Tuesday, April 09, 2013


When my 5x great grandfather Amos Upton appeared in court in August 1832
to make application for his veteran benefits, he was two months short of his
90th birthday.His contemporaries, the men he had served with and those with
whom he had helped build the town of Norway, Maine were all dead. Despite
whatever physical weaknesses old age might have given him, it doesn't seem
to have lessened his memory as his statement shows:

County of
Oxford SS.
ON this
25th day of August A.D. 1832, personally appeared in open
Court, before the
Court of Probate, now sitting, Amos
a resident of Norway, in the county of Oxford
and State of Maine, aged 90 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 7, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States
under the following named officers, and served as herein stated.

On the 19th day of April 1775, on the alarm given of the enemie's being at Lexington,
he marched from his then residence, in Reading in Massachusetts, as a volunteer
with others to Lexington, and soon after joined a company of Massachusetts Militia,
commanded by Captain Asa Prince, was appointed an orderly sargeant, and
enlisted into the service of the U.S. in said company in the regiment commanded by
Col.Mansfield, for the term of eight months, with orders to enlist others- and he
accordingly enlisted Stephen Curtis, late of said Norway, a pensioner now deceased-
& Job Bancroft likewise deceased- he marched to cambridege near Boston, where he
was stationed, he was at the battle of Bunker hill on the 17th day of June 1775, he
well recollects  among many other officers at Cambridge, Gen Heath, Col.Ward, &
Gen. Putnam.  He served till about the last of October following, at which  time he
was under the necessity of returning to Reading, and with the consent of his officer,
he gave a young man whose name he does not now recollect, his gun and equipments
to take his place as a substitute, and was thereupon verbally discharged from the
service. He has no documentary evidence to prove his service, & and he knows of no
person whose testimony he can procure, who can testify to his service.  He was born in
the North parish in said Reading on the 30th day of October in the year 1742 and has
a record of his age in his family bible, made by his father. He resided at said Reading
when he entered the service, and removed from thence to Norway aforesaid his
present residence forty one years ago. He is the oldest inhabitant of the town in
which he resides and is personally known by the principal inhabitants- and here
names the Rev. Henry A.  Merrill and David Noyes, Esquire, likewise the selectmen
of said town of Norway all of whom can testify to his character for veracity and their
belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the
present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any
Sworn to, and subscribed, the day and year aforesaid.

Amos Upton
Before Stephen Emory, Judge

So Amos didn't have anyone nearby who could testify for the veracity of his statement
of service and looking through the rest of the file there is no collaborating documents,
either. Would he be awarded his pension?

To be continued.

1 comment:

Michael Davies said...

Can you imagine being that age and applying for this! Also I bet it bothered him that he could not recall the name of the soldier that took his place.