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700 College Pl
Williamsport, PA, 17701
United States


Declaration of David Allen a soldier of the Revolution in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7 1832

State of Pennsylvania Juniata County 12th Judicial district

On this fifth day of July 1833 personally appeared in open Court before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the ­­­­said County of Juniata how sitting David Allen a resident of the Wilkes Township ­­­­­--- County of Juniata and state of Pennsylvania aged seventy two

------, who bring first according to law doth on his oath Maintain the following declaration written below the ---------- of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832 he deposeth and say that in the months of July or August 1776 he then resided in Campbelltown then Lancaster County now the County of Lebanon  being there about the age of sixteen years he went as a volunteer in a company of Militia Commanded by Captain Casper Ewill of the Town of Lebanon and Battalion Commanded by Colonel Curtis Grubb[1] from which we marched to Paulus Hook where we encamped and there saw the battle of Long Island[2] across the River Hudson or North River, and after the battle of Long Island we marched to Fort Lee after which we went to York Island and were in hearing of Fort Washington at the time of its surrender to the British Hessians we then were marched and had several skirmishes till we went to the White Plains and I was in the Battle of the White Plains[3] with the lines though not actually engaged and that night we were ordered to put on large fires and then to retreat and we marched over to the North River and crossed it above New Hudson and there at full retreat through the Jerseys and the British at or heels and when we cross them Raritan and had the Bridge partially cut down the British were at the other end of the Bridge and we hit the streets of Brunswick[4] with Grape Shot and we passed through Princeton and crossed the Delaware of Trenton[5] and one Company (I then having been enlisted in the Flying Camp[6] for five months after having served the first two months in the Militia) Commissioned by Captain McCourn and Battalion Commanded by Major Theodore Sedgwick[7] and Regiment Commanded by Col. William Hager our Company was ordered to Corryell’s Ferry to prevent the crossing of the British said Ferry being 14 miles above Trenton we ------- in British Camps in the woods exposed to the winter without the sufficient Clothing or provisions but in Application to his Excellency Gen. Washington by Captain Hambrook who Commanded one of the Companys whose Headquarters was near that Washington madea speech to the Battalion or two Companys and ordered us to serve out our time then made -------  --------- in Philadelphia in winter quarters and I saw the Hessians when Marched into Philadelphia that were then at Trenton and They were returned nine hundred; from that I went home to Campbells Town the next service I did wagons for three months in the full of the year from Campbells Town to Philadelphia and then load to the Fish Kills above New York with C----- for the German Regiment, the next winter I had the small pox and from there I moved to Northumberland County in the Fort britian the North and West -------and in year I enlisted as a Boatman in Sullivan’s Campaign[8] to convey provisions to Tioga and show where about the Commander Major Horuson told me if I could enlist 4 men I should have the command of a Boat and I had the command and started a Continental Boat and I served out the Tour of five Months for which I was enlisted I afterwards served a tour in the Militia in Buffalo Valley as a substitute[9] for half the pay in the Company Commanded by James Howell and Major John Elliot.[10] I again served a Tour in Penn’s Valley of two months by my self in which ------- my substitute against the Indians Company Commanded by Captian Hough my enlistment deponent saith He was from in Ireland and was on Sea at two year old and lived in Chester County Pennsylvania[11] about 7 years and his father moved to near Campbells town Lancaster County and from there he moved to the New Purchase in Northern ------ County aforesaid Deponent was born in 1761[12] has no record of his age through the declarant of his parents after the Indians took ------ Fort in Northumberland County my father removed with me and his family to new Chester then Cumberland between Juniata County where the deponent served and has land in it fifty years upwards I received an honorable discharge from Captain -------- of the Flying Camp but have lost it not then knowing its value and he duly relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency or state sworn and subscribed in open court this sixth day of February 1833

David Allen the aforesaid petitioner further states that he several --------- on fully answered in his first declaration viz. 1 2 + 3o But to the 4th interrogation viz being called into service deponent states

