Clues to Vital Data on African American Revolutionary War Veteran Frank Andrew
Military records and newspapers may provide hard to locate data on 18th century-born African Americans. Andrew Frank's pension and death notice provided incomplete but key data on his birth and death places and dates.
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Affidavit from Pension S21207 & Death Notice from the Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics
3 Jan 1835 | Johnston, Rhode Island
Excerpt from Andrew Frank's pension affidavit (S21207) dated 14 April 1834 relating to his birth:
"In answer to the seven interogatives presented by the War Department he answers and says to 1st - He was born in said Johnston but the year he does not know but it was upwards of 80 years ago."
Note: This would place his birth date at approximately 1754, a reasonable age for him to have served in the war.
Abstract relating to his death:
"Died...[January 3, 1835]
"In Johnston, R. I. ANDREW FRANK, a colored man, a revolutionary soldier, aged 104 years - he has had twenty children by one wife."
Note: It is highly likely that his age was inflated in the death notice. If correct, he would have been born circa 1720, being in his mid fifties during the war. It is more probable that his pension affidavit provided a closer birth date and age, thus he was probably in his eighties at death.
[Source: Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics, January 3, 1835 Volume XLVI, Issue 1, Page 1, paper published in Portsmouth, New Hampshire]