Pension Application for John VanSchaack
State of New York
Greene County SS.
On this third day of September one thousand eight hundred and thirty two personally appeared in open court before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in and for the said County of Greene now sitting being a court of record John VanSchaack a resident of the town of Coxsackie in the County of Greene and State of New York aged between seventy nine and 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 was born in the town of Coxsackie in the said County of Greene (formerly County of Albany) on the 27th day of December 1752 as he has always understood from his parents—That he has a family record in which his birthday is set down as having been on the aforesaid twenty seventh day of December and which he believes to be a correct entry—that from the time of his birth until the present time he has resided upon the same farm in the said town and has never resided elsewhere—That Anthony Van Bergen (1) Esquire of Coxsackie in the then County of Albany (now County of Greene) and State of New York as early as the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy five was Colonel of a regiment of militia in the said County of Albany and that he continued such Colonel during the whole of the revolutionary war—This deponent was a private at that time in a company of militia in the same regiment whereof this deponent believes Myndert VanSchaick (2) was the Captain—That the adjacent Country was then almost an uninterrupted wilderness to the Canadas, infested with Tories and Indians, who were continually making depredations upon the property of the inhabitants friendly to the American cause and frequently murdered and robbed those inhabitants—that about the same time orders were received by the said Colonel to have the regiment in readiness for actual service—That this deponent was one of those who was ordered to be in constant readiness and was called one of the “minute men”—That he considered himself from that time bound to actual service and liable to be called out at any moment; that he kept himself in constant readiness to march, was drilled and exercised by the officers of his company for that purpose almost every week and frequently weekly—That Leonard Bronk and Johoichem Tryon were Lieutenants of the Company to which this deponent belonged at that time, both of whom as also Myndert VanSchaick the said Captain are dead—
That in the winter of 1776, and this deponent believes in the month of January, a part of the aforesaid Regiment was ordered to Johnstown in the county of Montgomery, distant about seventy miles from Coxsackie to oppose the forces under Sir John Johnson, that this deponent volunteered and went as a private on that service—That General Schuyler was the commanding officer of the American forces.—That Samuel VanVeghten (3) of Catskill was this deponent’s Captain—that he thinks Ignatius VanOrden (4) of the same place was Major—that both are dead—that he does not now remember any other officer who is at this time alive—That he was present when Sir John Johnson was surrendered—That he was from Coxsackie at that time not less than a fortnight—That afterwards and in the same year this deponent was ordered as a private to Schoharie in the State of New York distant forty miles from Coxsackie, to protect certain forts there erected by the Americans—That he remained there until he was relieved by another militia man from his company; that he was there he believes not less than one month—that he was there commanded by Jehoichim Tryon—a lieutenant in the former part of this declaration mentioned—That he recollects that one Ephraim Bronk, (5) who is still alive was there also doing duty as a private—
That afterwards and in the fall of the same year and this deponent thinks in the month of October, he and a great part of the Regiment to which he belonged were ordered by Colonel Anthony Van Bergen to place called Lowenburgh on the North River (now Athens) in the county of Greene aforesaid to guard American boats and to defend the adjoining country against the threatened attacks of the Tories—That Myndert Van Schaick was his captain & Jehoichem Tryon was Lieutenant & that this deponent officiated as Ensign having been elected by his company, although he did not hold his commission as such—That he remained there doing duty from five to six weeks—That in the winter of 1776 – 1777 part of the Regiment of Colonel Anthony Van Bergen was ordered to Albany that this deponent went there and was commanded at that time by Capt. Henry Van Bergen (6) of Coxsackie now deceased—that they were stationed at Albany as a place of rendezvous—that he was frequently at that time engaged in scouting parties in different parts of the adjoining wilderness & Country—That he was out on this duty a considerable time, but cannot with certainty state the precise time, it may have been a month—That after the declaration of Independence, but the year he cannot state, he was ordered, to & did duty at Catskill against the Tories and Indians & was absent on this duty from ten to fourteen days—
That in the spring or summer of 1777 he was ordered to Fort Edward and Lake George in the State of New York between sixty and eighty miles from his residence—that he did duty as a private at that time not less than one month—That afterwards and in the same year he was drafted from his regiment for three months—that one Benjamin Dubois (7) of Catskill now deceased commanded the company to which he was attached & that this deponent acted as Ensign—That the Regiment was commanded by one Col. Whemp (8) where this deponent understood was from Schenectady—That they were drafted to oppose Burgoyne, that he went to Saratoga, was there at the first severe battle (9) fought between the American forces under General Gates and the British forces under General Burgoyne; that shortly after the said engagement he was taken sick and remained so until after the surrender of Burgoyne—
That on the 20th June 1778 he was appointed an Ensign of Captain Myndert VanSchaick’s company of Militia in the then County of Albany in the Regiment whereof Anthony Van Bergen aforesaid was Colonel—that the commission is signed by George Clinton Governor of the State of New York and passed the Secretary’s office on the 4th day of August 1778 and is now in the possession of this deponent—That from that time he held his commission and did duty under it until the termination of the revolutionary war—
That in the year 1779 he was again ordered out to Johnstown upon an alarm that he then did duty as an Ensign and that he was out about a fortnight.
