February 3, 2021

Pages 40-45
Whole Number 7

32.1 James Sparks

EDITOR'S NOTE; In the following document. capitalization and punctuation have been modernized for the sake of clarity, but no changes have been made in spelling or content.

S—32533. Declaration of 32.1 James Sparks in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress, passed 7 June 1832.

State and District of Indiana
County of Jackson

On this fifteenth day of November in the year 1833, personally appeared before the Honl. Abel Findly, Judge of the Probate Court, the same being a Court of Record of said County of Jackson and State of Indiana, the said 32.1 James Sparks, a resident of Carr Township in said County of Jackson and State of Indiana, at his room, now also especially occupied on this occation by the said Judge as his Chamber for the time being "Applicant for a pension being unable to appear in Court by reason of bodily infirmity, aged upwards of eighty, near to or about, ninety years of age, who being duly sworn according to the law both on his oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832:

[Webmaster Note: The following was all one paragraph. It is split for easier reading.]

That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as hereinafter stated, That when the Revolutionary War commenced and during the whole time thereof, thereafter until about. or in the year 1782, he, Applicant, resided between Youghahany and Monongahela, perhaps in the county at that time of Westmoreland, at this time of the county of Alleganey, near where Elizabethtown now is in the State of Pennsylvania; where during the Revolutionary War all that time he, Applicant, kept himself in continual readiness for service and on every occasion when the United States needed his service, he never waited to he drafted.

That he always volunteered his service and went into the service of the United States whenever she needed it, as a volunteer in the Militia of the State of Pennsylvania, there to which he then belonged, That he always served as a private. He, Applicant, recollects that he served often many tours and campaigns in the service, not less at any one time than about at least from one to two and three months, and net more than about six months except as hereinafter mentioned, in all amounting to three years and four months, which is exclusive of his service in the Pack Horse Service as hereinafter mentioned.

That he recollects that at home he, Applicant, belonged to the company of Militia commanded by Captain John Crow and a part of the time, at least, William Crow was his Lieutenant of the same company of Pennsylvania Militia. Capt. Crow was succeeded by former Lieutenant, afterwards Captain, Hartt, who afterwards commanded the same company. That he, Applicant., was some time in the service under other company officers, but does not recollect their names.

That he, Applicant, was engaged in defending the frontier settlements during that time against the Indians and some times the British and Canadians who assisted the Indians some times. That he was often in the service engaged [in] scouting and marching night and day, sometimes during several days together, pursuing the enemy. That during the service aforesaid, he, Applicant, was engaged and assisted in several skirmishes and battles fighting the enemy, but has forgotten and cannot recollect some of them. He recollects distinctly of being engaged while on an expedition in that service against the Indians and some Whites said to be, and thinks they were, British and Canadians assisting the Indians at Lake Erie. That he, Applicant, assisted and fought against these Indians, British and Canadians, as was laid in a battle by the Lake. That in this battle many of the enemy were killed and the rest of them were beaten and driven off and they fled, Applicant recollects that in this battle the blood of the enemy who were killed there coloured and stained the water then in the holes and creek ad that place near the Lake. That he, Applicant, recollects that he saw many of the White enemy with the Indians there on that occasion,

He, Applicant, thinks, as well as he can recollect, that the United States troops of that expedition to which he belonged were commanded by General Hand, who also commanded at that battle or skirmish, That he, Applicant, was in several other skirmishes as above stated and was several other times under other company officers as above stated, most of whom he has now forgotten or can't recollect their names. Applicant does not recollect the regiment of Pennsylvania Militia to which he belonged, nor certainly the names of the officers who commanded it, but he recollects that he, Applicant, while in the service was two or three campaigns or tours of service under General Hand, above named, and that he, Applicant, was three other times, or terms of service at least, that he recollects of being under the command of Colonel Heath or Heith, That during that service he, Applicant, was often, cannot recollect how often, at least three or four terms or times or tours, under the command of Colonel, being the same as General, Gibson, who commanded the Fort at Pittsburgh where he, Applicant, was often camped or stationed. That he, Applicant, was, during that service, under the command of General McIntosh one tour of service, or campaign, most. of the time at Fort McIntosh.

