Pension Application for James Wak-as-an-thar-aus or Powlis or Powlees or Powlas
Issued Mar. 8, 1792 also recorded as above under B.L.Wt. 2602 name spelled Wakarantharaw.
State of New York
County of Madison SS.
Before me personally came Johnnus Antoun, a resident of Green Bay in the County of Brown & State of Wisconsin, a credible person aged 88 years & Peter Doxtator of Oneida in the State above written a credible person aged 66 years who being severally duly sworn doth severally depose and say that Henry Powles & Henry Wakarantharaus are one and the same persons; that they have known him from his boyhood and he was always claimed by Captain James & Nelly Wakarantharaus now deceased to be their lawful & legitimate child and as such was always reputed to be by all Oneida nation; that such Henry’s said father was a chief of the first Christian Party of the Oneidas & was a Captain in the Revolution from 1778 or 9 to November 1784 so they were informed by him in his lifetime & as such he was always reputed to by which these deponents believe true. That he received 1800 acres of Land Bounty from the State of New York and about $600 in Continental for services in 1780 & 1781 as they were informed by said Capt. James repeatedly in his lifetime; that said Capt. James & his wife & as such were always reputed to be & as such had raised several children of which said Henry & Polly as the only surviving children of their own knowledge. That said Nelly which on the 25 day of April 1828 at Oneida NY and that said Capt. James W. survived her & lived unmarried until he died at Green Bay on the 15th day of March eighteen hundred and forty nine at the age of about 100 years they know of his death by reason of having been there where he died & at his burial; that the date of his death has not escaped their memory & that it was four years ago the 15th day of March last. That during his lifetime he often told these deponents the tribulations & trials he encountered when in the service of said war & that the state was made to pay him for his services & c; they further say that they believe said Captain James W. never knew any thing about the Pension laws & died without being informed, of the existence of [?] claim to a pension; that he could not read or write, & if he had have know[n] anything about his claim he would undoubtedly informed these deponents or made the same known to some of the members of his Christian Party & for the same reason the present claimant said Henry was ignorant of the same, that he cannot read or write—they further say that is was never customary for Indians to keep records of Marriage or births.
They further say that they have no interest in the result of this claim or interested in its prosecution. (Signed with his mark) Johnns Antoun, (Signed with his mark) Peter Dostater.
Witness to Signature. Thomas T. Loomis (Justice of the Peace), J.B. Jenkis
In the matter of the application of Henry Powlas alis Wal-ar-an-thar-an, child of Captain James Wak-ar-an-thar decd for certain arrears of Pension under the Act of June 7, 1832.
State of New York
County of Oneida
On this 23d day of August one thousand eight hundred and fifty three, personally appeared before the Honorable, Ralph McIntosh a special surrogates & County Judge in and for the county aforesaid, Henry Powlas alias Wak-ar-an-thar-aus, a credible person, who now resides in the town of Lenox, State of New York who being duly sworn doth declair, under the Act of June 7th 1832.
1st He is the son and legitimate heir at law of Captain James Wak-ar-an-thar-aus, [?] decd. That his said father entered the military service of the Revolutionary War in the year 1777 at Oneida in the County of Oneida & state first above written as a captain of an Indian company, and in the year following to wit 1778 he received a regular commission (as Captain) from the Governor of the State of New York to wit, Governor George Clinton; and he honorably and faithfully performed that office until the close of the said war, to wit, to December 1784. When he was honorably discharged; that he was in many important battles, to wit, at Fort Stanwix & Oriskany in the forepart of said war & others after he received his commission & served under Lieut. Col. Lewis Ata-ya-tag-hion-ghte, and Indian officer as he has always been informed.
& He further says that his said father only received fifteen months pay during the whole war, and that he received $600 for said fifteen months pay in the year 1781; that after said year to the close of said war the state was unable to pay, or did not pay him for some cause.
& That sometime in or about the year 1791 he received land bounty from the State of Ne York on account of his having served to the end of the war, that he received 1800 acres known and distinguished as Lots No. 18-32-& 22 each containing 600 acres, situate in the 26 Township of Juniers of the State of New York; that his said father disposed of the same for a little or nothing that his mother Nelly did not sign the deed of conveyance for the season that if was not customary for wives of Indians to do so, for the following reason the lands belonging to the Indians were always held in common among the Tribe and no one Indians could lay claims to any part or parcel of the land so occupied by the Tribe, because it was owned in common by the tribe as aforesaid, neither could nay part or parcel of land be sold without the consent of all the chiefs of said Tribe; that when those Indians received land from the state for military services, it was the property of the Indians who received the same, and among the Indian laws, their wives had no interest or share a dower in the same, and under their laws, such Indians who had received bounty land could convey the same in fee simply with the [?] of any other person.
& That is said mother said Nelly—lived with her said husband at Oneida, in the said State of New York until she died on the 25 day of April 1828 in the 60 year of her age; that his said father Capt. James Wakarantharaus lived at Oneida several years thereafter until he removed to Green Gay in the state of Wisconsin, when he died there on the fifteenth day of March eighteen hundred and forty nine (1849) in the 99 year of his age.
& He further says that there is no public or private record of his said father or mother’s marriage in existence; that such records were never kept by any of the [?] for the reason that they were ignorant of such things and could not read or write. That his said father & mother could not read or write is the reason probably that they did not keep such record; for the same reason they never kept a record of the birghs of their children—that it was never customary for Indians to keep such records; that said Kirkland who married them, never kept any record of the same or of the births of their children, and that there is not record in whatever of their marriage or births of their children is the reason why such record is not herewith presented or annexed.
& He further says the reason why this claim for a pension was not before asserted is because this declarant as well as his dec’d father were entirely ignorant of the same; that his said father never knew any thing about the pension laws, could not read or write, aforesaid, was Chief of the 1st Christian Party of his Tribe, & [?] went by his time [?] in the performance of his duties among said tribe, and not to matters that did not concern the Indians. That he lived on a large Reservation away from the white population, and had no means of informing himself of the existence of his right to a pension, was never informed, & he did without having applied for the same; that for this same reason this declarant was entirely ignorant of the same—until he was informed that the Indians who served in the war of 1812 were entitled to bounty land & he then made enquiries about the soldier of the war of the Revolution if they were also entitled under the act of Sept. 28, 18[4?]0 and after relating his father’s services in said war, he was informed that he was entitled to a large amount of arrears of pension, for which he now makes application, that three months has not reapsed [relapsed?] since he was informed about the same—
& He further says that he & Polly are the only children and legitimate heirs at law of said Captain James & Nelly—Wakar-antharaus, both deceased as will be seen by proof hereunto annexed—that his father was one of the chiefs of the 1st Christian Party of the Oneidas, and that his grandfather was a chief of said party & that this declarant is now a chief of said party & that he is now known and called “Henry Powlas” but that it means the same in Indian as Henry Wakarantharaus & that the two names are one & mean the same thing & farther he saith not. (Signed with his mark) Henry Powlis
Witness to signature: R McIntosh, Ira D. Brown
Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year first above written and I certify that I have no interest in the result of this case or interest in its prosecution. Ralph McIntosh Spe
cial Surrogate, Special County Judge, County of Oneida. SS
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