In the old town of Manlius, which included the present town of Dewitt, the available records show that there lived forty-five veterans of the Revolution as follows:
Levi Carr--Was fifty-nine years old in 1820, had served in the Revolutionary infantry, Patterson's brigade, and had property valued at $174.64, but he was hopelessly in debt, owing $409.80. He was probably a cooper, as a set of coopering tools was mentioned in the inventory. His wife, a son and daughter, and two grandchildren depended on him for support. He was still a pensioner in 1840.
John Cockley--Was in the New York line, and served eight years, through the entire war. He was in both Colonel Van Schaick's and Colonel Nicholson's regiments. His property was ridiculously meager, valued at $2.37, and included a pair of spectacles, a tobacco box, and $2 in cash. He was sixty-four years old in 1820 and lived with his son Cornelius.
Samuel Clark--Made his affidavit in May, 1827, when he was seventy-one years old. He had served about nine months under General Sullivan. Here is his description of his property: "Real estate none, and never had any. Personal estate none, except my wearing apparel, consisting of one suit of home-made clothes, one spare shirt, and an old great coat." He had no family.
Benjamin Darling--Made three different affidavits in as man years; all agreeing as to his service, but contradictory as to property. He was in Colonel Lamb's New York regiment nine months in 1782. He first testified that his property was worth $67.37. Next that it was worth $270.37, while his debts amounted to $715.37. He owed Judge Miller $600, on which there was due $111 interest. In 1840 he was seventy-eight years old and still a pensioner. He had two sons, Ezra and Alexander.
George Eager--Made oath in September, 1820, that he was seventy-four years old, and had served as a surgeon in New Hampshire troops during the war. He had considerable property, valued at $1,173, with debts of $500. He owned a part of lot 94 in Manlius. In describing his household furniture, the old surgeon was facetious. He said he had "one spare bed and bedding, one bedstead, crockery barely sufficient to make the family decently comfortable, ironware and other articles of household furniture barely sufficient to be comfortable, articles of provisions likewise" all worth $52. He then added that perhaps he might "have an honest claim to two swine, nine geese, and perhaps six barnyard fowls" worth $11. He had living with him his son Samuel, a grandson, and his wife and her two children.
Ephraim Eaton--Served in the Massachusetts line, was sixty-five years old in 1820, had property worth $15.36, and owed twice that amount. In his family were his wife, a son and daughter.
George Grinnell--Served in the Rhode Island line, was sixty-four years old in 1820, had $48.25 property, of which $40 was in a colt, and owed $47 to such old settlers as Azariah Smith, John Meeker, M. Hull & Co., James O. Wattles, and Elijah Rhodes. He had three daughters and one son, George F. Grinnell.
Hendrick Higbee--A Manlius blacksmith, served one year in the New Jersey troops, and had property worth $62.09. With him lived his wife and a grandson. The old patriot was sixty-one years old, lame and almost blind.
Joseph Hennigan--Enlisted in Colonel Wynkoop's regiment, New York line, for one year, and afterwards re-enlisted for two years. He had $162.72 in property and owed $110.25 to William H. Sabin, Dr. Gordon Needham of Onondaga Valley, and Amasa Martin of Manlius.
David Holbrook--Did not apply for pension until Nov. 29, 1829, when he was sixty-nine years old, forced to by sickness of himself and wife. He served nine months in the Massachusetts troops, and his personal property including medical books and surgical instruments, was worth only $27.25. In his story of the loss of his farm he said he had owned fifty acres on lot 92, Manlius, worth $700, and encumbered by a mortgage. He had made a bargain with his son Henry to give him the farm if he would support his father and mother for life. This was a verbal agreement and without security. In July, 1823, Henry deeded the land to the youngest son, Hiram P., who was a minor, and left the State. In October, 1826, the patriot's wife died, and in 1829 he was living with his son-in-law, Conrad G. Hotaling.
Uriah Keeler--Was sixty-six years old in 1820, served throughout the war in the Connecticut line, in various organizations, was a farmer, with a family depending on him. His property was valued at $43.83, but he owed $245.
Phineas Kellogg--Was sixty-four years old when he made his application, and had property worth $790.20, and debts of $365.13. He served one year in Col. Jedediah Huntington's regiment, and lived with his wife and daughter.
