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700 College Pl
Williamsport, PA, 17701
United States

Pension

Declaration In order to obtain the benefit of the Act of the aid of Congress June 7, 1832 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Chester County SS.             On the Twenty First day of August one thousand eight hundred and thirty two, personally appeared in Open Court before the Honorable Isaac Darlington Esquire President, and Cromwell Pearce and Jese Sharp Esquires associate Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the said county of Chester now sitting. Hezekiah Davies Esquire,[1] a resident of the town of Charlestown[2] in the County of Chester[3] aforesaid in the state of Pennsylvania aged Eighty Four years and nine months being born on the Twenty-Second day of November 1747 who being first according to law doth on his oath make the following Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress dated June 7, 1832.

That he entered the Revolutionary War under the following named officers and served as herein stated  in the month of January or February 1776, he entered the command under the Fifth Pennsylvania Regiment[4] commanded by Colonel Robert Magaw[5] and in the company commanded by Captain John Richardson[6] The Lieutenant Colonel of said Regiment being Joseph Penrose[7] The name of the Major of the said Regiment this applicant cannot now recollect he is a German- that he served in the capacity of a non-commissioned officer in the company of Captain Richardson for about the period of three months then leaving the Regiment That during the time he was attached to the said Regiment and it was quartered in Barracks in the City of Philadelphia.

That on the Seventh day of September 1776, this applicant was appointed and commissioned as First Lieutenant in Captain Samuel Culbertson’s[8] company in the Flying Camp of Pennsylvania[9] in the Regiment commanded by Colonel William Montgomery[10]- The field officers of which were Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Bull[11] and Major John Bartholomew[12] the Regiment being located in the County of Chester in Pennsylvania- That the land regiment was marched by companies to Perth Amboy in New Jersey- This applicant having accompanied the company at which he belonged to that place at Perth Amboy the Regiment was united and organized under the Lieutenant Colonel Bull, Colonel Montgomery having never joined the Regiment-That the said Regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Bull marched from Perth Amboy to Fort Lee[13] on the Hudson River-Fort Lee being built by the troops of the Flying Camp around at which the troops lay in huts and tents-The whole body of the troops at Fort Lee were under the command of Brigadier General Ewing-From Fort Lee the troops of the Flying Camp including the Regiment to which the applicant belonged crossed over the Hudson River to Fort Washington[14] on York Island- On the 16th of November 1776, the troops at Fort Washington including not only those of the Flying Camp but those of the Fifth Continental Regiment Pennsylvania Line and troops from other states, the whole being under the command of Colonel MaGaw of the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment was attacked by the British Forces and after an engagement with the enemy from early in the morning till late afternoon the American troops were surrendered Prisoners of War[15]-

The applicant received a commission as Lieutenant of the Flying Camps signed by Benjamin Franklin[16] President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania dated September 7, 1776 which contained a petition to the Legislation of Pennsylvania asking for a pension from the state which pension was granted by the Legislation by an act of assembly dated April 2, 1822 as by reference to said law ­­___ fully appears- The commission of the applicant he presumes is among the archives of the Legislation of Pennsylvania it never having been returned to him- That this applicant while a prisoner of war made a list of all the prisoners of war detained in New York and Long Island from official documents giving all the names of all the officers whether of the Continental Troops, Flying Camp, or Militia showing their marked dates of Commission- The Captain to which they belonged the time when taken as well as the place where taken and also of those who died in captivity- Which the original document is now exhibited in the Court in support of Said Declaration- The Lieutenant Colonel Bull now living in Chester County, but very aged and feeble as the applicant understands can testify to the service of the applicant if he should appear before the Court which he was an Officer in the Regiment commanded by him- He has no documentary evidence indicating his commission or the list of prisoners of war given to the Court he is now living besides Colonel Bull who can testify for his service-

And the said applicant as a further part of his Declaration agreeably to the discretions of the Honorable Secretary of War makes answer to the following interrogations propounded by the Court, to wit

1st Where and in what year were you born

Answer: The applicant was born in Charlestown Township in Chester County in Pennsylvania and on the 22nd of November 1747

2nd: Have you have any record of your age, and if so, what is it?

