Claims and Memorials
To the Right Honorable the Lords Commissioners
of His Majesty's Treasury &ca &ca &ca
The Memorial of Samuel JARVIS, a native of North America
Most respectfully Shews
That your Memorialist at the Commencement of the late Troubles in North America lived in the (then Province, now) State of New York.
That on the disputes arrising between this Country & America, his Father very early appeard a warm advocate in favour of the King & Constitutional Government, which rendered him so obnoxious, that he was several times Imprisoned, fined a great number of times, His Houses & Farms plundered of Stock and other things and himself suffering every Species of abuse, and two of his Brothers obliged to seek security within the British lines, to prevent being forced into the Service of Congress.
That in the Year 1776, your Memorialist at the risque of His Life joyned the British Army then on Long Island, that some time after he received a Warrant to raise a Company in a Regiment to be Commanded by Governor Montfort BROWN, with the Rank of Brigadier General,
that in Consequence of such Warrant he did Inlist and produce at the Rendezvous of sd. Regt. Thirty Men at his own private Expence, having been previously promised by Governor BROWN, that all his recruiting Expences should be refunded, but on Application to him for that purpose he was refused;
on which Your Memorialist resigned his Warrant, and in the Month of November 1776, Obtained a Small Appointment in the Commissary Generals Department.
That in the Spring of 1778 he was made a Prisoner by the Rebels Striped of every thing and put into close Confinement in a most Loathsome Prison at Poughkeepsie, he with fourteen others being confined in a Room not more than 10 feet Square for near Six Months, about three Weeks of which time he was confined in a Dungeon totally Dark & Ironed hand & foot during the whole of which Confinement oblieged to pay the most exorbitant prices for every necessary or Starve not being allowed any Subsistance from the Congress or any of their adherents, in this dismal situation he experienced every hardship & Cruelty but Death;
finding all hopes of relief at an End they having Impeached him with high Treason for which he was to be arained, he with the assistance of others, after an Imensity of Labour effected a Breach in the Wall of the Prison, by which means they got out, but being immediately discovered and fired on by the Guard, several were wounded and the whole taken except himself and one more who made their escape, & got into the Woods, being then near one hundred Miles, from the British Army in an Enemies Country, and the Main Body of the Rebel Troops between him & the British rendered his Situation truely distressing, under these Circumstances Your Memorialist remained upwards of Six Weeks before he could effect a pass thro the Enemies Lines, during which time he suffered beyond Discription with Hunger, Wet & Cold, remaining in the Woods and in Barns, the whole of that time, and not once enjoying the Comfort of a Bed.
That during his Confinement his Father was not permitted to see him, and from their severe Cruelty and persecution they put a period to his Existence while Your Memorialist was thus Confined, that some time after to Complete their inhumanity, Striped his Mother & Sisters of Common Necessary's, turned them from the Possession of Houses farms Stock &c. and Left them to Experience every degree of Indigence and Distress, amid the Insults of their Lawless Banditties.
That on your Memorialist return again to New York, in the Winter of 1778 he was Employed in the Commissariat, in which he Continued until the Conclusion of the Peace & he in the Most Solemn manner declares, he had nor received any Profit, or Emolument but his Small Pay, and allowance of Fuel and Provisions, which was not adequate to the necessary Expences in a Garrison Town.
That in the Year 1779 the Commissariat was formed into a Corps, and Officered by the Gentlemen of the Department in which your Memorialist bore the Rank of Lieutenant; that from that time to the Year 1783, that Corps did a very Considerable Share of the Garrison Duty, the Officers being put to a great Expence for their Own Cloathing and Appointments, as well as, that of the men, for which they never received any Consideration, but did their Military Duty in addition to the Duties of their respective Offices in the Commissariat Line.
That in the Winter of 1779, when the Communication for Vessels was entirely cut off by the Ice between, Staten Island & New York, and no relief could be afforded to the Troops on that Island then in the Utmost want of Provisions;
Your Memorialist did with other Officers, under the Authority of the Commander in Chief, Impress, and Load with Pork & Flour near one hundred two Horse Slays,--from the Kings Stores at New York, & had the Honor to Command fifty of the Commissariat Volunteers, with a few British Troops under the Command of Lt. DRUMMOND of the 42nd Regiment as an Escort, the Commander in Chief not thinking proper to trust many of his Troops on so Dangerous a Service, near twelve Miles over the Ice, passing through a part in possession of the Enemy, where they were fired on by some Dragoons but to no effect by this means several Regiments were saved from the Enemy being so Contiguous to a very Considerable body of them then at Elisabeth Town.
That on the evacuation of New York Your Memorialist was appointed by Brook WATSON Esqr. then Commissary General to take charge of the Public Accounts and papers of His Extensive Department, and proceed with them to England under the Authority of Sir Guy CARLETON K.B. then Commander in Chief &c &c &c, and their to Attend their final Settlement, his pay to be only 7/6 P diem, in consequence he proceeded to England at a very Considerable Expence, and has attended to that Duty under Mr. WATSONs direction, until the 12th Day of July last, when his allowance of Pay Ceased by order of Your Lordship, the Accounts having been made up, and finally Settled.
That your Memorialist Father died Intestate, leaving a very Considerable property in Houses lands &c none of which has been Confiscated, & by the treaty of Peace Your Memorialist is prevented from any Enjoyment of it as he Cannot return to that Country but at the risque of his Life.
That Your Memorialist is now without any Support the pay he received while in Employ, being barely Sufficient for his Expences from Day to Day;
He having spent upwards of Nine years of the prime of His Days in faithfull Services to his King and Country, suffered much in Person & propery, is reduced to the Meloncholy necessity of Laying his unhappy Circumstances before Your Lordships, and to Humbly Implore the assistance of Government, from whom he presumes to hope, from his length of Services and Sufferings, he may be thought to merit some Attention.
The Memorialist therefore Humbly Submits to Your Lordship, his past Services and Present Situation, and presumes to pray for such Employment under the Crown as he may be found to Merit and that in the Interim, a temporary support may be allowed Him. And your Memorialist will Pray--
No. 6 Dorset Court
Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 114, folios 536-539.
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