Revolutionary War Veteran
Applies for a Pension
Submitted by researcher C. V. Brooks
NAMES ON RECORD, which emphasizes muster rolls and other documentation showing African Americans in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, also reproduces and transcribes the following pension declaration signed in 1829 by Revolutionary war soldier Ephraim Hearn, a "man of colour." Given to Arthur S. Davis (county clerk of Gloucester County, Virginia), the declaration mentions Hearn's service at Valley Forge, capture in South Carolina, and escape from New York. * * *
Gloucester County Court August Term 1829
Declaration of Ephraim Hearn
a soldier of the Revolutionary war
Gloucester County S. S.
On this 8th day of August 1829 personally appeared in open court being a court of record for the county of record for the county aforesaid having Jurisdiction unlimited in point of amount, the power of fine and imprisonment and keeping a record of its proceedings, Ephraim Hearn a man of color resident in said county aged eighty four years, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the provision made by the acts of Congress of the 18th March 1818 and the 1st. of May 1820, that he the said Ephraim Hearn was drafted as a soldier in the said county of Gloucester in the state of Virginia the day and year he does not now recollect - that he marched in a company under the command of Capt. Callohill Mennis to the Northward to the Valley Forge and after serving eighteen months in the said company the term for which he was drafted he then enlisted at the said Valley Forge on the 10th day of December 1778 for and during the term of the war in a company commanded by Capt. Robert Payne [Talton Payne ?] in the first Virginia regiment under the command of Colo. Burgess Ball - that in a few months afterwards he marched to the Southward and continued to serve in the said company and regiment until the taking of Charleston in South Carolina where he was taken prisoner by the British remained in that place about nine months and was then carried by the British from thence (?) to New York city: that in a few months after his arrival there he made his escape from that place and returned to the said county of Gloucester in Virginia where he remained until the end of the war never having been exchanged - that he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension except the present that his name is not on the pension roll of any state except Virginia and that he has before made application for a pension but has never received any thing in consequence as he apprehends of there being some irregularity in presenting his claim. ~
And in pursuance of the act of 1st. May 1820 I do so solemnly swear that I was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift sale or in any manner disposed of my property or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the revolutionary war passed on the 18th. day of March 1818: and that I have not nor has any person in trust for me any property or securities contracts or debts due to me nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule annexed and by me subscribed to wit One cow one yearling, five hogs, three chairs; one old table a spining [sic] wheel and an Iron pot-- my occupation is weaving which I am now unable to pursue. my family now residing with me consists of two persons to wit my wife and one daughter - Molly my wife I think and believe is more than sixty years old and not able to contribute any thing of consequence to our support - Betsy my daughter is about twenty years of age and the only one of my family that is able to do any thing - that since the 18th of March 1818 no change has been made in my property.
Ephraim x Hearn
I Arthur S. Davies clerk of the court of Gloucester county do hereby certify that it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the said Ephraim Hearn did serve in the Revolutionary War as stated in the preceding declaration against the common enemy for the term therein stated under one engagement on the continental establishment. I also certify that the foregoing oath and the schedule thereto annexed are truly copied from the records of the said Court. And I so further certify that it is the opinion of the said Court that the total amount in value of the property exhibited in the aforesaid schedule is ten dollars. ~
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the said Court on this 12th day of August 1829 in the 54th. year of the Commonwealth
Arthur S. Davis
Clerk of the court of the
County of Gloucester