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Claims & Memorials
Petition of Shadrack Furman of Virginia

To the Rt. Honorable William PITT
Chancellor of His Majesty’s Exchequer

The humble Petition of Shadrack FURMAN


That your petitioner was a free black man and lived in Acamack County in America at the Commencement of the late Troubles in very good Circumstances and on Account of his Attachment to the British Government rendered himself inimical to the rebels.

That the rebels getting Information of his entertaining Some of the British Troops in his House and otherwise Supplying them with provisions when they first came into Virginia, they on the first of January 1781 burnt destroyed or carried away the property of many Loyalists and the whole Effects of your Petr. to the value of £ 146. 19s 9d and upwards as Per Estimate with Petr. and John WILLIAMS affidt. marked No. 1 hereto annexed.

That Shortly afterwards in order to extort Intelligence from Petitioner respecting the British Troops he was Seized by the rebels and after dangerously wounding him in divers parts the Marks of which Petr. can still shew, then Stripped tied up and gave him 500 Lashes and then left him almost dead in the Field by reason of which your Honors Petitioner lost his Eye Sight, and the use of one of his Legs by a stroke of an axe they gave him, and his Health is otherwise so much impaired from the wounds in his Head received from them, that he is sometimes bereft of reason.

That as soon after the aforesaid ill Treatment as soon as your Petr. got a little Strength and dreading further ill usage from the Rebels petr. went on Board of a privateer belonging to Messrs. GRAHAM and HODGES then lying in Tangiers Cape Cod commanded by Captain ROBERTSON and proceeded with him to Portsmouth, where he Joined the British Army and entered into Captain FRAZIERs Department of Pioneers where he rendered himself as useful as possible until his Situation from the aforesaid ill Treatment rendered it necessary to send him to Head Quarters under the Care of the General Doctor, and he was accordingly sent by order of Genl. LESLIE who promised him that if he was not cured that he should be maintained out of the Royal Bounty.

That after petr. had Joined the Royal Army as aforesaid among Other Services done by him, he was Instrumental in taking Caleb Tigel and one Rose two notorious Rebels whom he had known to come as Spies to Portsmouth under the Disguise of Friendship as appears by the certificate of John McDONALD Serjeant in the 76th Regimt. hereunto annexed.

That at the time of the Commissioners of Claims being in Shelburne your Petitioner was under the Care of Doctor HUNGERFORD and not capable of attending the Board which prevented your Petitioner from putting in his Claim as appears by the Certificate of the said Doctor HUGGERFORD, John BLAIR, and the affidavit of Edward RICE hereunto annexed, and he was afterwards Discharged Incurable.

That your Honors Petitioner from a variety of concurring Circumstances has ever since experienced the most poignant Distress ‘till at Length Stimulated with the hopes of meeting some of the officers who had known the Services rendered by petitioner to the British Army your Petitioner came to England in March last, but your petitioner not having been so successful he has taken the Liberty of humbly Stating his Case to your Honor the Truth of which if necessary will be attested upon oath by your petitioner and others.

May it please your Honor to take your petitioner’s Case into Consideration and as your Petitioner and wife are from a comfortable Situation in Life reduced to the lowest Ebb of poverty and Distress on account of his Loyalty and attachmt. to His Majesty be pleased to order that Some Provision or Support may be Granted to your Petr. and wife who are now entirely depending on the Charity of the public having neither friends Credit or Money.

And your Petr. will pray
[Shadrack FURMAN]

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 29, folios 658–659.

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