Morrison's Pensions


Pension Application for Henry Shaver

S.11376 (Awarded pension of $80.00 per annum)
State of New York
Herkimer County
            On this [blank] day of October one thousand eight hundred the thirty thirty two [sic] personally appeared in open court before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Herkimer, now sitting Henry Shaver of the town of Stark in the County of Herkimer and State of New York aged Seventy three years the fifteenth day of January next 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 the seventh day of June 1832.
            That he entered the service of the United States before the cold winter in 1778 or 1779.  That this deponent enlisted as a private Soldier for nine months in Capt. Peter Ehle’s (1) company in Col. Gansevoort’s Regiment But this Deponent cannot remember the name of his General, Lieutenant or Ensign.
            That this deponent at the time he enlisted as aforesaid resid[ed] in fort Plank in the then County of Tryon but is now the Town of Minden in the County of Montgomery & State of New York.  That after the enlistment of this Deponent his company marched to Schenectady then Onondaga (2) hollow where the[y] had an engagement with some Indians and burnt the place.  That in their march to this last named place they were Joined by about two hundred men as this deponent thinks from fort Stanwix after they had destroyed this place they marched with some prisoners they had taken to Schenectady.  Where they remained about ten or twelve days and from there they marched to Saratoga where they remained until the time time [sic] of this deponent’s enlistment expired.  That while This deponent was stationed at Saratoga his company was frequently marched to fort Edward and half Moon that the company to which this deponent belonged was disbanded at the time his enlistment expired and they all together with the captain went home.
            That this deponent received no written discharge. 
            That this deponent remained at home about one year & 2 or 3 months as he thinks.  That during that time he frequently went out as a Scout and with the Militia but had no engagements during that time but stood centry & on scouts.
            That early in the Spring of the year 1780 as this deponent thinks he enlisted again at fort Plank in the present County of Montgomery, that immediately after his enlistment this Deponent started for Fishkill where the company was stationed, but he passed through Albany where he was met by his Captain who went with him to Fishkill.  That this deponent enlisted in the Company of Capt. John Denny that the Lieut. was named Campbell.  That they were in the regiment of Col. Hay (3), and the name of the Major was Baits.  That this deponent remained at Fishkill during the time of the enlistment which was for nine months.  That the company was frequently out hunting after Tories, many of whom they caught, and lodged in Poughkeepsie jail, That this deponent was engaged in no battle while stationed at Fishkill.  That while there they were frequently visited by Genl. Washington who was received by discharging Cannon and musketry among the soldiers.
            That at the expiration of his term of enlistment, this deponent went again to be with his mother his father having been killed by the Indians in the early part of the war, that his mother’s family lived in fort Plank, where she had fled for protection soon after the death of her husband.  That this Deponent spent the whole of the next season at the fort, which was under the command of Maj. Abram Copeman (4).  While at this fort he performed all the duties of militia man.  That he stood Sentry as often as his turn came, and often went off on Scouting parties, and in small detachments to search after, and protect the neighbouring settlements against the Indians.
            That early in the Spring of 1782 as he thinks Deponent cannot recollect what months, he enlisted again in the Company of Capt. Abm French (5) for nine months. That Christopher Peck was the Lieut.  That they were in the regiment of Col. Marinus Willett.   That the company to which this deponent was attached assembled at Fort Plain, where the[y] quartered a few days among the inhabitants & then marched to fort House, situated on the East Canada Creek near the Mohawk river.  That on the way, while this Deponent was standing Sentry at night, at fort Timmerman, when he saw three Indians pass by moonshine, that deponent fired at them and in the morning having got a recruit from fort house, they pursued them all that day without finding them.  But on the return to fort House, the party that came from there overtook and attacked them.  That this Deponent remained two or three months at fort House when all but the militia left it and marched to fort Herkimer where they remained until the nine months expired.  When he returned again to fort Plank, where he served as a militia man until the end of the war.
            And this deponent further says that in the year 1781 at the battle of Johnstown he was at fort Plank after said battle.  Col Willett selected out forty white men of which this deponent was one, besides several Indians to pursue the Indians & Tories under Walter Butler (6) that on the second night the Oneida Indians discovered the trail of Butler’s Band, and in the morning they struck on in pursuit.  They come up with them killed some and took some prisoners, that Butler waded his horse across the West Canada Creek, and immediately dismounted and attempted to skulk off through the trees.  That he cried out to this pursuers to “Shoot and be damned”, which he had no sooner done then he was struck by a Ball from one Louis the Indians waded over and skalped him.
            This Deponent further says that he was acquainted with Genl Washington, and Col. Willett.
            That he has no documentary evidence in his possession But that the expects to prove a part of the above services by Richard Shimmel who was with the deponent a part of his time.
            That this deponent was born near fort Plain, in the present County of Montgomery in Jan. 1760 that there is no clergyman who can possibly know the age of this deponent.  That he has no record of his age.
            That this deponent lived at the time he was called into the service in fort Plank, has been since the revolution in different parts of the County of Montgomery and now resides in the town of Stark in the County of Herkimer.
            That this deponent enlisted into the regular troops of the State of New York.
            That he never received an written discharge from the Service.
            That this deponen[t] is known to John Roth, Jacob J. Young and John Shull (7) who will testify to his character for veracity and their belief of his Services.
            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 the agency of any state.  (Signed with his mark) Henry Shaver
            Sworn in Open Court Oct. 10th 1832.  [?] Spinner Dep’t. Clerk.