-----lived in Lancaster County about 16 years of age and in the month of July or August 1776 deponent volunteered and served out two months fully under Captain Casper Ewill Regiment Colonel Curtis Grubb and was paid fifty shillings a month for the said two months; paid to the deponent in Continental money. Deponent also states that he enlisted in the Flying Camp for five months and served out the full time for which he was enlisted and returned on honorable discharge from Captain M’Courn at the end of his enlistment which discharge is lost Deponent was enlisted by Captain Thomas Edwards of the Flying Camp. received eight dollars as a bounty and Captain Edwards was promoted to be a major and Captain ------- took charge of our company in his place as captain

Deponent further states that all the boats except the large boatswere Continental boats and the boat commanded had four men and the larger boats had six men or eight men each and were hired boats deponent can’t now prove by being other person respecting the boat he commanded except by his own faith that his boat was Continental except in the enlisted in the rolls or accounts in the War Department of Sullivan’s Campaign his fellow soldiers all being dead of removed from this state on the knowledge of the deponent. Deponent served the full term of five months in Sullivan’s Campaign and was discharged at Northumberland but didn’t recollect of getting a written discharge and if he did he lost it

Deponent further served a full 2 months tour in the Militia in Buffalo Valley as a substitute for Hough ---- in an company commanded by Captain James Howell and Major John Elliot the tour being two months

Deponent further served a tour of two months in Penn’s Valley ~~~~~ one month by himself personally then 2nd month by his substitute his roll of Captain Hugh M’Cormick the one who was captain will publicly show

Deponent further hereby relinquishes any claim whatsoever to a pension or an annuity except the present the -------- have his name on is not on the pension roll if any Agency on any State whatsoever

The above additional statement made in explanation of the deponent former declaration and relinquishment of the Commissioners of Pensions sworn and subscribed in open court on this 4th day of September in 1833


[1] The battalion was commanded by Colonel Curtis Grubb. Grubb was from Cornwall in Lancaster County. He and his brother Peter Jr. Grubb were the owners of ironworks in Lebanon and in Lancaster. Grubb was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly and worked with Robert Morris the financer of the Revolution. In 1775, as a Colonel in the Second Battalion of Lancaster County, Grubb received nine votes amongst the other Colonels to become Brigadier General but he did not get the promotion; however he was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1777. Robert Morris, Writings of Robert Morris 1781-1784 “April 16-July 20, 1782,” (Pittsburgh PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980) 533.; Thomas Lynch Montgomery, Pennsylvania Archives: Muster Rolls of General Officers in the Pennsylvania Militia 1743-1787 series 5, vol. 5, (Harrisburg PA: Harrisburg Publishing Company State Printer, 1906).;  “Find A Grave: Curtis Grubb,”, (accessed March 29, 2015).

[2] When he first volunteered for the militia, David Allen was marched up into New York and encamped at Paulus Hook from which they could see the Battle of Long Island. In the summer of 1776, Washington and the Continental Army began entrenching themselves atop Brooklyn Heights, hoping to command Long Island from the heights much like Washington had done in Boston earlier that year. As David McCullough states in his book 1776, on page 127, “if New York was the key to the continent, then Long Island was the key to New York, and the key to the defense of Long Island was Brooklyn Heights.”   Forts Stirling, Box, Greene and Putnam were erected near the coast to protect from a British invasion by sea. As the summer drew on, more and more British ships arrived in New York leaving Washington wondering when the next attack would be. Early in the morning, in late August of 1776, American scouts reported they saw a British detachment advancing through Gowanus Pass on the coast. Colonel Atlee’s men held the line until they were forced to retreat, after which Lord Stirling held the line. His men were ordered not to fire until the British came within fifty yards. Stirling’s men “stood from sunrise to twelve o’clock, the enemy firing upon [them] the chief part of the time.” At the center of the American line the Hessians led by General von Heister began to march forward. Meanwhile the British had marched through the night through Jamaica’s Pass and were able to surprise the Americans and attack from the rear. By the end of the battle, Generals Stirling and Sullivan were prisoners along with Colonels Atlee, Miles and Piper. Washington evacuated the 9,000 men of the Continental Army across the river in one night without a single casualty. David McCullough, 1776, (New York NY: Simon and Schuster, 2005) 127-154.; “Philadelphia, Extract of a Letter from New-York, Dated Sept. 1,” Pennsylvania Ledger (07, September 1776), issue LXXXV, p. 3.

