William Porter of Caldwell County Kentucky
Revolutionary War Pension File
There were THREE William Porters from Virginia who received Revolutionary War Pensions. There are more documents in this file than any I have yet seen (100 pages). It seems that the War Department got the three William Porters confused also. This one resigned his commission, but they got him confused with one that served to the end of the war. There were letters from two counties in Kentucky, Caldwell and Christian counties AND from Illinois to add to the confusion.]
VA Porter, William; Sally W24909
S. died Jan 8, 1828
Of Caldwell County in the State of Kentucky who was a lieutenant in the regiment commanded by Col Spotswood of the Virginia line for the term of three years.
Inscribed on the roll of Kentucky at the rate of 20 dollars per month to commence on 24 April 1820
Certificate of Pension issued the 2nd of Aug 1820 and sent to M. Lyon, agent, Eddyville, Kentucky
Arrears to 4th of Sept 1820 $87.33
Semi-anl all’ce ending 4 March 1821 $120
4 mos 11/30 1821 $207.33
Act 18th March 1818
And 1st May 1820
Caldwell Co Kentucky
24 April 1820
2nd lieut in Col Spotswoods regiment 2nd Virg line
February 1776 to March 1779
Property not more than $150
Found on the rolls of the Virginia line as a lieutenant
M. Lyon, agent Eddyville, Kentucky Rec’d 1st Aug 1820
State of Kentucky Caldwell County ??
Be it remembered that in the record of proceedings of the Caldwell County Court among others are the following towit. At a County Court begun and held for the said County on Monday the 24th day of April 1820 came William Porter in open Court and made oath to the truth of the statements contained in the following affidavit which is ordered to be recorded and read as follows. “Personally appeared William Porter of this neighborhood aged sixty three years who being duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following statements and declaration in Order to obtain the provision made by the act of Congress entitled “ An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and Nval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War.” That he the said William Porter in the month of February 1776 enlisted into Capt Edward Meads Company in the 2nd Virginia Regiment in the Continental Establishment then Commanded by Col. Alexander Spotswood. That he served in said Regiment as a private or non commissioned officer until May 1777 at which time he was appointed an ensign in said Company and Regiment and that some time short time after he was appointed to a second Lieutenant in said Company and Regiment in which ??tion he served until March 1779 at which time his affairs requiring his indispenceable attendance at home he resigned his commission. That he was in the Battle of Monmouth and several other skirmishes. That in the latter part of the years 1779 he joined the Army in the staff Department as an assistant quarter master and ?? Commissary of Military Stores at South Hampton and other places. That in resignation he gave up his commission. That he is in reduced circumstances and needs the assistance of his country for support and that he has no other evidence of his services. And the court being satisfied that the said William Porter did serve in the Revolutionary War in the continental Army as a commissioned officer for more than nine months at one time as stated in his declaration and also that the said William Porter stands in need of the assistance of his country for support do order the proceedings in this case to be recorded an that a transcript thereof be duly transmitted to the War department pursuant the directions of the before mentioned act of Congress.
State of Kentucky Caldwell Circuit
June Term 1820
In the record of proceedings in the Circuit Court aforesaid among others are the following towit
On motion of William Porter and he producing here in open court his affidavit which being sworn to by him is ordered to be recorded and certified according to law which affidavit here follows towit. State of Kentucky Caldwell Circuit Court. Personally appeared in open court the circuit court for the Caldwell Circuit being a court of record William Porter aged 64 years resident in this circuit who being first duly sworn according to law, doth declare that he served in the Revolutionary war in the 2nd Virginia Regiment on the Continental establishment agreeably to his former declaration on which he has received no certificate and he solemnly swore that he was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that he has not since that time by gift sale or in any manner disposed of his property or any part thereof with intent thereby to diminish it so as to bring himself within the provisions of the act of congress enti?? An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War passed on the 18th day of March 1818 and that he has not nor has any person for him in trust any property or securities contracts or debts due to him other than what is contained in the schedule annexed and by him subscribed. He declares himself a farmer by occupation and b??illy able to labour – that he has a wife a very infirm woman and a son about 15 years old who can contribute little to the support of his father and mother – and the said William Porter further declares that his property consists of one blind horse worth perhaps $20, one common cow and calf $12, One two year old Heifer and one yearling worth $8, two small sows and twelve pigs 6 dollars, 4 shoats 6 dollars, 4 sheep 6 dollars and broken set of surveyors instruments $20, One wooden clock $6, two old ploughs and gears $8, two hoes and a mattock $2, a log chain and a set of small harrow teeth $6 an old shot gun $2. In all it is the estimation of the court that is not worth more than one hundred and fifty dollars. [signed: Wm Porter] [John Phelps, circuit court clerk signed…]
Widow of William Porter who was an ensign and commissioner of Military Stores in the Revolutionary War.
