Discovering Your South Carolina Roots

Petition Financial Assistance for John Cox, Sr. Service in Revolutionary War

Rev. War

To encourage officers and enlisted men to serve for the duration of the conflict, the Continental Congress passed a resolution on May 15, 1778, allowing half-pay for all officers and a set gratuity of $80 to all enlisted men who remained in service to the end of the war. On August 24, 1780, the Continental Congress passed the first act offering pensions to widows and orphans of Revolutionary War soldiers.

During the war, pensions were used to encourage enlistment and acceptance of commissions and to prevent desertion and resignation. After the war, they became a form of reward for services rendered. States as well as the federal government offered and awarded pensions based on participation in the Revolutionary War. However, the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files in the National Archives (Microfilm Publication M804) contain only the records of pensions granted or paid by the U.S. federal government.

Not until 1818 did Congress pass a pension law granting pensions to Revolutionary War veterans who had not been disabled. These pensions, based on financial need, were granted for life. When a larger-than-anticipated number of applicants led to financial difficulties for the young nation, Congress amended the 1818 law in 1820 and again in 1822. The most liberal pension legislation, enacted in 1832, gave full pay for life to officers and enlisted men who had served for two or more years and partial pay for service of six months to two years.

A fire in the War Department on November 8, 1800, apparently destroyed all Revolutionary War pension and bounty land warrant applications and related papers submitted before that date. The pension files now in the National Archives were filed after 1800 and contain either a 10-by-14-inch envelope (if the pension paperwork still exists) or a 10-by-14-inch card summarizing the information about a claimant (if the pension no longer exists). An envelope may contain from 1 to 200 (or more) pages of records. A typical file contains around 30 pages of records, consisting of an application or applications of one or more claimants (veteran [designated the survivor], widow, orphan, etc.); other documents submitted as evidence of identity and service; and papers showing actions taken by the government concerning the claims.

This is a copy of the petition to grant John Cox, Sr. some financial relief for his service in the Revolutionary War.

JOHN COX, SR. State of South Carolina ) Horry District )

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina The Humble Petition of John Cox, Senr. of the parish of All Saints and district and State aforesaid, respectfully Sheweth, That your Petitioner served three years and a half as a Soldier, in the Militia Service, during the Revolutionary War, in the Companys of Capt. Samuel Price, John Warden, and Thomas Livingston, and in other Companys, Chiefly in the Brigade of General Francis Marion. Your Petitioner further Shows that he has now attained a very advanced age and has (under the blessing of Providence) raised a numerous family without having ever called upon, or received from his Country any assistance whatsoever; but as that imbecility which is consequent when old age, and especially the afflicting to which his great exposure in pursuing, his necessary avocation, has subjected him, have at length so far weakened his constitution and impaired his health, — he finds himself in his old age unable, as heretofore, by his own efforts, to supply himself and his aged companion with the common necessaries of life. Your Petitioner therefore prays, that your Honorable body will take his case into consideration, and grant him that assistance in the premises, which in your wisdom and liberality shall seem in ect. And your petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray—

October 23d 1828          his John (JC) Cox         mark Witness: B. A. Thomas

South Carolina ) Horry District )

Before me personally appeared John Cox, Sr., the within petitioner, and made oath that the facts set forth, in his within petition are just & true.

his John (JC) Cox         mark

Sworn to before me this 27th day of July 1829 Samuel Wilson JQ

A Schedule of the property of John Cox

VIZ 550 acres of Land worth about $100
VIZ one horse $30
VIZ One cow & calf $10 & $40
VIZ 15 head of hogs $30

South Carolina ) Horry District )

Before me personally appeared, Capt. Edward Conner, who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth & saith, that he was personally acquainted with John Cox, Sen. of All Saints Parish of the district and State aforesaid, at & during the time of the American Revolution, that he the said John Cox was during that period a true Whig, and a faithful Soldier in the Revolutionary Army. Edward Conner

Sworn to before me this 12th Sept 1828 Benj. Holt QU

South Carolina ) Horry District )

Personally come before me Jos. Vaught Justice Peace for Said District Matthias Vaught, Senr., who being Duly Sworn on the Holy Avangalist of Almighty God Deposeth and Sayeth that he was personally acquainted with Mr. John Cox Senr in the Revolutionary war, and this Deponent Sayeth that he the Said John Cox Senr was a stanch Whig and fought for his Country in the Militia Service.

Matthias Vaught

Sworn to before me this 17th Day of October 1828 Jos. Vaught JP

South Carolina ) Horry District )

Personally came before me Jos. Vaught, Justice of the Peace for Said District, John Roberts, Senr. who being Duly Sworn on the Holy Avangalist of Almighty God Deposeth and Sayeth that he was personally acquainted with Mr. John Cox, Senr in the Revolutionary War, and this Deponent Sayeth that the the Said John Cox, Senr was a good Whig and fought for his Country in the Militia Service.

John Roberts

Sworn to before me this 17th October 1828 Jos Vaught (JP)


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