[3] After the Battle of Harlem Heights, the British controlled New York City, and the morale of the American soldiers had begun to sink as many men deserted 30 or 40 at a time. On October 9th, three British ships sailed up the Hudson past Fort Lee, then Fort Constitution, and Fort Washington towards White Plains in an attempt to outflank the Americans by water. The rest of the British fleet sailed through Hell’s Gate into the Long Island Sound and landed at Throg’s Neck. When hearing the news of the British arrival at Throg’s Neck, Washington recognized their strategy and began to withdraw to White Plains. The British arrived at White Plains on October 28th, Washington was dug in on the high ground and as the British marched it seemed that they wanted to engage in the open field, an option Washington was trying to avoid. One column of the British line turned sharply toward Chatterton’s Hill which, although controlled by Americans, was a last minute decision and was occupied by mainly militia. The Battle of White Plains was determined by the occupation of Chatterton’s Hill and the British were successful in that feat, despite heavy casualties. The next four days the fighting ceased, when the British moved again they marched southwest to King’s Bridge to trap the Americans and force them to surrender. David McCullough, 1776, (New York NY: Simon and Schuster, 2005) 228-235.; “Extract of a Letter from White Plains, Dated Oct. 28, 1776, at Two o'clock, P. M.,” Pennsylvania Ledger, (02, November 1776), issue XCIII, p. 3.

[4] Brunswick was located on the Raritan River near Newark in New Jersey. After the surrender of Fort Lee on November 23, 1776, the Americans retreated through New Jersey toward Brunswick. On November 25, 10,000 British soldiers led by General Cornwallis pursued the Americans. By the time General Washington reached Brunswick, Lord Stirling had arrived with 1,000 more reinforcements. David Allen was responsible for cutting the bridges across the Raritan River down in order to slow down the British. David McCullough, 1776, (New York NY: Simon and Schuster, 2005) 253-255.

[5] As 1776 came to a close American soldiers became dispirited, and many did not sign on again to serve after December 1st. Because of his lack of intelligence, General Washington worried that the British might cross the Delaware and advance toward Philadelphia. Washington did not know that the whole of the British Army had left, leaving a small force of 1,500 Hessians lead by Colonel Johann Rall at Trenton. On New Year’s Day in 1777, all of the enlistments would expire, and Washington was desperate for men, and needed a victory to raise morale and encourage enlistments. Around December 22, Washington made plans to attack across the Delaware on Christmas evening. There were to be three separate attacks across the Delaware. Firstly, a group of 1,000 Pennsylvania militia and 500 Rhode Island veterans led by General George Cadwalader and General Joseph Reed were to cross the river at Bristol and attack at Burlington. Secondly, General James Ewing would lead 700 Pennsylvania militiamen to hold the Assunpink Creek Bridge to close off the enemy’s escape route. The last and largest group of 2,400 members of the Continental Army crossed the Delaware nine miles from Trenton at McKonkey’s Ferry, this last group was led by Washington along with Generals Greene, Sullivan, and Stirling. The men were set to cross the Delaware at midnight and begin their attack at 6am, an hour before sunrise. David McCullough, 1776, (New York NY: Simon and Schuster, 2005) 263-275.; “Pecks-Kill, December 30, 1776,” Independent Chronicle (09 January 1777), vol. IX, issue 438, p. 3.