Inscribed on the roll at the rate of 42 dollars per annum to commence the 4th day of March 1843 and end 25th August 1843
Certificate of Pension issued the third day of Feb 1837; sent to A H Markland
Acts of March 3, 1843
[note: died: January 6, 1828]
State of Kentucky. On this fourth day of December 1838 personally appeared before the undersigned a justice of the Christian County Court Sally Porter a resident of the county of Christian & state aforesaid aged seventy five years who being duly sworn, according to law doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of congress passed July 7 1838 entitled “an act granting half pay and pensions to certain widows”.
That she is the widow of William Porter who was a commissioned officer in the continental army during the revolutionary war. That the said William Porter in the month of February 1776 enlisted in Capt Everard Meads company in the 2nd Virginia Regiment in the continental establishment, then commanded by Col Alexander Spotswood. That he served in said Regiment as a private or noncommissioned officer until May 1777 at which time he was appointed an ensign in said company and regiment and that some short time after he was appointed to a second Lieutenancy in said company and regiment in which situation he served until March 1779 at which time his affairs requiring his indispensable attention at home he resigned his commission. That he was in the Battle of Monmouth and several skirmishes. The ?? the latater part of the year 1779 he joined in the army in the Staff department as an assistant quarter master and was commissary of military stores at Southampton and other places. That in his resignation he gave up his commission. All of which will move fully and at large appear from the statement or declaration of said William Porter made during his lifetime on the 24th day of April of Caldwell County in order to obtain the provision of an act of Congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land & naval service in the United States in the Revolutionary war. That her deceased husband the said William Porter, was a pensioner under the said act of Congress and drew a pension as a commissioned officer under said act from the year 1820 until his death – he being a lieutenant . She further declares that she was married to the said William Porter on the 20th of June in the year 1782 (seventeen hundred and eighty two) and that her husband the aforesaid William Porter died on the 8th day of January in the year 1828. That she was not married to him prior to his leaving the service, but the marriage took place previous to the 1st of January 1794 viz at the time above stated.
[her mark: Sally X Porter]
Porter from bodily infirmity being unable to attend in court to make her declaration was this day duly qualified before Mr William Moman a justice of the peace in and from the County of Christian and State of Kentucky that the Matters and ?? contained in the foregoing declaration was ?? to the ?? of her knowledge an ?? (December 1838; William Thomas J.P.)
Christian County Sct. This day William C Porter personally appeared before the county court of Christian County, which is a court of record and made oath that the following is a true copy taken from the family record of William Porter decd now in his possession, which is ??pressed on the record in fair legible ?? figures as follows
Wm Porter married to Sally Johnson the 20th of June 1782.
The original family record from which the above is taken was here produced before the said court by William C Porter in whose possession the same has been kept and was sworn to by him as the law required.
Said William C Porter doth further depose and say that said marriage took place in the State of Virginia as he has been informed & believes, that said William & Sally Porter lived together as man & wife in the State of Kentucky thirty nine years. That the said William Porter died on the 8th day of January in the year 1828 and that the said Sally Porter was never afterwards married.
4 December 1838, another Christian County Court Meeting was held.
Daniel S Hays
S D B Stewart
Matthew Wilson Justices
William C Porter appeared.
State of Illinois
Be it known that satisfactory evidence has been exhibited to the county court of said county, sitting as a court of probate that Sally Porter widow of William Porter deceased was a pensioner of the United States at the rate of one hundred and seventy one dollars and twenty cents ($170.20). The ?? that she resided in Christian county and State of Kentucky and died in Said County of Christian and State of Kentucky on the 25th day of August AD one thousand eight hundred and forty three and left at her death the following named children only to wit William C Porter, Sally McLin, Elizabeth D Campbell and Horatio P Porter the latter two of whom have since died leaving William C Porter and Sally McLin the only surviving children of the said Sally Porter deceased and I hereby further certify that from the high character of the evidence adduced to said court I have no doubt but all the parts herein set forth are true and faithful.
Given under my hand at Haverfield this 21st ?? AD 1856. D. Turney ???
21 June 1856 in Wayne county Illinois
Rigdon B Sl??y appeared as the administrator of Sally Porter deceased.