Applicant recollects the officers above named distinctly, thinks some of the generals and Col, Heith belonged to the Regular Service, but that he may he mistaken in this particular. He, Applicant; recollects Captain Van Swearengen of the Pennsylvania Militias or Troops, and his company generally but not any other of their names. Applicant recollects that Samuel Lemon, who belonged to the Regular Service, was with Applicant under General Gibson at the same time. but he understands and believes that Samuel Lemon is dead. That Applicant received many written discharges from the officers under whom he served at different times, as aforesaid, but his discharges were since destroyed by fire at his place of residence in the State of Pennsylvania above stated and described, two or more from Captain Crow, once or oftener from Captain Hartt of Militia aforesaid, and some times from other officers whose names Applicant does not now recollect, and that his acquaintances who know of his services are dead or removed out of his, Applicant's, knowledge.

That he, Applicant, served several six months' tours, but cannot recollect how many. He thinks that the battle at Lake Erie was fought during one of his six months.' tours of service. Applicant recollects distinctly that he went under Colonel Broadhed in the company commanded by Captain Hartt, aforesaid, one short: tour of about thirty days, principally to relieve the troops which were besieged at Fort Lawrence, on or near Muskingum River, or a branch thereof. During that time the troops nearly starved and suffered much. He had a part of the time to live on roots and on hides which he roasted and eat, as Applicant often was compelled to live on roots and suffered much from hunger and fatigue in the service on several occations. Applicant thinks Colonel Broadhead was of the Regular Service, of the United States, Applicant recollects that he started under Colonel Broadhead in his Campaign up the Allegany, but Applicant and some other of the troops were left at an intermediate station to pages it and were not taken with the Colonel the whole of his campaign. Applicant thinks he recollects that he heard of a skirmish which Col. Broadhead had during that campaign with the Indians, but was not. in this skirmish, and he, Applicant, has forgotten the name of the station where he was left by Colonel Broadhead as above stated. Applicant does not recollect how long he was in this campaign. He was in it during the whole of it, but no further than the station above mentioned.

Applicant cannot recollect precisely what his age was when he first entered the service. That he, owing to his age and infirmity, cannot recollect the dates or years of any thing connected with his service or age precisely. That he, Applicant, while in the service of the United States during the time of the Revolutionary War, as aforesaid, served three tours or term of said service, in the Pack Horse Service: one tour, or term, of nine months and two others of six months, each making in all one year and nine months service in this Pack Horse Service. He, Applicant, found all his own horses, five but mostly six horses in number, and was engaged in carrying salt and flour and other provisions for the Army and the war from East over the Allegany mountains to supply the western forts and garrisons and the United States Army there, principally to supply Fort McIntosh and the Fort at Pittsburgh. That some times he would not be in actual service during the whole of the time of these tours of Pack Horse Service, but be would some times be at home a short time on furlough while resting and recruiting himself and horses at his residence aforesaid, but was always in readiness to march at a moments warning, and was most of the time of the term in actual service and was considered as being in actual service all the time of each term, or as belonging thereto.

That he, Applicant, always volunteered when he entered the Brigade of the United States Pack-Horse Service. That he, Applicant, suffered much loss of vigour and sustained much injury to his health and constitution during and in, and by reason of, the service aforesaid, for which he has never received any pay or compensation other than an approving conscience. That his body and mind are now vastly reduced. His body is debilitated and infirm. That he, Applicant, is unable to be moved by help or to be carried, nor can he move himself to Court. That his memory and recollection have almost entirely left him. That he, Applicant, is unable to appear in Court by reason of bodily infirmity.

That he, Applicant, cannot recollect the dates nor precise times nor years nor with any certainty or correctness, to his own satisfaction, the order in time of the circumstances, facts and incidents of his services in the United States during the Revolutionary War, other than in the manner or nearly as above, and as hereinafter stated. That some times he recollects better than at other times. He, Applicant, thinks he recollects that one New or Newell or Nevill, or perhaps both, were concerned in the Pack Horse Service, either as Brigade Master or Commissary. That be, Applicant, always belonged during his packing services as aforesaid, to a brigade or company of pack horses, but who the Brigade Master at any of the times aforesaid certainly was, he cannot now recollect other than as above stated, but that he thinks there was a Brigade Master or Brigade Major that commanded or directed the packhorse. That in or about the year 1782 he, Applicant, removed from his residence in Pennsylvania, aforesaid, to Jefferson County in Kentucky where he resided until in or about the year 1800, when he removed to Vincennes in Indiana where he resided until about the year 1803, when he removed to Jefferson County in Kentucky, aforesaid, where he resided until about the year of ---- (which he does not now precisely recollect) when he removed to Bullett County, Kentucky, where he resided until in or about the year 1822 be removed to Sparks Ferry in Carr Township in Jackson County in the State of Indiana, where he has ever since continually resided and still there resides as first above mentioned.