[6] Flying Camps were a creation of mid-1776 that would allow available and reliable troops to fill in the gaps of the American line. Flying Camps were assembled in piecemeal, and without giving the soldiers much notice. By mid-1776, Washington was hard pressed for soldiers as the focus of the war became split between the Middle Colonies in New York and a campaign in Canada. Pennsylvanian Flying Camps such as the 1st Regiment Flying Camp of Lancaster County, 1776, in which David Allen was enlisted, participated in much of the New York Campaign. Francis E. Devine “The Pennsylvania Flying Camp, July-November 1776,” Pennsylvania History, vol.46, no. 1, (January 1979): 59-78.

[7] Theodore Sedgwick was born May, 9th 1746, in West Hartford Hartford County, Connecticut. Since 1766, he worked as an attorney until 1776, when he joined the military and served as a major. In 1779, Sedgwick was elected to serve as a Massachusetts state representative until he was later elected to represent Massachusetts in the Confederation Congress. Under the newly written Constitution, Sedgwick served in the House of Representatives where he Congress elected him as the fifth Speaker of the House from 1799 until 1801. Theodore Sedgwick died January 24, 1813, in Boston Massachusetts. Patrick J. Furlong, “John Rutledge, Jr., and the Election of a Speaker of the House in 1799,” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 24, no. 3, (July 1967), 432-436.; Forrest McDonald, “Reviewed Work: Theodore Sedgwick, Federalist: A Political Portrait by Richard E. Welch, Jr. ,” The Journal of American History, vol. 53, no. 1, (June 1966) 115-116.; “Find a Grave: Theodore Sedgwick,”, (accessed March 29, 2015).

[8] In 1779, General John Sullivan led a campaign against the Iroquois Confederacy. There were three different divisions to the expedition: Sullivan himself led the first division, they were to march from Easton Pennsylvania, to Wyoming on the Susquehanna and onto Tioga Point. The second division, led by General George Clinton, marched through Onondaga country to meet up with Sullivan at Tioga. The last division headed by Colonel Daniel Brodhead left from Pittsburgh and marched 380 miles through Indian country destroying corn, houses, and gardens. Originally, Brodhead was to meet up with Sullivan in Genesee and mount an attack on Niagara, but that plan did not come to fruition. Sullivan’s Campaign delivered a decisive blow on the Indian civilizations still present in Pennsylvania and New York. Sherman Williams “The Organization of Sullivan’s Expedition,” Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association, vol. 6, (1906), 29-36.

[9] David Allen served in the First Battalion of Militia in Cumberland County in the Company commanded by James Howell and Major John Elliot as a substitute for Hugh McCormick for two months. William Henry Egle, Pennsylvania Archives: Pennsylvania in the war of the Revolution: Associated Battalions and Militias series 2, vol. 14, (Harrisburg PA: E.K. Meyers State Printer, 1890).

[10] There is a Major John Elliot listed in the Pennsylvania Archives as the Major for the Seventh Battalion serving under Lieutenant Colonel James Purdy on May 10th, 1780. William Henry Egle, Pennsylvania Archives: Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution: Associated Battalions and Militias series 2, vol. 14, (Harrisburg PA: E.K. Meyers State Printer, 1890) 466.

[11] The Scotch-Irish were native Scots that migrated to Ireland in the 17th century, forming a large Presbyterian community, that community later migrated in a second wave from Ireland to Pennsylvania in the 18th century. Immigration from Ireland surged in the mid-18th century; however despite the Catholic majority in Ireland an overwhelming majority of the immigrants were Presbyterian. The total number of Scotch-Irish that had come to Pennsylvania between 1767 and 1774 was approximately 96,000 immigrants. David Allen would have been a part of that second migration as he moved from Ireland at around the age of two. These Scotch-Irish immigrants largely populated the frontier, just to the east of the Alleghany Mountains. Guy Soulliard Klett Presbyterians in Colonial Pennsylvania (Philadelphia PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1937).

[12] David Allen was born June 24, 1761. “Find a Grave: David Allen,” (accessed March 29, 2015).