He was attempting to obtain any back pay due Sally Porter.
John Adams, President of the United States of America
To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:
Know ye, that in consideration of military service performed by William porter (a subaltern for three years) to the United States, in the Virginia line on Continental Establishment, and inpursuance of an act of the Congress of the united States, passed on the 10th day of August in the year 1790, entitled “An act to enable the Officers and soldiers of the Virginia line on Continental Establishment to obtain titles to certain lands lying north-west of the river Ohio, between the little Miami and Sciota:” and another Act of the said Congress, passed on the 9th day of June in the year 1794 amendatory of the said Act, there is granted by the said United States unto the said William Porter a certain tract of land, containing One thousand acres, situate between the little Miami and Sciota Rivers, north-west of the river Ohio, as by survey, bearing date the thirtieth day of January in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety five, and bounded and described as follows, to wit, Survey of One thousand acres of land on part of a military warrant number two thousand eight hundred ninety four, in favor of the said William Porter (the whole there of being for two thousand six hundred sixty six and two thirds acres) on the waters of Anderson’s Creek, a branch of Caesar’s Creek, beginning at a Lynn Sugar tree and Hickory, north-west corner to John Anderson’s Survey number One thousand two hundred and thirty six, running north, four hundred poles to an ash and two sugar trees, thence East four hundred poles to three sugar trees, thence south four hundred poles to three ashes north east corner to John Anderson’s, thence with his line west four hundred poles to the beginning, with the appurtenances: To have and to hold the said tract of land with the appurtenances unto the said William Porter and his heirs and assigns forever. In witness where of the said John Adams, President of the United States of America, hath caused the United States to be hereunto affixed and signed the same with his hand at Philadelphia the Eighth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred ninety nine and of the Independence of the United States of American, the Twenty third
By the President
Secretary of State
December 6, 1882
This certifies that the subjoined copy of an original Patent for One thousand acres of Land in favor of William Porter, who served in the Virginia line on continental Establishment and signed by John Adams, President of the United States, is a true and correct copy of the same. The original Patent has this day been sent by mail to the Post Master at Hopkinsville, Ky to be delivered to John W Campbell, taking his receipt therefore which is to be transmitted to this office.
The said Patent was filed in the application of Sally Porter widow of William Porter for a pension under the act of July 7, 1838 which was allowed – See file No 24.909.
The Patent is dated Feby 8, 1799
Wm H Welesly
Chief of old war & bounty Land division
[In a letter of 12 Dec 1933 to Doctor W E Carter of Columbia Missouri, the facts already stated appear, and also the following: “He was allowed pension on his application executed April 24, 1820, at which time he was aged sixty-three years and resided in Caldwell County, Kentucky. He afterward lived in Christian County, Kentucky, and in the fall of 1827, moved to the state of Illinois. He died January 8, 1828. Letters of administration on his estate were issued in White County, Illinois. The soldier married June 20, 1782, in Virginia, Sally Johnson who was born November 10, 1763. She died August 25, 1843, in Christian County, Kentucky. The following children of William and Sally Porter survived their mother: William C Pporter, in 1856, a resident of Christian County, Kentucky; Sally McLin; Elizabeth D Campbell, who died December 17, 1854 and Horatio P Porter, who died October 5, 1854. A grandson, John J McLin,lived in Princeton, Kentucky, In 1866 and John W Campbell, son of Elizabeth D Campbell, lived in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky, in 1879. One Benjamin P Campbell was named as a legatee of William Porter. [letter signed by A D Hiller, Assistant to Administrator]”
Sir, Babbs April 4th 17?1
I send you by the Veau? Sixty six damaged guns, twenty seven bayonets & 6 cartridge boxes all to be repaired. I am convinced you will lose no time in expediting the business you are engaged in. You need not send any more guns until you hear further from me. Cartridge boxes are much wanted. Have r?? the flints you sent down.
I am your obed servant
Cumberland ?? ?? 4th May 17?1
Received of William Porter Commissary of Military Stores. One hundred and sixty five dollars for expenses while at that place
[a receipt for horse feed is also enclosed and signed by J. Payne]
A letter of instruction addressed to Mr Porter C.M.S. signed Nat Irish. Com. Mil. Stores dated Prince Edwd Ct House May 2, 1780 and an order addressed to Mr William Porter C.M.S. signed by J Pryor, F.C.M.S. and dated Apr 30, 1781.
The above papers have been removed from this case in order to send them to the war dept.