Answer: The record of the applicant’s age was contained in a Bible belonging to his father and entered in his father’s handwriting- But the said Bible he has lost during the Revolutionary War-This applicant left the said Bible when he marched with the Flying Camp troops- but it was lost or destroyed during his absence

3rd: Where were you living when called into service, have you moved since the Revolutionary War; and where do you now live?

Answer: Im living in Charlestown Township Chester County Pennsylvania where I started service- I have lived there ever since and still reside there-

4th: How were you called into service; were you drafted, did you volunteer, did you substitute and if a substitute for whom?

Answer: This applicant joined the service as a volunteer with the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment as particularly mentioned in his Declaration- He afterwards entered the service as a First Lieutenant of the Flying Camp and served as aforementioned

5th: State the names of the regular officers who were with the troops when you served such as Continental and Militia Officers as you can recollect the general circumstances of your service

Answer: This applicant recollects the officers already mentioned- Colonel Cadwallader  of the Pennsylvania Line- Colonel Samuel Webb of the Continental troops- Colonel Swope[17] of the Flying Camp- Colonel Matthews of the Virginia Line- Colonel Baylor of the Dragoons- Lieutenant Colonel Anhill of Hagan’s Continental Regiment- Major Woodson of the same Regiment- Major Dark of the Virginia Line- Major Harper brigade Major of the Pennsylvania Line Besides many Captains and other Officers both with the Regular and Flying Camp service

6th: Did you ever receive commission and if so, by whom was it signed and what has become of it?

Answer: The applicant has already stated that he received commission signed by Benjamin Franklin which he presumes that is among the records of the Pennsylvania Legislature-

7th: State the name of persons whom are known in your neighborhood and who can testify of your character and the belief of your service as a Soldier in the American Revolution-

Answer: That the applicant will name all persons to the Judges of this honorable court-Isaac Wayne-General Joshua Evans- Isaac D. Barnard- Doctor William Darlington- The Reverend William Latta and could name other individuals of the highest respectability of his neighborhood

This applicant here by relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present , from the United States and declares that his name is not in the pension roll of the agency of any state he received however a pension of the State of Pennsylvania under a special Act of Assembly of said state

That your applicant thus being a prisoner to the enemy, he with his fellow prisoners marched that evening down to Harlem and the next day marched on into the city of New York as property of the British- That the applicant was for a few weeks confined with others aboard a prison ship, and on the 20th of January 1777, was transferred to Long Island and held as a prisoner on Long Island until exchanged on the 7th of December 1780- During his captivity this applicant with others were held under the following command of General Howe[18]…. “We whom are under wrecking pledge our faith and honor to General Howe that we will not be defiant from the house we are placed in by the commissary or go beyond the boundary described by him- and further that we will not say anything contrary of his majesty or his Government” That this applicant after his exchange on the 7th of December 1780 returned to his residence in Chester County Pennsylvania having been in service 4 years and 3 months four years and 3 weeks of which he was a held as a prisoner of war-

 

Endnotes

 

[1]Hezekiah Davies, Presbyterian, was born of Welsh descent on November 22, 1747 in Charlestown, Chester County Pennsylvania. Hezekiah married Anne Schenck of Long Island New York on October 29, 1780 and together, conceived three children. Before Hezekiah enlisted, he was a freeman living with his father, Nathanial Davies and at the time of enlistment, Hezekiah was poor and received tax discounts. After the war, Hezekiah worked as a saddler and was later elected a legislator of the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1803-1804. Towards his death, Hezekiah settled down and took an interest in farming. Julius Lloyd, Family History Containing a Brief Account of the Families Anderson, Davies, and Wersler (Dixon, Illinois: 1880); William Henry Egle, Pennsylvania Women In the American Revolution (The University of Virginia: Polyanthos, 1972); Tax Records, Chester County, 1771, in Pennsylvania Archives ed. William Henry Egle (Harrisburg: State Printer, 1897), 11:734; Provincial Tax of 1756-1777, Tax Discounts 1785-1865, Tax Indexes 1747-1799, and Tax Index 1805, 1810, 1820, Chester Co. Archives. 

[2] Charlestown is located in the northeast sector of Chester County, Pennsylvania and honors a Quaker by the name of Charles Pickering. Officially, in 1738, Charlestown became Charlestown “Township” as Charles Pickering divided his land amongst his 16 Quaker friends two being, John Grey and William Penn’s sister, Margaret Lawther. Harman D. Rees, Historical Sketches of Charlestown Township (Charlestown Historical Society, 2011), 314.

