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Pension Application of John and Mary Jones Norris W19930

                        Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris


State of Virginia   }  SS.

County of Lewis   }

            On this 2d. day of April 1833 personally appeared in open Court before the Justices of the County Court of Lewis County now sitting, John Norris a resident of Lewis County and State of Virginia 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 the 7th 1832.

            That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated  Viz. Some time in the month of February (the day not recollected) in the year 1777 in Faquier [sic: Fauquier] County Virginia he volunteered in a company commanded by Capt James Scott, William Kincheloe 1st Lieutenant. John Hathaway 2d. Leiut. and James Hathaway Ensign. said Company was organized at Faquier Court House Va. he then marched with the same by way of Leesburg Va. to Nolands Ferry where he crossed the Potomac River, thence by way of Frederick Town Md. and Lancaster Pa. to Philadelphia thence crossing the Delaware River to Quibble [Quibbletown in present New Market] N. J. where he was stationed, and where he remained until his term of service expired which was three months as a private soldier  he then was discharged and returned to his residence in Faquier Co. Va. At the time of his service at Quibble N. J. he became acquainted with Col. [George] Stricker who commanded a Regt. of Continental Troops of the Pennsylvania Line, Lieut. Col. Hollingworth [sic: Henry Hollingsworth], who commanded a Regt. of Maryland Militia. Capt. Thurstan Commandant of a company of Volunteers from Frederick County Virginia. there was at this time stationed at Quibble one other company from Berkely [sic: Berkeley] County Va. the Commandants name he does not recollect, but thinks it was Capt. Morgan.

            In the month of March in 1781 he was drafted for a Term of two months as a private soldier in the County of Faquier Va. in a company of Militia commanded by Capt. Turner Morehead, John Rust Leiut. and Joshua Singleton Ensign. he marched from Faquier County to Williamsburg Va. where he was stationed, untill driven by the Enemy then retreated to Richmond Va. and there remained untill his Term of service expired and was then discharged. In Sept. in the year 1781 he was again drafted with a company of militia commanded by Capt. Thos. Helms [Thomas Helm] – Alexander Scott Leiut. and George Burnett Ensign. he again marched from Faquier Court House (where he was drafted) to YorkTown Va. where he joined the Army of the United States Commanded by Genl. Geo. Washington. he remained there untill the Surrender of Lord Cornwallas [sic: Cornwallis, 19 Oct 1781], was then detailed as one of the guard to conduct the prisoners taken there to the barracks above Winchester Va which terminated his services. In this last Tour he served in the capacity of an Orderly Sergeant three months

            He has no documentary evidence with which to corroborate the foregoing statement. he was regularly discharged at the expiration of each term of service aforesaid, but believing said discharges would be on no use to him he did not preserve them. He knows of no person living by whom he can prove his service except John & Minter Bailey’s by whom he thinks he can prove in part

To the Seven several interrogatories required to be propounded he answers as follows Viz.

1.   I was born on the 4th day of July in the year 1760.


3.   When called into the service I resided in Faquier Co. Va.

4.   I served the first Tour as a volunteer. the 2d. & third I was drafted.


6    I rec’d. discharges from the service given by [blank] at the end of first term – by [blank] at the expiration of 2d and by [blank] at the expiration of 3d. and last Time.

7.   I am known to John & MInter Bailey who reside in my neighborhood and can testify as to my character for veracity and as to their belief of my services as a soldier of the revolution.

      He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, and declares his name is not on the pention roll of the Agency of any state. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.                                                [signed] John Norris

[Certified by John Talbott, a clergyman, and by Robert H Lowther. John Bailey and Minter Bailey deposed that they had known of John Norris’s services in Fauquier County.]


[The following report is by District Attorney Washington G. Singleton who investigated many pensioners from Lewis and other counties of present West Virginia. For details see pension application S6111 of David W. Sleeth and the endnote.]


      Lewis County

John Norris  aged. [blank]  Serv’d. 8 mo.

      June 28, 1834. called on John Norris & received from him the following statement to wit.

      Says he will be Seventy four years old July 4th next. was born and raised in Fauquier County Virginia & lived there until within the last 27 or 28 years. he then settled where he now lives – in 1777 he volunteered under Capt. James Scott for 3 months. Stated from Fauquier County on the 15th February in that year, and marched to near New Brunswick in New Jersey, and lay at quibble town the greater part of the time & served out this tour. Capt Scotts subalterns were William Kincheloe Lt.  John Hathaway 2nd. Lt. & James Hathaway ensign. the Hathaway’s were brothers – in 1781 he served another tour in the Virg. Militia for two months. Marched from Fauquier county again (in a company of which Turner Morehead was Captain, John Rust Lieut & Joshua Singleton Ensign) to Williamsburg – on the eleventh of September in the last mentioned year marched again for a two months tour from Fauquier County to little York or York town and was there at the Capture of Cornwallis & his army. in this tour he served as an orderly Sergeant. his officers on this occasion were Thomas Helm  Capt. Alexander Scott Lieut. & George Barnett Ensign – Col. John McWhorter (his neighbor) wrote his declaration. it was written in the country. – after it was written he went to Weston the county seat of Lewis to make his declaration and met then Robert H. Lowther who asked to see his declaration. after reading it Lowther said it was incorrect as to form and proposed to reform it, to which he Norris agreed – Supposing that Lowther had strictly preserved all material facts set forth in the original draft and specially the quantom[?] of service performed. he Norris did not take the precau [sic] to read & examine the amended draft. he was under the impression (until this moment) that he only received a pension for seven months services and should have remained under that impression had he not been informed by W G Singleton that he was receiving a pension for eight months services. he presumes that the mistake made by Lowther in copying the original draft of his declaration was unintentional. there was no inducement with Lowther to increase the length of service. he Lowther charged nothing for his services. nor did he or will he ever receive anything.

      A true copy from the original note.                                   W. G. Singleton

I feel perfectly satisfied that the facts here set forth by Mr. Norris are true in all particulars. I understand that he is a man of good character.            Respectfully Reported

                                                                                    W. G Singleton  Special Agent  July 1834



      Robert H. Lowther was later indicted for subornation of perjury for preparing several fraudulent pension applications, but Norris’s application was apparently not one of them. Norris’s pension certificate shows that his final pension was $23.33 per year for seven months service as a private, reduced from $31.66. The correct amount for seven months service as a private was $46.67, with an additional amount for the service as a sergeant.

      On 29 Aug 1839 Mary Norris, 75, deposed before James M. Camp, a Justice of the Peace, that she married John Norris on 26 Mar 1782, and he died 12 Feb 1836. Her statement was supported by her sister, Francis (Mrs. John) Bailey, who stated that she was present at the marriage ceremony performed by James Craig a parson of the Episcopal Church. In the file is a copy of a bond signed on 25 Mar 1782 in Fauquier County by John Norris and William Tomlin for the marriage of Norris to Mary Jones.