Reply to letter of inquiry dated August 2, 1938
            Reference if made to your request for information relative to Henry Shaver who served in the Revolutionary War and was pensioned while living in Stark, New York.
            The data which follow were obtained from papers on file in the pension claim, S.11376, based on the military service of Henry Shaver.
            He was born January 15, 1760, near Fort Plain, Montgomery County, New York.  The names of his parents were not given.
            Henry Shaver’s father was killed by the Indians early in the Revolution and soon after his mother fled for protection to her family at Fort Plank, Canajoharie, Tryon County, which was later Minden, Montgomery County, New York.
            While living at Fort Plank, Henry Shaver served as private with the New York troops as follows: in 1778 or 1779, nine months in Captain Ehle’s company in Colonel Peter Gansevoort’s regiment; from early in the spring of 1780, nine months or one year in Captain John Denny’s Company in Colonel Hay’s regiment; from early in the spring of 1781, nine months in Captain Lawrence Gross’ (8) company in Colonel Marinus Willett’s regiment, was in the battle of Johnstown, New York, and the morning after the battle he was among forty white men and several Indians who were selected by Colonel Willett to go in pursuit of the Indians and Tories who were under Walter Butler, they killed Butler on West Canada Creek and an Indian scalped him and they took fourteen prisoners; from early in the spring of 1782, served nine months in Captain Abner French’s company in Colonel Marinus Willett’s regiment; he also served in the militia at Fort Plank and other places at various times during the Revolution, amounting in all to about four months.
            After the Revolution Henry Shaver lived in different parts of the county of Montgomery and in Stark, Herkimer County, New York.
            He was allowed pension on his application executed October 10, 1832, at which time he was a resident of Stark, New York.
            There are no further data relative to the family of Henry Shaver.

End Notes—Henry Shaver S.11376

  1. Captain Peter H. Ehle’s Company of Boatmen was in formed in 1779, and it was not part of the Third New York Continental Regiment.
  2. Actually they used boats on Oneida Lake to get to the Onondaga Village which was attacked on April 11, 1779.  Colonel Goose VanSchaick of the First New York Continental Regiment was in command of the expedition.  The expedition was made of detachments from various Continental Regiments that were in the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys preparing to eventually go with Brigadier General James Clinton and join Major General John Sullivan against the Indians.
  3. Colonel Udney Hay of the Quartermaster Department.
  4. When Henry turned 16 he would have enlisted in the local militia.  This means he would have started serving in 1776, but because there were several Henry Shaver’s (Schafer, Shafer, Schefer, etc.) found in various regiments his service cannot be pinpointed for 1776-1778.  Major Abraham Copeman was in the First Regiment of Tryon County Militia then under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Clyde.  Henry was a private in Captain Jost (Joseph) House’s Company in this regiment.
  5. Captain Abner French’s Company was in Colonel Marinus Willett's Regiment of New York State Levies in 1782.  In November Captain French retired from the service and Jellis A. Fonda was appointed Captain of this company in his place.
  6. There are several versions of how and who shot Captain Walter Butler of Butler’s Rangers.  Most sources report it was an Oneida Indian and many of them claim his name was Anthony.  He was killed on October 30, 1781.
  7. Richard Shimmel, John Roth, Jacob J. Young and John Shull (Shall) served in Captain House’s Company.
  8. Henry was not in Captain Gross’s Company or in Willett's in 1781.  He also was not at the Battle of Johnstown.  He clearly states he was at Fort Plank.

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