F.W. May 22, 1911
Received from the Department of the Interior (Pension Office) one old account book sent to said office in 1839 by Wm C Porter which was filed in the claim of Sally Porter for pension. Dec 23, 1879. John W Campbell
See Heilman’s Historical Register ??.448 ?? gives three Lieuts of VA Cont. Line named William Porter & there are pension claims for two of them. It cannot now be decided which drew the U.S. Land Warrant 1745 as two of these served to close of Rev.
It also appears from the records of the ?? Land Office ?? U.S. Military Bounty land warrant no 1745 for 200 acres was send April 26, 1798 to the same Wm Porter of the Va continental ?? war regist?? In the land office Feb 26, 1805. It was located on Lots 38 and 39 (100 acres each) in the 1st qt 1 Township – 8th – range. In the military reservation in Ohio. In war ?? Apr 12, 1805 in name of Wm Porter.
The records of the General Land office show that Virginia military bounty land warrant No 2894 for 2666 2/3 acres was issued in the name of Wm Porter – it was located in 3 surveys as follows
Survey No 2079 1000 acres
2080 666 2/3 aacres
2081 1000 acres
Survey no 2079 was patented to William Porter Feby 8, 1779
Survey No 2080 ws patented to “the heirs and legal representatives of Wm Porter” June 25, 1842
Survey N 2081 was patented August 9, 1797 to John Clay to whom Porter had sold the survey
Sally Porter … William who was a ??? & Comm Military Stores…
See Let 11 Jany 1839
Hon. E Rumsey
“Remarks – I do not understand how the examiner arrived at the amount of service rendered by Porter. But it is clear that he did not serve to the end of the war if he is to be believed. I should have reguarded the L? M? by the Secy of State as conclusive if he himself had not shown it’s falsity. Perhaps the rolls of this officer may relieve the case of it’s difficulties.” [not signed]
[A letter from William C Porter, calling himself the son of William Porter is included in the file.]
[W. Ogden Niles, En’g Clerk wrote the following after researching to clarify the claim of William Porter:
“… William Porter in his declaration under the Act of March 18, 1818, after stating his service as a private in the line of Virginia, alleged that in May, 1777 he was appointed an ensign in the 2nd Regt of the said line, and a short time after, a 2nd Lieut. In which grade he served until March 1779; at which time his private affairs requiring his attention he resigned his commission. That in the latter part of the year 1779, he again joined the army in the staff department as an assistant to Qr Master, and was commissary of Military Stores at Southampton and that when he resigned he gave up his commission. On examining the case I found that according to the Roll of the Resigned and Supemumerary (?) officers of the Virginia Continental Line, Porter was appointed Lieut. June 8, 1777 – and from the rolls of Capt William Taylor’s company of the 2nd Regt commanded by Felrger(?) that he resigned March 27, 1779, this confirming the statement in his declaration. In support of the service in the staff the agent has filed original papers showing that Porter was com. Of Military Stores, from May 2, 1780 to Aug 3, 1781 – 15 mos, for which with the additional service shown by the record of this office, the claim has been increased.”]
[Letter stating Sally Porter died August 25, 1843 and her pension “has been paid in full to that date”… letter dated 23 Dec 1836]
Hopkinsville July 15, 1881
W J A Bently; comr of Pension Office
Dear Sir: I received a ltter from you dated May 20th and being pressed in business at the time laid your letter aside and had forgotten to answer it until now is my excuse for not answering it wooner. You wish to know who would be the proper person to receive the patent refered to in your letter. William Porter and wife and all their children have been dead for a number of years. I am a grandson of Wm Porter and have had more to do with his estate that is his land matters in the state of Ohio than any other of his heirs. We had a suit pending in Clinton County Ohio for 12 or 14 years and finally was swindle out of the most of his claims. I had a power of attorney from the most of the ?? to attend to their interest, so I suppose I would be as proper a person to receive the patent as any one. The Patent being of now Sal?? To any of the heirs more than an old ret?? As a keepsake. I would like very much to get it as I have a good many of his old papers and would like to preserve them. My Post Office is Hopkinsville Christian County KY
Yours very respectfully
John M Campbell
[a letter written by a grandson of William Porter asking them to look at the pension again because he thinks the amount was too small. He said that William Porter made a partial move to Illinoise the fall before he died. He moved from Christian County Kentucky. William C Porter is an uncle to this grandson of William Porter. He tells them that he thinks the confusion of being more than one William Porter has caused the problem. The Grandson is John J McLin.]