March 4, 2012

Pages 157-159
Whole Number 15

SPARKSES IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION



[Editor's note: In the following documents, which were copied by the Editor from a microfilm copy of the originals, capitalization and punctuation have been modernized for the sake of clarity, but no changes have been made in spelling or content. The file number given to the application papers of John Sparks in The National Archives is 1910. He was granted a pension on 28 July 1818 under an act of Congress dated 18 March 1818. Under this act pensions were granted only to the most needy veterans of the Revolution. John Sparks received $20.00 per month from 23 March 1818 until his death 30 April 1826. Little has been learned regarding John Sparks besides the data in his application. In 1927 Mrs. Sam Bretch of 1005 West 18th St., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma., wrote to the Bureau of Pensions regarding this John Sparks and stated that from other information which she had it appeared that John Sparks had married twice and that he had a daughter named Nancy who married George Beal. Minnie Beal Miller of 611 No. Drake Ave., Fullerton, California., gave similar information in 1939. According to data compiled by Mrs. Leonard T. Harris, 72 West 14th Place, Chicago Heights, Ill., Nancy Sparks, daughter of John, was born ca. 1764 and died in January 1854 in Guernsey County, Ohio, at the home of her son, Isaac Seal. Anyone having additional information on the family of John Sparks is requested to write to the Editor.]

District of New-Jersey, SS.
Salem Inferior Court of Common Pleas, June Term, 1820.

       On this 14th day of June 1820 personally appeared, in open Court, before the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Salem in the state of New- Jersey, being a Court of Record, proceeding according to the course of the common law, having jurisdiction unlimited in point of amount and keeping records of its proceedings, and possessing the power of ---?--- and ---?---, John Sparks, aged 63 years, resident in Upper Acreek [?] in said county, who, being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath declare that he served in the Revolutionary war as follows: in Captain Faulkner's company to Canada in 1776 and in the Revolutionary Army under Captain John B. Cummins as first lieutenant, 2d Regiment, commanded by Colonel Israel Shreeve, Jersey line; after the Battle of Germantown promoted to a captain in the same regiment and line; that he has received a pension certificate No. 1910.

And I do solemnly swear that I was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March, 1818, and that I have not, since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner, disposed of my property, or any part thereof, with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled 'An Act to Provide for Certain Persons Engaged in the Land and Naval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War,' passed on the 18th day of March 1818; and that I have not, nor has any person in trust for me, any property, or securities, contracts, or debts, due to me; nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule following, and by me subscribed.

9 chairs, 2 pine tables, 1 doughtray, andirons, shovel & tongs
2 iron pots, 1 bake iron, lot of blockinware, 2 candle sticks 
2 pigs, 1 tea kittle, 1 frying pan, 1 tub, 3 pales, 1 cupboard 
1 ax, 1 candle stand, 1 looking glass, 1 cedar tub, I pine chest & books
Total
$7.25
3.62 1/2
5.50
5.62 1/2
22.00

[signed] John Sparks

That he is by occupation a carpenter but from bodily infirmity he is not able to obtain a living without assistance; that his family consists of himself aged 63 years, his wife Sarah aged 50 years, infirm and unable to labor, one daughter named Sarah Ann aged 13 years.

[signed] John Sparks

Sworn to and declared on the 14th
day of June before Jerediah Dubois,
Presiding Judge of Salem Court.

I, James Newell, Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Salem in the state of New Jersey, do hereby certify that the foregoing oath and the schedule thereunder written, are truly copied from the record of the said Court; and I do further certify that it is the opinion of the said Court that the total amount in value of the property exhibited in the aforesaid schedule is twenty-two dollars and no cents. In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the said Court on this 28th day of July 1820.

[signed] James Newell

To the Honourable J. C, Calhoon, Secretary of the War Department, Pension Office.


   State of New Jersey
   Gloucester County, Ss.
An application to obtain a pension for service rendered the United States.

Be it made known that before me, James Matlack, one of the Judges of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in & for the County & State aforesaid, personly appeared John Sparks, a native of the County & State aforesaid, aged sixty-one years last March, who being duly sworn upon the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God, did depose, declare & say that from his reduced circumstances he needs the assistance of his country for support. That he served in the War of the Revolution, on the Continental Establishment, about three years; that he entered the service as an ensign in Captain Wm. Fortiner's company in the Second Regiment, New Jersey Line, commanded by Colonel Wm. Maxwell, in the year seventeen hundred & seventy seven or thereabout; that he resigned his comision [sic] & gave it up to the said Wrn. Maxwell (then a general) who accepted the same & gave this deponent a discharge from the Army about the year seventeen hundred & eighty, which discharge is lost or mislaid; this deponent further saith that on his march to Quebec with the Army he was promoted to second leutenant [sic] & after his return he was appointed first lieutenant & during the time the British was in Philadelphia this deponent was promoted & appointed captain of a company in the Second Regiment under the command of Colonel Israel Shreeve & inlisted about fifty men in the town of Woodbury, County and State aforesaid, for the Army, and remained in the service untill about the time the British left New York for Little York.

Sworn and subscribed this twenty-third day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, before me at Woodbury.

[signed] James Matlack

[signed] John Sparks

[There follows the usual certification of the Judge's signature by the Clerk of the Court, Thomas Hendry.]

State of New Jersey
Burlington County, Ss.
       Before one Thomas Adams, one of the Judges of said County, appeared Capt. Samuel Hendry of the Revolutionary Army, residing in that city of Burlington, & being duly sworn deposeth that he was an officer in the Second Regt. of Continental forces raised in the Autumn of 1775 in New Jersey, whereof William Maxwell was colonel; that John Sparks of the County of Gloucester in said State, was a subaltern officer in Capt. Faulkner's company, in said regt., & that the said John Sparks continued in service from the raising of the said regt. untill the summer of seventeen hundred & seventy eight, & further this deponent saith not.

Sworn the 15 June 1818 before me [signed] Samuel Hendry

       [signed] Thos. Adams, Judge

[There follows the usual certification of the Judge's signature by the Clerk of the Court, Joseph McIlvaine.]

[The following statement appears at the bottom of the above document:]

It appears from the within deposition of Capt. Samuel Hendry that John Sparks was an officer in 1775 & continued untill the Summer of 1778, and by a return of the commanding officers in the New Jersey Brigade, signed by Genl. Maxwell, it appears that John Sparks is returned in 5 February 1778, a captain in the 2d Regt. I knew John Sparks, a subaltern in Capt. Falkner's company in 1775. Capt. Falkner died near Ticonderoga, on the march to Canada in 1775-6. Capt. Sparks was near three years in the N. Jersey Line of Continental Forces.

[signed] J. B. Bromfield
July 7, 1818.

[On the back of the following document appears this statement:"Doctr Elmer's certificate. D. Elmer was Surgen of the 2d Regt. in 1777 & 1778, &c.']

State of New Jersey, Cumberland County.
 I do hereby certify that I knew John Sparks of Woodbury in this State as an officer of the Second Regiment in the New Jersey Line of troops in the Revolutionary Army; that he first served as an ensign & was promoted through the different grades to a captain previous to his resignation; that I cannot recollect the precise period of his resignation, but I am fully persuaded that he served in the different capacities nearly if not fully three years.

[signed] Eben. Elmer
June 8th 1818.

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