That in and during the Revolutionary war his, Applicant's, time, property and person were mostly devoted and given to the service and cause of his Country, and his means of, and ability to acquire, an ample or competent support during the remainder of his life was by reason thereof vastly diminished and circumscribed, and are long since entirely gone, and his resources are wholly exhausted. He is now without and wholly destitute of the means of the means of support, and only as he obtains charity on which he is entirely dependant. That he has no documentary evidence of his service in the Revolutionary War and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his service. That he, Applicant, hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension on or annuity except the present, and that he, Applicant, declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the any of any State.

That he, Applicant, was born near Brandberry [i.e. Cranberry], in the State of New Jersey. That he has no record of his age. That he was living at the place as above described when he was called into the service, in the State of Pennsylvania. That he was never drafted nor was he ever a substitute for any person in the service. That; he does not recollect the militia or continental regiments and the general circumstances of his service, other than as aforesaid. That he, Applicant, does not recollect by whom his discharges from the service as aforesaid were given, except that he received some two or more of them from Captain Crow, once or oftener from Captain Hartt, all which were destroyed by fire as above mentioned when Applicant's was unfortunately burned at his residence in the State of Pennsylvania, as aforesaid, in the year 1787, late in the fall of that year, as nearly as he can recollect, by which his discharges were burned as aforesaid.

That there are Major Cummins, Esqr., Captain William Lux, Major Stephen Sparks, Benjamin Newkirk, and many others, there being no clergyman in the vicinity of Applicant at this time, to whom he, Applicant, is known in his present neighborhood where he now resides, and who can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the Revolution. That he, Applicant, now recollects that while he lived in Jefferson County in the State of Kentucky aforesaid the first time, immediately after he removed there to from the State of Pennsylvania. he went a volunteer one tour of service against the Indians under Hardin, called Colonel Hardin, in his campaign. Applicant cannot recollect when he was born precisely as to the year.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year first aforesaid.

[signed] James Sparks.

[NOTE: The following statement was submitted along with James Sparks's application:]

We, Benjamin Newkirk residing in the Township of Flinn in the County of Lawrence and the immediate neighbourhood of Sparks Ferry in Jackson County in the State of Indiana, and Stephen Sparks of Sparks Ferry aforesaid residing at this place, and William Lies, of Hamilton Township residing here in Jackson County aforesaid, hereby certify that we are well acquainted with James Sparks who has subscribed to the above and foregoing declaration; that we believe him to be about ninety years, that he is reputed and believed in the neighbourhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the Revolution, and that we concur in that opinion.

And the said Benjamin Newkirk further states that he has been well acquainted with the said James Sparks, Applicant for a pension aforesaid, ever since in the year 1783; that he has always been reputed and believed to be a soldier of the Revolution during all that time, and to be a man of veracity; none of which has ever boon doubted by his acquaintances wherever he has been known or resided, who have always recognized him to be such.

And the said Stephen Sparks further states that he has been well acquainted with James Sparks' service in the War of the Revolution by reputation and character as a matter of history about forty years; that he has always been recognized, reputed and believed to he a soldier of the Revolution; that his statements and amount of his services have never been doubted; that said Stephen has often heard the said James Sparks some years ago repeatedly give all the leading circumstances, and most of the parties, of his service at all the times thereof in the War of the Revolution to and with other persons, viz Colonel Richard Sparks, since late of the United States Army, who was the brother of the said James and knew him to be in the service, and also Samuel Lemon who was said to be in the service at the same time with said James, whose statements of his services they always confirmed; that his statements of his service as aforesaid have always been the same except that his memory and powers of recollection have been failing him as he has stated thereof in his declaration as aforesaid, and that he cannot now make as connected statement of his services as he formerly did.

signed: Benjamin Newkirk
Stephen Sparks
William O. Lux

[Note: The following letter is filed with James Sparks's application.~ Washington City, December 13th 1837.


