Pension Application for John Roof
State of New York
On the 1st day of Sept. 1832, personally came before me Henry Dieffendorff, one of the Judges in and for the County of Montgomery aforesaid, came Peter Young of the Town of Minden, same county and state aforesaid, who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith that he is personally known and acquainted with John Roof, and hath known him since the year 1778, in the Revolutionary War, and ever since knowing that he has served in the militia under the Command of Col. Samuel Clyde, in the company commanded by Capt. Adam Lyke, that this deponent being satisfied that the said Roof hath been drafted, and ordered out in watching and guarding at different places and forts, against the incursions of the common enemy frequently sent with scouting parties and also satisfied that he the said Col. Roof has been in battle at Johnstown under the emmediate [immediate] command of Col. Willett, against Major Ross from Canada and also that e went with Col. Willett to Oswego in winter 1783, belonging to the same company of which this deponent was orderly Sergt. and that this deponent declares that he the said Col. John Roof has been a faithful soldier until the close of the war, and that he is a man in good standing where he is known and of truth and veracity and believed and further this deponent saith not.
(Signed) Peter Young
Sworn and subscribed the day and date before me.
Henry I Dievendorff, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and for said county.
State of New York
On this nineteenth day of September in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and thirty two personally appeared in open court before the judges of the Court of Common Pleas and in general session of the peace to be holden in and for said county now sitting John Roof, a resident of the Town of Canajoharie in the county aforesaid and state aforesaid aged seventy years and sixteen days 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 7th June 1832. That he served under the following named officers as herein stated in the service of the United States viz. That he this applicant declares that immediately after he arrived at the age of sixteen years in the year 1778 then residing in the Town of Canajoharie aforesaid, then belonging to the Regt commanded by Col. Samuel Clyde and enrolled in the company commanded by Capt. Adam Lipe and so continued under the said company and regiment of militia until the close of the Revolutionary War and after the was hath obtained a Captain’s Commission being then the command of a light infantry company for some number of years next promoted to that of a Col. (viz) Command of the Regt.
This applicant declares that he hath always understood and verily believes that he was born in the County of then Tryon at Fort Stanwix now County of Oneida, Village of Rome when he hath resided with his father until the commencement of the Revolutionary War although naught but four families there residing at Fort Stanwix or near it and hath ??? and continued there to reside at the same place until a little while previous to that memorable battle of Oriskany under Genl. Herkimer four miles from Fort Stanwix where his father hath removed down the Mohawk River with himself and family and then taken into the same house with Genl. Herkimer.
While residing at Fort Stanwix until early in summer or spring in the year 1777, that his father hath been Capt. of a Company in the militia, also of the Committee of Safety he believes so called in the then County of Tryon who himself as well then all the family having contributed much in supporting the war while they hath resided near the fort, to the militia who hath been drafted commanding from a distance, as well then in aiding and assisting both officers and soldiers belonging in the United States service while stationed and situated in the fort and that immediately from the commencement of the war until they were constrained in quitting and leaving their farms and place of residence. And that this applicant further declares that he considers it inpractible for himself in doing justice to himself after the lapse of more than half a century to describe all the duties and services performed on his part from the year 1778 to the close of the war, no. that he believes not one militia man out of a thousand can swear to the no. of days served each trip or tour when called out excepting such he knows and recollects which scarcely any one can do as to all. That this applicant declares, that in the year 1778 or previous or after the years 1778 he was called upon in watching and guarding against the incursions of the enemy at various times to the close of the war and at different forts and places (viz) at Fort Ehle that his father and family, generally moving into with their effects and as also the neighbors around the fort generally guarding at nights & Capt. Van Everan commonly considered having command of the fort say from 1778 to 1783 at a moderate calculation one month annually.
That this applicant further declares that he was drafted and sent to Fort Clyde twice watching and guarding, also in 1780 he believes sent by Col. Willett to Torlough with others as guard and watching while Col. Willett’s men were there ??? by Tories at Torlough.
That this applicant also declares that he frequently was ordered out watching and guarding Fort Blank, [Plank] Fort Windecker and more frequent Fort Plain, there all situate then Town of Canajoharie. This applicant further declares that he was ordered out twice to march to Herkimer with drafts of the militia.
When about home or situate or stationed at some of the forts in the Town of Canajoharie, this applicant declares that he hath been ordered out with scouting parties and actually were occasionally and frequently at a considerable distance from the forts, searching the woods in order to make discoveries on the parties of Indians and Tories most always looking about in the woods to and round about the lakes, vizt, what is called Schuyler Lake and Lake Otsego and at different directions. Number of trips or tours, days or months, this applicant cannot tell nor remember.
That this applicant further declares that in the year 1779 at the time of Genl. Sullivan’s Expedition to the west, in pursuit of the Indians, destroying their castles, and ordered out transporting bateaux from the Mohawk River to Lake Otsego, engaged with wagons and horses.