[3] Chester County, created by William Penn, was one of the first three counties in Pennsylvania settled in the 1680’s. The county’s inhabitants, most at whom were Quakers and relied heavily on mixed farming, occupied more than half of the county’s religious and political groups. John B. Frantz and William Pencak, “Chester County,” in Beyond Philadelphia (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998), 1-23; J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County Pennsylvania with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 9-144.

[4] The 5th Pennsylvania Regiment was first known as the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion and originates out of Chester County Pennsylvania. The Regiment was called to join the Continental Army in the year of 1775. Battalions and Lines, 1775-1783, in Pennsylvania Archives ed. William Henry Egle (Harrisburg: State Printer, 1897), 10:527.

[5] Colonel Robert Magaw, whose family had emigrated from Ireland, resided in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and received an education from the Academy of Philadelphia to become a lawyer. Magaw, a Presbyterian, conducted two-thirds of the county’s legal actions and later, in 1779 married “Marietta” Van Brunt of New York. Robert Magaw was appointed Secretary of the Committees of Correspondence in 1774, Major of the First Battalion of Pennsylvania Riflemen, Colonel of the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment 1776, and also, Magaw defended Fort Washington which he later surrendered in 1776 becoming a Prisoner of War in the hands of the British. Charles F. Himes, Col. Robert Magaw, the Defender of Fort Washington, Major in Colonel William Thompson’s “Battalion of Pennsylvania Riflemen” and Colonel of the Fifth Pennsylvania Regiment (Carlisle: Hamilton Library Association, 1915).   

[6] John Richardson, Captain of the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment, became another captive at Fort Washington in 1776. In the year of 1778, as new arrangements of the army were taking place, Captain John Richardson became the supernumerary of said arrangements. William Thomas Roberts Saffell, Records of the Revolutionary War: With a List of Distinguished Prisoners of War; the Time of their Capture. Exchange, ETC (Baltimore: Charles C. Saffell, 1894), 313-314.

[7] Joseph Penrose, Lieutenant Colonel of the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment, was commissioned under the command of Colonel Robert Magaw in 1776. Later in 1777, Joseph Penrose resigned from the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment and became a Colonel in the Pennsylvania 10th Regiment fought under Thomas Mifflin. Battalions and Lines, 1775-1783, in Pennsylvania Archives ed. William Henry Egle (Harrisburg: State Printer, 1897), 10: 142,701.

[8] Captain Samuel Culbertson, another Fort Washington Prisoner, was appointed First Lieutenant under the command of Colonel William Montgomery’s Regiment of Flying Camp. Samuel Culbertson remained a Prisoner of War in Long Island until he was ordered to the city prisons of New York in 1779. William Thomas Roberts Saffell, Records of the Revolutionary War: With a List of Distinguished Prisoners of War; the Time of their Capture. Exchange, ETC (Baltimore: Charles C. Saffell, 1894), 315.

[9] The “Flying Camp” was employed by the Continental Army in 1776. The troops of the “Flying Camp” served as immediate substitutes to fulfill breaking lines within the American Army. Specifically, the Pennsylvania Flying Camp Battalions fought at the Battle of Fort Washington and most members were held as prisoners of war at the fall of the fort in 1776. Francis E, Devine, The Pennsylvania Flying Camp, July-November 1776 (University of Southern Mississippi).   

[10] Colonial William Montgomery, a Presbyterian, resided in Chester County Pennsylvania and served as a delegate to the Provincial Conference of Committees, which later appointed members of Congress to vote for the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In 1779, Montgomery became a member of the Assembly of Northumberland County and was elected to the State Senate in 1790. Colonel Montgomery served as Colonel in the 4th Battalion of Chester County and commanded the Battalion of the “Flying Camp” in the battle of Fort Washington and the Battle of Long Island.  J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County Pennsylvania with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 661.

[11] Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Bull, of Chester County, Pennsylvania, was commissioned as Field Officer in the Chester Flying Camp in 1776 and later appointed to Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Battalion under the command of William Montgomery. Thomas Bull was taken prisoner in New York at the capture of Fort Washington in 1776 and transferred aboard the “Jersey” prison-ship for almost two years. William Jones Rhees, “Sons of the American Revolution. District of Columbia Society,” Register of the District of Columbia Society of the American Revolution (Washington, DC: The Society, 1896) 113.

