willett’s Regiment of New York State Levies.  He was discharged on the 31st of December 1781.
  4. In April of 1782 Jacobus again enlisted in Colonel Willett’s Regiment in Captain Abner French’s Company as a private.In November 1782 Captain French retired and Lieutenant Jellis A. Fonda was promoted to captain to take French’s place.
  5. On January 1, 1783, Jacobus was transferred to Captain Peter B. Tearce’s Company of Light Infantry in Colonel Willett’s Regiment.

According to Adjutant Pliney Moore’s Orderly Book Fort Rensselaer 1782-1783 Document Number 8174, New York State Library, Albany NY on the following date:
            Fort Rennselaer Augt 7th, 1783
            At a Court Martial Where Capt [Simeon] Newell was Presed’t—
            Leuit [John] Thornton
            Leuit [Duncan] Campbell
            Leiut [Witter] Johnston
            Leuit [Timothy] Hutton members was tried James Vanneter a soldier in Colo Willett’s Regim’t Capt. Tearses Comp’y for Absenting himself from his Comp’y without leave, Found Guilty & Sentenced to Receive One Hundred Lashes on his naked Back and On—Capt. Comd’t [Joseph] Harrison approves the Sentence of the Court & orders it to be put in Execution this Evening at Roll Call--  Pliny Moore Adjt.
            Descriptive Book No. 4 for Colonel Marinus Willett’s Regiment, Document Number 11105, Special Collections and Manuscripts, New York State Library, Albany, NY.
            James VanAtten enlisted on the 15 August 1782 by John Taylor 2 years 4 months 17 days.
Age: 19, Complexion: Dark. Hair: Brown. Eyes: Blue. Occupation: Labourer. Remarks: Scar on his left thumb.
            According to the Pay Abstract of a Regiment of New York State Troops in the Service of the United States Commanded by Colonel Marinus Willett for the year 1783.
            James VanAtten is listed as a private in Captain Tearce’s Company for 12 months as a private.  He was paid 26 Dollars 60 [of a 90th] and he was owed 53 Dollars and 30 [of a 90th] or his total pay was 80 Dollars.
            A private soldiers pay was 6 2/3 dollars a month.
            Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, Series M-246, Roll 78, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
            Return of the Bounties paid by the different Classes of Colo Klock’s Regiment to persons procured to sarve in the Levies raised for the defence of the Frotniers of this State this campaign.
            What Sums Paid: £14..16..0   By What Class Lieut [Samuel] Van Etten’s.  To Whom Paid Jacobus V Etten.
            Reverse side of Document.  Tryon County 1782.  Colo [Jacob] Klock’s Return of Bounties paid by the Classes of his Regt. For Levies.
            Revolutionary War Rolls 1775-1783, Series M.-246, Roll 75, National Archives, Washington D.C.

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