Stephen Leonard--First applied in 1820, when he was sixty-seven years old, and had property worth $56.29 and debts of $80. His name had been dropped from the roll, and he made a second application in 1824. He served nine months in the New Jersey line, and lived with his wife and a daughter, Hannah Goodrich, who had five children. His property he thought was worth $29.92, and he lived in a house leased from his son, David H. Leonard, which was sold to Azariah Smith on a mortgage sale.
Caleb Merrill--Enlisted in 1781 when seventeen years old, in the 9th Massachusetts Regiment, and served till June, 1783. In 1820 he testified that his worldly possessions consisted of a tobacco box and a knife worth thirty-seven cents, but he had been successful in accumulating an indebtedness of $3,000. He had a wife and two daughters.
Asa Merrill--Was fifty-eight years old in 1820, served in a Massachusetts regiment three years, from May, 1777, was a cooper by trade, and had six in his family, including his wife. His property was worth $378.95, while he owed $600.25. On account of his wealth his name was dropped from the roll, and in May, 1823, he made a second application, in which he demonstrated how his property had depreciated, as follows: his set of cooper's tools were much worn and reduced in value; 1 saw, worth $1.75, was sold to Samuel Edwards in part payment for pasturing a cow; "grindstone," full half worn out; "fifteen barrels," disposed of to Messrs. Hull & Moseley for family supplies; "three old kegs," gone to decay; "staves, headings, etc., made up, help paid, and debts due Sylvanus Tousley, Reuben Bennett, Morris Hall (Hull) & Co., and W. & C. Gardner, paid;" "one barrel of soap," used up; "one axe, one wheelbarrow," nearly worn out, lent and lost; "two hogs, five pigs," fatted and eaten; "cash one dollar," expended in going to Onondaga to make the schedule in 1820; "debts due, supposed good and collectable," settled, except that of Slocum & Williams, and they dispute the demand; nothing received or can be from "debts bad;" one-half of pew in Christ church, Manlius, disposed of to Sylvanus Tousley towards a note held against him for the pew itself. He was in debt at this time $349.50. Merrill was still alive in 1840 at the age of eighty years.
William Orcutt--Was sixty-nine years old in 1820, served in a Massachusetts regiment, had property worth $132.64 and was in debt $283.50. He had a wife and three sons.
Asa Parks--Served in Col. Jonathan Ward's Massachusetts regiment one year, was sixty-five years old in 1820, had property valued at $39, but had pledged it all to Pearl Kellogg for a debt of $20, excepting a set of shoemaker's tools. His grandson, George W. Parks aged twelve, was living with him.
George Ransier--Applied for a pension January 25, 1825, when he was sixty-nine years old. He had a long and varied military record beginning early in 1776, and was discharged in February, 1779. He immediately re-enlisted for nine months and served his time. In 1780 he served eight months as a bateauman, conveying provisions and supplies up the Mohawk to Fort Stanwix. He again enlisted early in 1781 for nine months, in Col. Marinus Willett's regiment. His first application was not granted, for lack of proof, and in September, 1830, he again went before the court, when he said: "I have never been in possession of money enough to go in search of evidence of my services in the Revolution, and even now have to rely upon the charity of my friends to get evidence." He owned a quarter of an acre of land in Manlius worth three dollars, but not worth enclosing with a fence. He had bought a farm in 1807, of eight-eight acres for $1,250; but in 1817 or 1818 he became involved in debt, and conveyed it to his son George for $25. He was living in 1840 at the age of eight-four, with his son George in Manlius.
John Smith--Was eighty-four years old in 1820, and made his application in September. He enlisted in 1776 for one year in Col. Cornelius D. Wynkoop's New York regiment, in which he served the year as sergeant. He again enlisted and served two years as lieutenant. He had considerable difficulty in proving his service, and his first application was rejected. He was entirely blind in 1820, and had no property whatever, had been supported by the town of Manlius, and swore that his wife would not live with him because he was so poor.
John Sparling--Was sixty-five years old in 1820, served one year in a New Jersey regiment, and owned sixteen acres of wild land worth $48, but encumbered by a mortgage. He had a wife and one son, Joseph Sparling.
Thomas Whipple--Was sixty years old in 1820, and served in the Massachusetts troops. He was a mason and his property was worth $24.82. He had a wife, a son and a daughter.
