Pension Application for Lewis Pruyne
Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.
State of New York
On this twentieth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty three personally appeared in open court before Augustus Beardslee, John Mahande, Rufus Crane, Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Herkimer now sitting Lewis Pruyne, a resident of the town of Danube in the County of Herkimer and state of New York, aged seventy two 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 7, 1832.
That he was born at Fort Hunter (now Florida in the present county of Montgomery) on the twenty second day of April A.D. 1760, as he has always been informed by his parents, and verily believes to be true though he has not, and does not know that his parents kept any written record of his age—
He entered the service as a militia man in the spring of the year 1776 into a company commanded by Captain Harmanus Mabee Lieutenant, Francis Pryne and one VanAllen was first lieutenant one Quackenbush was second lieutenant; and the company belonged to a regiment of which Frederick Fisher, or Vischer was the Colonel—Preparations were made for defense that fall, land he & his company went during the latter part of the fall or the first part of Winter to Johnstown at which place an alarm had been raised that some Indians & Tories had raised & were threatening to massacre the inhabitants favourable to the Americans cause & he was gone here about three weeks when he returned and remained at Fort Hunter till the fall in the year 1776, doing duty as guard at that fort, and as a scout to watch the operations of the Indians, Tories & British –
In the latter part of April of the year 1777, and express was brought to Fort Hunter for Capt. Mabee’s Company to march to Cherry Valley where an attack was apprehended, they were all warned out & started & met the other companies of the regiment on the way & the great portion of the regiment met at Cherry Valley and he believes that Col. Vischer was there and Major John Newkirk. – The whole force at a distance, that was there assembled was more that [than] two hundred men, and they remained there about three weeks—He was there and often in the house of the old Clergyman Mr. Dunlop, while he was keeping guard at Cherry Valley--& he also became acquainted with several men by the name of Wells who resided there—not battle was fought there as the enemy did not attack the place and after about three weeks, he was dismissed and his company returned to Fort Hunter again—after the return to Fort Hunter, he & others of his company were employed to keep garrison there & guard that place, & he was often called up to John Roof’s house, on the Mohawk river about fourteen miles from fort Hunter to guard that place from the approach of the Indians, and he well recollects that he lay out doors there the whole night, expecting every moment an attack of the Indians who wanted to burn the house & barns, and Capt. Mabee & the whole company was at this time at Roof’s and often remained there on duty several days, but during this whole year, his place of residence & where he did the most of his duty was at Fort Hunter—
In the year 1777, he was again called out with his company to Johnstown but did not long remain there when he returned and remained some time keeping garrison when there came orders to Fort Hunter to draft out of Capt. Mabee’s company, six or eight men, to go to fort Plank on the Mohawk, a few miles above fort Plain, where there was a block house, to supply the place of some men whose times at fort plank was expired, the draft was made and he (Pruyne) was one of the number & he & his comrades went & kept garrison there for several weeks, and he believes six or seven weeks, when he was at Fort Plank he belonged to a company commanded by Capt. G. Putman—after their places were supplied by others, he went back to fort Hunter & remained there on duty keeping garrison guard as before—during all this year he was in actual service, going from place to place as a scout & keeping garrison at different places—
In the year 1778, he was on duty at Fort Hunter from the month of April until the first of December of the same year, but the captain who commanded was Jacob Gardiniere and Lieutenant Pruyne, and he was often out two, three, and four days at a time on scouts, to different places, and in one scout he want as far as Schoharie through the woods, a distance of sixteen or eighteen miles, and was piloted by one Crumnull through the wood, but he is now dead—Three others were with him and were four or five days—
In the year 1779 from April to November he was on duty at Fort Hunter, as a guard to the garrison, and was employed on scouts, about the whole time—
That the way in which the wear was managed was this, during the summer & fall of the years, the inhabitants left their farms & repaired to the forts for protection, and they worked the farms in small parties, while several of the soldiers from the fort would stand near the field and keep guard to see that the enemy did not surprise the men at work, to give the alarm if Indians did make their appearance, which they did often do on purpose to destroy the crops & prevent the inhabitants from raising any corn or grain & to steel cattle & destroy them—But in the winter season the farmers would return to their farms as the enemy or Indians did not very often make incursions in that season of the year.
That in the year 1780 he was also on duty as a guard to keep garrison at Fort Hunter under Capt. Gardineer—That he was here on duty as in former years, and that during this year, and he believes it was in the fall of this year Sir John Johnson & Walter Butler out of Schoharrie & burned the settlement, and when intelligence of the massacre & burned reached Fort Hunter, he and four others were sent out on a scouting party to ascertain the number & situation of the enemy & to ascertain if they would probably come to Fort Hunter, when they (Pruyne & his party) had gone about half way from fort Hunter, they were fired on by the enemy & one of the party was killed; it was David Cossant, one was taken prisoner, and one Thomas Muller & himself (Pruyne) escaped and got back to Fort Hunter, and the Indians were after them & came on to Fort Hunter, but immediately departed and crossed over the river at Smithtown as it is now called a short distance above Fort Hunter & went to Stone Arabia, and there was a battle & Col. Brown was killed, and then through Caughnawaga—
During the summer & fall of the year 1781 and 1782 he also was on duty at Fort Hunter, and was often during both years sent out on scouting parties to different forts & places, and several times he went up as far as Fort Herkimer, which is about forty miles from fort Hunter, and he also after went up to Canajoharrie, about fourteen miles from Fort Hunter, when alarms were raised that the Indians were approaching—That he believes he was actually employed from the year 1776 the end of the year 1782 as much as seven months in the year, in each year and that his business was to keep guard at forts and to go out on scouts, and to carry expresses to the different forts on the Mohawk river when it could be ascertained that the Indians, Tories & the enemy generally were supposed to be approaching those places—
That no clergyman resides in his neighborhood to whom he is known—
That he was born at Fort Hunter (now Florida in the present county of Montgomery on the 22d day of April A.D. 1760 & that no clergyman resides in his neighborhood with whom he is acquainted who can testify as to his character or veracity. That he has no written record of his age—
That he resided at Fort Hunter when called into the service and did not change his place of residence during the revolutionary war, and continued to reside in the same place after the said war till the spring of the year 1832 when he removed to the town of Danube in Herkimer County where he now resides—
That he was called into service as a militia man, and served as such in the manner stated in the previous part of his declaration—and that all his service in said revolutionary war was as much as three years active service as will appear from the foregoing statement of service—
That Frederick Fisher or Vischer was colonel of the regiment to which he belonged, and John Newkirk was major, General Volent Vedder.
That he has the affidavits of William Furgerson & Peter Pryne who reside in Montgomery County & who are old poor infirm & could not be brought to this court without great pain and trouble, and that Francis Frederick, Francis Pruyne are acquainted with the applicant and can attest to his character for truth & veracity, and their belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution.
That he herby 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) Lewis Pruyne
Subscribed & sworn to in open court this 12th day of February A.D. 1853.
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