15 Days (Pt. 3): The 1820 Estate Schedule and Income of Henry CLEMENS

15 days

The Service-Pension act of 1818 resulted in a great number of pension appli­ca­tions. Many of these applications were approved, and the US Con­gress struggled to appro­pri­ate large sums of money to meet the pen­sion demands. Finan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, and the belief that many appli­cants were feign­ing poverty to obtain ben­e­fits under the terms of the act, caused Con­gress to enact reme­dial leg­is­la­tion on May 1st, 1820. Pen­sioners already receiv­ing pay­ments under the 1818 act, and would-be pen­sioners, were required to sub­mit a cer­ti­fied sched­ule of their estate and Income to the Sec­re­tary of War—the Sec­re­tary was autho­rized to remove pensioners who were not in need of assis­tance.[1] As such, Henry Clemens was required to re-appear before the Court of Com­mon Pleas in Huntingdon County to show clearly that he really was destitute. Henry’s 1820 schedule of his estate and income is as follows:

“West­ern Dis­trict of Penn­syl­va­nia Hunt­ing­don County Js.

On the sev­en­teenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thou­sand eight hun­dred and twenty per­son­ally appeared in the open Court of Com­mon Pleas for the county of Hunt­ing­don before the Hon­ourable Charles Hus­ton Esquire Pres­i­dent and David Stew­art & Joseph McCune Esquires asso­ciate judges of the same court, being a court of record for the same dis­trict Henry Clemens aged sev­enty two years res­i­dent of War­rior Mark Town­ship in the county of Hunt­ing­don afore­said in said dis­trict who being duly sworn accord­ing to law doth declare on his oath that he served in the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War as follows (Viz) That he enlisted with Cap­tain James Maxwell in Colonel Shrieve’s Reg­i­ment in the New Jer­sey Line in the year [blank] that he was in the Bat­tle of Short­hills and that he was taken pris­oner at the Bat­tle of Ger­man­town was taken to New York and was after­wards exchanged that he joined his com­pany again and was drafted to go out after the Indi­ans under Cap­tain Bow­man in Gen­eral Sul­li­van com­mand and after the war was over he was hon­ourably discharged. That his orig­i­nal dec­la­ra­tion is dated the twenty ninth day of May in the year of our Lord one thou­sand eight hun­dred and eigh­teen. And the num­ber of his Pen­sion Cer­tifi­cate is no 12.514. And I do solemnly swear that I was a res­i­dent cit­i­zen of the United States on the eigh­teenth day of March AD 1818. And that I have not since that time by gift, sale of by any man­ner dis­posed of my prop­erty or any part thereof with an intent thereby to dimin­ish it so as to bring myself within the pro­vi­sions of an act of Con­gress enti­tled an act to pro­vide for cer­tain per­sons engaged in the Lands and Naval Ser­vice of the United States in the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War paged the 18th day of March 1818. And that I have not any prop­erty or secu­ri­ties con­tracts or debts due to me nor have I any income other than what I con­tained in the sched­ule hereto annexed and by me subscribed.

  • 1 Cow – 1 Churn
  • 1 Horses – guns
  • 1 Cab­ben [sic] and about 3 acres of moun­tain land
  • 1 plough
  • 1 har­row  1 mat­tock  1 shovel
  • 1 bed and bed­ding 1 old chest – 2 old barrels
  • 3 chairs – 2 pots and hooks shovel & tongs
  • 1 old table dishes knives & forks dishes and plates

That his right to land is only by set­tle­ment and it is claimed by sur­veys and that this declar­ant is indebted for the pur­chase of his horse and other things about 40 Pounds. Sworn & Sub­scribed in open court Aug 17 1820, [signed] William Steel Proty, & Henry Clem­mens [signed by William Steel]

That this declar­ant has no fam­ily and lives by daily labour and by rea­son of age and his eye­sight fail­ing he has become unable to sup­port him­self and that he also is afflicted with a rupture. Sworn and sub­scribed in open court Aug 17 1820, [signed] William Steel Proty & Henry Clem­mens [signed by William Steel]

West­ern Dis­trict of Penn­syl­va­nia Hunt­ing­don County Js

Thomas Wal­lace being duly sworn accord­ing to  Law did depose and say that he is well acquainted with the within men­tioned peti­tioner Henry Klem­mens and his cir­cum­stances and per­sonal prop­erty and esti­mates the same to be worth ninety dol­lars which in the opin­ion of depu­rate is the utmost extent of its value. Sworn and sub­scribed in open court this 17 day of August 1820, [signed] William Steel Proty & Thomas Wal­lace [signed by William Steel]”[2]

Although this revision to the Service-Pension Act of 1818 was meant to quell the feigning of poverty by applicants, it failed to do so—at least in the case of Henry Clemens. In particular the points I will cover in the posts that follow will detail Henry’s land holdings and family.

What We Have Learned So Far

  • Age:
    • He is 63 years and 9 months old as of 29 May 1818 suggesting he is born in August of 1755
    • He is 72 years old in August 17th 1820 suggesting he is born in 1748 
  • Origin:
    • He is “formerly” of the state of Jersey
    • He is likely of European, and possibly German, descent having signed his name “Henrich Klimens.”
  • Residence:
    • He lived in Baltimore Maryland after 1783
    • He is a resident of Warriors Mark, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania in 1818 & 1820
    • His right to land is by set­tle­ment and is claimed by sur­veys
  • Family:
    • None
  • Work & Health
    • He is in poor health (age, fail­ing eyesight, rupture) and lives by daily labour
  • Military:
    • He enlisted May 1777 at Westfield, New Jersey
    • He served with the 2nd Jersey Regiment under the command of Captain James Maxwell and Colonel Shrieve
    • He was in the battles of Germantown where he was wounded and taken prisoner for eight months; the Battle on Monmouth after he was exchanged in White Plains, NY, and in the Battles of Shorthills, Newtown, French Catherine, and Appletown in the Genesee County, NY, under General Sullivan and Captain Bowman with the Indians.
    • He was honourably discharged in Morristown, New Jersey in November or December of 1783

Part 1     Part 2

Footnotes    ((↵) returns to text)

  1. United States. National Archives and Records Ser­vice. Pam­phlet Describ­ing M804: Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War Pen­sion and Bounty-Land-Warrant Appli­ca­tion Files. Wash­ing­ton, D.C., National Archives And Record Ser­vice, 1974.; Resch, J.P. (1988). Pol­i­tics and pub­lic cul­ture: The Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War Pen­sion Act of 1818. Jour­nal of the Early Repub­lic, 8, 139–158.(↵)
  2. “United States Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Applications, 1800-1900,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N98F-L36 : accessed 20 December 2015), Henry Clemens, pension number S. 41477, service New Jersey; from “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files,” database and images, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : n.d); citing NARA microfilm publication M804 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1974); FHL microfilm 970,575.(↵)
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