[12] Major John Bartholomew, resided in Chester County Pennsylvania and served as major in the Chester County Flying Camp Regiment in 1775. In 1790, John Bartholomew served as a Justice of the Peace in the County Court. J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County Pennsylvania with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881) 478-479.

[13] Originally called Fort Constitution, Fort Lee, named after General Charles Lee, served as a safeguard for the lower portion of the Hudson River, and also secured possession of Long Island New York. Fort Lee is located in Bergen County, New Jersey across the Hudson River overlooking Fort Washington and in 1776, marked a successful invasion by British and Hessian forces forcing an American evacuation of the Fort on November 20, 1776. George F. Scheer and Hugh F. Rankin, “New York April-August 1776,” Rebels and Redcoats (New York: The World Publishing Company, 1957) 142-161; Robert Middlekauff, “The War of Posts,” The Glorious Cause the American Revolution 1763-1789 (United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2005) 340-370.   

[14] In 1776, Fort Washington, much like Fort Lee, was created in order to stop the British from advancing up the Hudson River. Sir William Howe ordered British and Hessian troops to attack the Fort. Within the fort, Colonel Robert Magaw commanded the American troops and refused to surrender the fort. The Battle of Fort Washington remained unsuccessful for the Americans as British troops captured the Americans and held them as prisoners of war. Robert Middlekauff, “The War of Posts,” The Glorious Cause the American Revolution 1763-1789 (United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2005) 357-358.

[15] While a member of the Flying Camp Regiment out of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Hezekiah Davies and the rest of the Flying Camp members were ordered to march towards Fort Washington. Following the successful invasion of the British and Hessian forces and the forced surrender of Colonial Robert Magaw, Hezekiah Davies and the rest of the members of the Flying Camp were held as prisoners of war. Along with others, Davies, confined aboard a prison ship for weeks, transferred to Long Island New York where he soon met his wife. Under the hands of the British, Hezekiah Davies was appointed quartermaster of other prisoners aboard the ship. Davies remained a prisoner from the surrender of Fort Washington in 1776 until he was exchanged in Elizabethtown in 1780. Julius Lloyd, Family History Containing a Brief Account of the Families Anderson, Davies, and Wersler (Dixon, Illinois: 1880) 42; J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County Pennsylvania with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881) 517; Hezekiah Davies, June 7, 1832, Revolutionary War Pension Application, S2161.

[16] Benjamin Franklin, born 1706, became one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a scientist, publisher and inventor, Franklin went on to launch a successful printing business in the city of Philadelphia. Deeply involved in public affairs, Franklin went on to serve in the Second Continental Congress, helped draft the Declaration of Independence, and served as a delegate to the convention that later produced the United States Constitution. Edmund S. Morgan, Benjamin Franklin (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002).

[17] Michael Swope, Colonel of the Flying Camp Regiment, served as a Judge in the Orphan’s Court of York County in the years of 1767-1776. In the year of 1764, he was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace and later in 1768-1776, served as a member of the Assembly. As Colonel of the Flying Camp Regiment, his Battalion suffered severely at the Battle of Fort Washington. Troops that fought under Colonel Swope ended up either killed or taken up as prisoners following the surrender of Fort Washington. Gilbert Ernst Swope, History of the Swope Family and their Connections 1678-1896 (Lancaster, PA Cochran Printers, 1896), 369.

[18] Sir William Howe, born a noble in 1729, opposed the idea of intervening with the Colonies and essentially refused to take command. Upon his arrival in America in 1775, Howe actively engaged himself in the Battle of Bunker Hill and displayed an unbelievable act of valor. As Howe established a rank within the British Army, he became Commander and Chief of the British Army in 1776-1778. Sir Howe was elected to Parliament in Nottingham in 1774. Howe is famous for his victories at the Battle of Brandywine, Long Island, and Germantown. Howe failed to defeat the forces of General George Washington and received criticism from England leading to his resignation of Commander and Chief before 1778. Hugh F. Rankin, Rebels and Redcoats (New York: The World Publishing Company, 1957). 


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