Jonathan Thomas, my 5th great grandfather, was born in 1739 in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Long known for his hunting and woodlore skills, he joined the New Hampshire Volunteers in military service during the Revolutionary War. He served as a sergeant in Captain Jeremiah Clough's Company under Colonel Poor. In his old age, Jonathan found himself in a difficult financial position and requested a pension from the government for his military service during the war. Jonathan was one of the sixteen Sanbornton men who rushed to the defense of Charlestown after the battle of Bunker Hill. He continued in the service of his country until 1781.
Philip Hunt's testimony that he had personal knowledge that Jonathan Thomas served in Captain Jeremiah Clough's Company in Col. Enoch Poor's Regiment starting in June 1775 and continued serving until December 1776.
Proof of need was required from pensioners. Jonathan Thomas appeared before Justice Nathan Weston, stating that he had no property or other holdings of any value. The justice notes that Jonathan was 80 years old at the time and had served in the army for one year and six months.
Chief Justice, Nathan Weston certified that Jonathan Thomas was a resident of Freedom, Kennebec County, Maine and that Jonathan swore before him that he was a "private soldier in the war of the revolution, against the common enemy for more than nine months." Jonathan's signature is found on the document.
As required by law, applicants had to prove their lack of financial viability. John Davis, clerk for the Kennebec Circuit Court certified that Jonathan had no debts receivable nor property of any value.
In 1934, Fred Morse, a descendant of Jonathan Thomas sent a letter to the U. S. Pension Department inquiring about any information on his ancestor. He stated that Jonathan was a Sergeant in the military, and died in Jun 1824. He goes on to say that Jonathan was a "scout (hunter) through the woods of Maine".
A. D. Hiller, Executive Assistant to the Administrator of military pensions replied to the letter from Fred Morse. The letter states that Jonathan was born in Hampton, New Hampshire although the date and name of his parents was not shown. It goes on to say that Jonathan "enlisted for military service in June 1775 and served about seven months as sergeant in Captain Jeremiah Clough's Company, Colonel Enoch Poor's New Hampshire Regiment. He reenlisted in January 1776 and seved as sergeant in Captain Jeremiah Clough's Company, Colonel Enoch Poor's Regiment in various skirmishes and was discharge the last of December 1770".
Impatient to receive a reply to his inquiry about Jonathan Thomas, J. Fred Morse wrote a second letter to the U. S. Pension Commission asking for any information they had regarding his ancestor. The reply from the Commission was sent on 15 December and thus the letters crossed in the mail.
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