Amos Wilkins--Served in the Massachusetts line, and was fifty-four years old in 1820. He had no property except some clothing and a pair of spectacles. He testified that he was very infirm, having been "wounded during the late war in the battle of Sackett's Harbor."
William Yarrington--Served in the New York troops, was fifty-nine years old in 1820, had property valued at $110.77 and owed $30. He had a wife and a daughter.
Of the succeeding Manlius Revolutionary heroes who applied for relief under the act of 1818, brief notes have been obtained from various sources, as follows:
Lewis Bishop--Was one of the last three survivors of Colonel Lamb's regiment of New York artillery. He was seventy-nine years old in 1840, and then living with Levi Bishop in Manlius.
Andrew Balsley--Lived in what is now the town of Dewitt, and in 1840, at the age of eighty-five, resided with James Balsley.
Silas Burke--Shown in the records of 1840 as a pensioner, and living also in Dewitt.
Henry Bogardus--Was seventy-seven years old in 1840, a Revolutionary pensioner, and living in Dewitt.
Roswell Cleveland--Was a pensioner in the town of Manlius in 1840, and eighty-one years old.
John Cole--Was seventy-five years old in 1840, a pensioner and lived with his family in Manlius.
Jacob G. Gow (Low?)--Was eighty-four year old in 1840, and lived with John G. Gow in Dewitt.
Absalom Denny--Was a pensioner, and living in 1840 with Abijah Miller.
George Edick--Lived in the town of Dewitt in 1840, with his family, and was eighty-four years old.
Elijah Gridley--Was eighty years old in 1840.
Robert Wilson--Accompanied his uncle, Captain Gregg, to Fort Schuyler when only thirteen years of age, on the occasion when Gregg was shot and scalped by the Indians. Wilson was appointed an ensign at the age of eighteen, received a lieutenant's commission soon afterwards, and served through the war. He was at the surrender of Cornwallis, where he was delegated to receive the British standards, forty-eight in number. He was postmaster at Manlius village in 1803.
Lakin's History of Military Lodge No. 93, of Manlius, contains a record of Caleb B. Merrell, said to have been a commissioned officer in the Revolutionary army, but this is not borne out by the army record. The history gives his birth as in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and states that he was in the battles of Bennington, Bemis Heights, Saratoga, Stillwater, and at the surrender of Burgoyne. He located at Whitestown, and some time previous to 1802 removed to Manlius, where he kept a bookstore. He was first W. M. of the Manlius Lodge, and died in July, 1842.
Zebedee Potter--Was a pensioner who was eighty-six years old in 1840.
Pelham W. Ripley--Lived with his family in Dewitt in 1840, and was seventy-six years old.
Timothy Teall--Father of Oliver Teall, a Syracuse pioneer, and grandfather of W. W. Teall, served six years in the Revolution, during eighteen months of which he was a prisoner. In 1791 he settled in Manlius, where he practiced as a physician and held various town offices. He had four brothers, who were also Revolutionary soldiers.
William Vermilyea--Enlisted in the army while young, and in 1840 lived in Dewitt, aged seventy-four years.
Joseph Williams--Mentioned in Lakin's History of the Manlius Lodge as a captain in the Continental army, and located in Manlius in 1795, where he bought his land at twenty shillings an acre. He brought his family to the town in the following year with an ox team and sled, and had only fifty cents in cash when he arrived.
David Williams--Noted in the same history as a captain in the American army, and one of the first overseers of the poor of the town. In 1802, when Military Lodge was instituted, he presented it with a sword that he had secured on the battlefield at Yorktown.
Major Watson--In 1840 this old veteran, at the age of ninety-three years, lived with Daniel Downs in the town of Dewitt.
Samuel Wilcox--Born according to the records of Military Lodge, in Peru, Mass., January 2, 1744. The history says he was commissioned as a captain. He was at the storming of Quebec, returned to the colonies in 1776, and was taken prisoner and confined in the deadly prison ships. He settled in Dewitt about 1798, and died in 1827.
John Young--One of the very early settlers in Onondaga county, was a Revolutionary soldier, lived for a time in Saratoga county after the war, and settled three miles east of the city line in 1788.
Nehemiah Carpenter--Came to Manlius in 1816. In Clayton's History it is said that he left Queens county, N. Y., with Washington's army, and afterwards lived in Dutchess county.
Submitted 11 July 1998