I have the honor to inclose a power of attorney and other papers, given by James Sparks, late of Jackson County, State of Indiana, a Revolutionary pensioner, to Stephen Sparks, intended to enable his said attorney to draw all the pension that might become due him from the United States, The pension agent has refused to pay over the pension due to the said James Sparks at the time of his death to his said attorney; he therefore requests the department to direct the money to be paid to the said Stephen Sparks, or inform him how, and in what manner, the money can be drawn.

I have the honor to be
Your Obedient Servant,
J. L. Edwards, [signed] W. Graham.

Com., of Pension.

[Note: The following document is also filed with James Sparks's application.]

Jackson County, Indiana, Sct.

I, Ailcy Sparks Newkirk (32.1.2) of Lawrence County, aged 79 years, do make the following statement, Viz: I am one of the children of 32.1 James Sparks, deceased, who died in this county in the month of May or June, 1834, and who had then recently applied for a Revolutionary pension. I make this declaration for the purpose of identifying myself and authorizing C. H. Barkley of Louisville, Kentucky, as my true and lawful attorney for me and in my name, to ascertain what became of the application aforesaid and to find out where the pension certificate was sent to, if ever issued, as I can find no trace of it or any account of it ever having come into his possession.

Said James Sparks left no widow at the time of his death,

Witness my name in said County of Jackson on this 22nd day of March A.D0 1856.

Attest 2 witnesses: her mark
[signed]            Ailcy X Newkirk

Charles H. Fowler
Chs. J. Rosenbaum

We, Richard A. Sparks and William H. Sparks, both of Jackson County, Indiana, aged respectively 46 and 44 years, do certify that Mrs. Ailcy Newkirk, who has signed the foregoing declaration, is personally known to us as she therein describes herself. And we are disinterested. This 22 day of March 1856.

His signed: Richard A. X Sparks
Attest 2 witnesses:      mark

C. H. Fowler his
Chs, J. Rosenbaum William H. X Sparks


[NOTE: In another document filed with 32.1 James Sparks' application, Judge Abel Findly vouches for James Sparks, and believes him to be a Revolutionary soldier, He also vouches for Benjamin Newkirk, Stephen Sparks and William G. Lux, dated 15 November 1833. On 14 May 1856 the Pension Bureau in Washington, D.C., informs Mr. C. H. Barkley, in reply to his letter of 7 April 1856, that "there does not appear to hers been any payments made" in the case of James Sparks. Papers show that the name of James Sparks was inscribed on the Roll of Indiana at the rate of $40 per annum, to commence 4 March 1831. Date of death for James Sparks is given as 25 May 1834, In 1921 Nola Sparks Eichelzer (Mrs. H. H.) of 809 Atkinson Ave., Detroit, Mich., wrote regarding the Revolutionary War services of this James Sparks, as did also, in 1939, a Mrs. Pearl A. Sparks of 1226 Pawnee St., Leavenworth, Kansas.

This concludes all the genealogical data in the pension file, No. S—32533, for James Sparks, a soldier of the American Revolution. A very little more information, however, might be found regarding the payment of the pension.

William Perry Johnson.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A letter written by William Marshall to John Tipton dated January 1, 1837, which was printed in Vol. XXVI of the Indiana Historical. Collections, indicates that the 32.1.1 Stephen Sparks referred to in the above document was actually a son of 32.1 James Sparks, the applicant for the pension. This letter reads in part as follows; "I am requested by your old friend Major Steven Sparkes of Jackson County to solicit your aid in a matter in which he feels a deep interest. His father, as you will see by referring to a pension list, was a revolutionary soldier and was entitled to a pension, a part of which he drew in his lifetime.

Since his death the Major can get no information on the subject. The papers, the Major thinks, are in the Pension Office or in the possession of General John Carr, at least Gen'1. Carr can inform you where they can be found..." It was this Stephen Sparks, son of James, who operated the ferry which originally gave the name "Sparks Ferry" to the Indiana town now known as Sparksville. Paul B. Sparks is preparing an article on towns in the United States named after members of the Sparks family, in which he will tell us mere about Stephen Sparks and his ferry. Should any of our members have further information on James Sparks and his descendants, it is hoped that they will copy that data for the editor for future use in the Quarterly.