That in addition to the services in this declaration above particularly specified this deponent declares that from the year 1775 to the close of the Revolutionary War he was frequently ordered out and did duty upon alarms and special occasions—That he was repeatedly from home, sometimes a week, at other times, one, two and a greater number of days and nights at different distances according to the orders received.
That when one part of the militia was ordered on a distant service, the other was usually on duty nearer their places of residence—This deponent unequivocally declares that he has no doubt that the time in which he was actually employed in positive military service on his own account and not as a substitute exceeds the term of two years—That since the State of his commission as Ensign he considered himself bound to military service until the end of the revolutionary war—that he very frequently was called out and did duty as such officer, but he cannot with certainty say that he was actively employed in military duty for two years as such commissioned officer except that he was continually prepared and supposed himself bound to be prepared until the termination of the war—The services were on his own account & believes no discharge—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 ) John VanSchaack
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid before me [Mr. Lawrence Kirtland?] Judge of Green County State of N. York & in open court before me William V.B. Hermanace, Clerk
Reply to information query dated June 2, 1908.
In reply to your letter dated the 27th and received the 29th ultimo relative to John Van Schaick a soldier in the Revolutionary War, you are advised that from the paper in claim Sur. File 11, 605, it appears that John Van Schaack was born December 27, 1752 at Coxsackie New York, where he always resided.
In 1775 he was a Private in Captain Myndert Van Schaick’s company, Colonel Anthony Van Bergen’s regiment, length of service not stated. Volunteered in January 1776, private under Captain Samuel Van Veghten, same regiment, was at Sir John Johnson’s surrender, served two weeks. Drafted in 1776 under Lieut. Jochem Tryon, one month. October 1776 as Ensign under Captain Myndert Van Schaick, two months. Winter of 1776 and 1777, under Captain Henry Van Bergen, Colonel Anthony VanBergen, one month. Drafted (no date given) under Captain John Persen (10) one month, no dates, no officers given, stationed at Catskill 10 to 14 days. Spring or summer 1777, Private, (no officers given) stationed at Fort Edward and Lake George; six weeks. July or August 1777, Ensign under Captain Benjamin Dubois, Colonel Whemps (?) regiment, was in the battle of Saratoga; three months. June 20, 1778 appointed Ensign of Captain Myndert Van Schaick’s Company; Colonel Anthony VanBergen’s regiment and served as such to the end of the War.
In 1779 he was in an expedition to the Mohawk River; two weeks.
He was allowed pension on an application executed September 3, 1832, at which time he resided at Coxsackie aforesaid. Names of wife and children not mentioned.
End Notes—John VanSchaack—S11605
Book of Interest
Letters from a Revolution 1775-1783 (Bronck Family Papers) Ed. Raymond Beecher, Albany 1973.
Collection of Letters
A collection of letters in the Green County Historical Society. The letters contain information on Coxsacke—Catskill area of New York.
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