Nina Postupack, County Clerk

Revolutionary War Service Affidavits c.(1820-1830)

(Pension Papers from the Court of Common Pleas)

“Entitlement to pensions based on service-connected disabilities for Revolutionary War veterans and for widows and orphans of officers killed during that war had been established by the Continental Congress and continued by the first Federal Congress. However, Congress had not done anything for surviving enlisted men, who had been poorly compensated both during the war and also upon being mustered out. Beginning in 1816, an increase in tariff rates produced a large surplus in the Federal Treasury and in December 1817 President James Monroe proposed in a message to Congress that surviving Revolutionary War soldiers be provided for out of the surplus. Following this suggestion, in 1818 Congress passed such a law and thereby established two precedents: That the government would provide for its former soldiers in their old age and that such payment would be tied to high tariff rates”.
(National Archives and Records Administration, Guide to the Senate Records, Chapter 9, Pensions, 9.36)

View list of affidavits on file

Thomas Shirkey's Affidavit

On July 4, 1820 Thomas Shirkey, a former weaver of New Paltz, made this declaration in the Ulster County Courthouse, in an effort to claim a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. . .


Southern District of New York
Ulster County Ss: __________

On this the fourth day of July 1820, personally appeared in open Court of Common Pleas, being a court of Record in and for the said county of Ulster, the undersigned Thomas Shirkey, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath declare as follows, viz:  I Thomas Shirkey, aged about seventy seven years, resident in the town of New Paltz in the said county of Ulster, do on my oath declare that I enlisted for the term of six months, about nine months previous to the death of General Montgomery, in the said town of New Paltz, in the company of Elias Hasbrouck, captain in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Wynkoop, in the line of the State of New York, that I continued to serve in the said corps until the expiration of six months, when, being then at Montreal in Canada, I again immediately enlisted in the company of Captain Cooper, for the term of six months, in the line of the State of New York, and proceeding from there to Quebec, late in the Fall, I received my discharge the next Spring at Quebec, and then returned home.  After being at home about three months, I again enlisted in the company of Captain John Hasbrouck, in the regiment commanded by Colonel Hardenbergh for the term of three months, in the line of the State of New York,
when having served out the three months, I returned home from White Plains, and then again entered as a private in the company of Captain Philip D. Bevier, in the regiment commanded by Colonel Lewis Dubois, and served three years under the said Philip D. Bevier, on the Continental establishment, when I was discharged at Bashing ridge in the State of New Jersey: That I was in the battles of St. John’s Quebec, Long Island, White Plains, at the storming and capture of Fort Montgomery, and
went [to] the Western expedition under General Sullivan. _ That my house was burnt down about fifteen years ago, and my discharge burnt with it.  And I do further swear that I am inscribed on the Pension List, Roll of New York Agency, as a Pensioner of the Revolutionary Army, and the number of my certificate 16,675.  And I do further solemnly swear, that I was
a resident 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, having no property of any kind on an old bedstead, earth, excepting a chest &, and two old chairs, and being supported as a pauper at this time by the town of New Paltz.  That I once followed the occupation of a weaver, but am now a cripple, and have been so for near thirty years, and am totally unable to keep myself.  My family consists only of a wife, aged about sixty nine years, who is also supported as a pauper, and is poor, weak, and unhealthy woman.
Sworn to and declared in open Court, on the fourth Day of July 1820, before

Thomas + Shirkey

Lucas Elmendorf
First Judge of the Court of Common
Pleas in and for the County of Ulster

Ulster Com Pleas
July Term 1820
The Court now here are of opinion that the within named Thomas Shirkey is dependent on the aid of his country for Support and that the value of the property contained in the above schedule is three dollars

Signed in behalf of the Court
Lucas Elmendorf first Judge

[The caption on the back of the document states that Thomas Shirkey died August 29, 1820 less than a month after this declaration]

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