On the 25th day in October 1781, in Battle at Johnstown, under the Emedient [immediate] Command of Col. Marinus Willet, when this claimant was in battle with Col. Willett, and again present with Col. Willett in retaking our field piece and Major Ross with their incendiary crew set to flight, which happened to proof a serious contest on that day. A number of lifes [lives] lost and prisoners taken on both sides.
That this applicant further declares, that he thinks in February 1783 then again ordered to go under the Command of Col. Willett to take the fort at Oswego, and went along at the distance not much short of one hundred miles, but Col. Willett agreeably disappointed, not atteurting? in storming the fort if atteurted? The probability, that more or any of Col. Willett’s men would have escaped misery and cruelty, numbers of Col. Willett’s men destroyed by cold, some which hands and feet frozen, totally deprived of their limbs, and which remained helpless for ever thereafter.
That this applicant declares, that he flatters himself with an humble belief that sufficient has been stated and declared to entitle him to a full compensation, interested and contemplated by the law of congress passed June 7th 1832. More particulary when his Hon’r the Secretary of the War Department, finding, in being satisfied, that the applicant has complied with the requisitions, conformable to an resolution passed by the old Congress in May 27th 1775 which are in the following words. Vizt:
Resolved that the Militia of New York be armed and trained and in constant readiness at a moment’s warning, that it be recommended to the Provincial Convention of New York to persevere the more rigorously to prepare for their defense, as it is very uncertain whether the earnest endeavors of the Congress to accommodate the unhappy differences between Great Britain and the Colonies by conciliatory means will be successful.
That this applicant declares that from and emmediately [immediately] after he arrived to the age of sixteen years and continued to the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, always kept himself in constant readiness at a moment’s warning and call, with sufficient arms and accoutrements in compliance, as well, conformable to the resolution passed by Congress then in conformity and obedience to the order and directions of his supreme officers and laws and resolutions passed by the State of New York from time to time.
That this applicant cannot refrain considering that all his services connectively from the year 1778 he will be entitled being allowed as one term only while continued to the close of the war, which he can make appear by creditable testimony or witnesses vizt, John Van Alstine, Henry Murphy and Peter Young, Esqr. That he did continue in service and one duty to the close of the Revolutionary War.
And that 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 any agency of any state.
(Signed) John Roof
Sworn and subscribed the day and year aforesaid, before me in open court. Geo. D. Ferguson, Clerk
Letter included in the Pension folder.
Veteran’s Administration, Washington
February 6, 1933
Honorable Fred C. Gilchrist
House of Representatives
My dear Mr. Gilchrist:
Reference is made to your request for the Revolutionary War record of John Roof, who was born in 1730, and died in 1798 and John Roof who was born in 1760, received pension for his service and died in 1847,
A careful search of the Revolutionary War records has been made and no claim for pension or bounty land found based upon service of the first named John Roof. The record of the only Revolutionary War pensioner by that name is given below as found in the papers on file in his claim for pension, S.14371.
John Roof was born at Fort Stanwix, in Tryon (later Oneida) County, Village of Rome, New York, date not given. His father and family continued to reside at Fort Stanwix until shortly before the battle of Oriskany when they moved down the Mohawk River and were taken into the same house with General Herkimer and from that time until the close of the war, they generally lived at one of the forts. In 1777, his father was captain of a militia company of Tryon County, New York and was also a member of the Committee of Safety of said county. The names of John Roof’s parents were not stated.
John Roof enrolled in the militia company of Captain Adam Leyp, under Colonel Samuel Clyde in the New York Troops, and in 1778, when he arrived at the age of sixteen years, and then residing in Canajoharie, New York, he engaged in active duty under the above named officers; he served at various times on short tours at the forts and on scouting parties against the Indians, and held himself in readiness to be called out on alarms at a moment until the close of the war in 1783; his entire service amounted to more than two years in all. He was in General Sullivan’s Indian Expedition and at the battle of Johnstown, in which engagement, he served under Colonel Marinus Willett.
After the Revolution, John; Roof was appointed captain of a company of light infantry and served some years when he received the appointment of colonel of the same regiment. He was also a member at one time of the State Legislature of New York.
He was allowed pension on his application executed September 19, 1832, at which time he was aged seventy years and sixteen days and resided in Canajoharie, Montgomery County, New York.
It is not stated that soldier was ever married.
In order to obtain the date of last payment of pension, the name and address of person paid and possibly the date of death of the Revolutionary War pensioner, John Roof, S.14371, you should address the Comptroller General, General Accounting Office. Records Division, this city, citing all the following data:
John Roof, Certificate No. 24153, issued November 6, 1833, rate $75.50 per annum, commenced March 4, 1831, Act of June 7, 1832, New York Agency.
Very truly yours,
Assistant to Administrator.