30 April 2012

Elam Blain's Revolutionary War Pension-Getting Organized

October 4th 1847
Elam Blain
Delaware County

"Dear Sir

I take this Opportunity to inform you that Some time Last June I under took to get my mothers pension Catharine Blain the widow of Alam Blain deceased a Pensions of the united States who draw a Pension under act of 18th march 1848 of ninety Six dollars and died on the 22th Day of November 1846 the above Stated old Lady is A Live and..."

I've decided it is time to revisit the 60 page Revolutionary War pension file for Alam/Elam Blain and his wife Catharine. This image is just one of many documents that appears in the file which was obtained digitally on Fold3. Blain served in a New Jersey regiment and was living in Ohio at the time he filed his pension.

Fortunately in this letter, the writer indicates that Catharine is his mother and one could reasonably infer that Elam Blain, the writer, is the son of Elam Blain, the veteran, although this relationship is not directly stated. It has been some time since I have gone through the various pages in the file although I downloaded the entire set of images several years ago.

My first goal is to create a chart summarizing each of the documents.  I have started that chart here. The citations are blank as of right now, but I'm going to create a separate citation for each document, using what appears to be its title or purpose as part of the citation. The image numbers are simply an internal reference for me--based upon the file names that they were given as I saved them (which correlate to the image numbers used for them on Fold3.

Image Number
Abstract and summary of key elements
Miscellaneous comments
Cover packet or cover sheet
“Ohio res[ident] in 1818.

4 October 1847 letter from Elam Blain
Mentions father’s death on 22 November 1846. Clearly refers to Catharine Blain as “mother.” Discusses difficulty of proving mother’s marriage.
Letter is addressed directly to President Polk.

Apparent reverse side of 4 Oct 1847 letter that is image 2

Pension summary from 1819-1820
Alam Blain on roll of Ohio at rate of $8 per month, commencing 1 May 1818.

Pension summary card from 1848-1852
Catharine Blair, widow of Alam Blair, pension at rate of $96 annually commencing on 1 July 1848. Pension certificate issued 10 February 1852
“The name is Blain” is written on the the side.



Alam Blain Statement dated 1 May 1818
Enlisted in a Pennsylvania Unit—Capt. Jno. Heard’s Company 4th Regiment of Light Dragoons, commanded by Col. Anthony White. Received back rations and clothing amount after the war for $70. Blain is in his 60th year of age.

Apparent back side of Alam Blain 1 May 1818 Statement

Statement was made in front of Daniel Stillwell, associate Judge of Court of Common Pleas. David Chambers, Clerk of the Common Pleas Court testified to Stillwell’s position.

I saved all the images in a folder just for this pension file. 

I created a blank Word document and imported all the images (at one time, using select all when importing an image). This way the page numbers of the Word document corresponded to the image numbers. The printed out Word document is making the transcription and analysis process much easier.

I've read through much of the pages before, but in creating this blog post I noticed where in Elam's original affidavit he indicates he was 60 years of age. Somehow that was something I had not noticed originally, or if I did, it was never entered into my files as an approximate year of birth for Elam.

We're working on completing the chart and the citations and will have an updated post.