Bidwell Lore – More On Agrippa’s Military Pension, Part I

Welcome to Bidwell Lore number 160! This week we look at some of the paperwork that Agrippa, and later Margaret, had to submit to receive his military pension.

Portrait of Agrippa Hull, unknown artist, unknown date. Acc# 47.002. Courtesy of the Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives. Painted from an 1845 daguerreotype taken by Anson Clark in West Stockbridge, also in the collection of the Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives.

More on Agrippa’s Military Pension
Rick Wilcox, 2022

This week we are going to dig into the paperwork both Agrippa and Margaret had to submit to prove that he did deserve an Army pension from the Revolutionary War and that she also deserved to keep receiving it, as his widow.
Below, you will see a copy of the form for Agrippa Hull’s 1828 pension claim and below that are a few testimonial statements from Agrippa and others to help prove that he was eligible for the pension.

Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Agrippa Hull Collection

I Agrippa Hull of Stockbridge in the County of Berkshire in the state of Massachusetts do hereby declare that I enlisted in the Continental line of the Army of the Revolution for & during the war & continued in its service until the termination at which period I was a private in Capt. John Chadwick’s Company in the Second Massachusetts Regiment of the Massachusetts Line. And I also declare that I afterward received Certificate for the reward of eighty dollars to which I was entitled under a resolve of Congress passed the 15th day of May 1778.
            And I further declare that I was not on the fifteenth day of May AD 1828 on the pension list of the United States.
            Witness my hand this twelfth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight & twenty eight. Agrippa Hull

Before me Charles Sedgwick a Justice of the Peace only empowered to administer oath in the County of Berkshire & State of Massachusetts personally appeared this day Joseph Tucker, Esqr. & Daniel Williams, Esqr. of Lenox in the said County as creatable persons to me well known who did generally make oath that Agrippa Hull by whom he foregoing declaration was subscribed it generally reputed and believed to have been a soldier in the Army of the Revolution in manner as therein stated. Witness my hand this 12th Day of June AD one thousand and eight hundred & twenty eight.
I Charles Sedgwick Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts within & for the County of Berkshire do certify that the said Sedgwick before whom the said Joseph Tucker & Daniel Williams Esqrs. were sworn was at the time a Justice of the Peace within and for the County & duly component to administer oaths. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affixed the seal of said county this 12th day of June AD 1828 Charles Sedgwick Clerk. Hon Mr. Pusky.
Hon Mr. Push/If it is agreeable to the rules assign deposition I should consider it a favor that if the amount of my pension (provided it is obtained) could be remised to me & hereafter as it may fall due at Stockbridge thro the post office & by means of a draft on Boston or New York. I have the honor to be with great respect your obedient servant: Agrippa Hull. Lenox June 12, 1828

In the next couple of paragraphs, you will see transcriptions of testimony given many years later, in 1853, in order to prove that Agrippa’s widow Margaret was still eligible for the late Agrippa’s benefits.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts County of Berkshire SS. On this eleventh day of May A.D. 1853 personally appeared in open court before the Hon. Thomas Metcalf one of the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court of said Commonwealth [2] now presiding at a session of said Court holden within & [illegible] said County Margaret Hull a resident of Stockbridge in the County of Berkshire aged sixty nine years who being duly sworn according to law, doth, as her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the provisions made by the Act of Congress passed February 3d 1853. That she is the widow of  Agrippa Hull who was a private Soldier in the army of the Revolution. He served six years & two months in the second Massachusetts Regiment. He was discharged the 24th of July 1783. He was a pensioner of the United States. He resided at Stockbridge Massachusetts. He received the sum of eighty dollars per annum and the same was paid at Boston. She further declares that she was married to the said Agrippa Hull on the fourth day of February A.D. eighteen hundred & thirteen; that her husband the aforesaid Agrippa Hull died May on the twenty first day of May A.D. Eighteen hundred & forty-eight: That she was married & him at the time above stated. She further swears that she was a widow at the passage of said Act & is still a window and that she has never before made application for a pension. Margaret her X mark Hull. Swore to & [illegible] that day & year above written before me. Theron Metcalf, Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Berkshire SS. I hereby certify that Theron Metcalf Esq. before who the foregoing declarations were made & who has hereunto Subscribed his name was at the time of so doing a Justice of the Ma Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts duly Commissioned.……as Clerk of the Same in said County of Berkshire this eleventh day of May 1853. Char Sedgwick Clerk. [3]

From the National Archives Microfilm publications: 1558 Massachusetts Margaret Hull widow of Agrippa Hull who served in the Revolutionary War as a Private, Mass line. Inscribed on the Roll at the rate of 80 Dollars 00 Cents per annum, to commence 3rd Febury 1853. Certificate of Pension issued the 17th day of Aug/53 and sent to J.E. Field, Stockbridge, Attorney. Recorded on Roll of pensioner under act February Page 40 Vol. A. 3/53, un106 1828 original.

3199 Massachusetts Roll, Agrippa Hull, Private – Massachusetts line – 1777 – 6 years. In the Army of the United States during the  Revolutionary War. Inscribed on the Roll of Massachusetts – at the rate of Eight Dollars per month, to commence the 27th of April 1818. Certificate of Pension issued 1st of October 1818 and sent to John Hooker, Esqr. Judge, Springfield, Masstts. Arrears to 4th of September 1818 34:13. Semi-anl. All’ce ending 4 March 1819 48:- $82.13 {Revolutionary claims, Act 18th March 1818. Stockbridge Berkshire. See letter to H. Byington [illegible] 1829.

The obverse side of the above document is mostly illegible, but it appears to involve the pension request from Margaret Hull, widow of Agrippa Hull, Private Massachusetts line, with Byington’s signature. J.E. Field, [4] Stockbridge, at the bottom of the page.

Next week we will continue to review documents related to Agrippa’s Army pension.

1. Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives, Agrippa Hull Collection.
2. At that time the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was both a trial and an appellate court, which rode circuit to all the counties of the Commonwealth.
3. Charles Sedgwick was the son of Theodore Sedgwick. Agrippa Hull was a servant in their house for about 20 years.
4. Jonathan Edwards Field (1813-1868), son of the Rev. David Dudley Field, was a Stockbridge attorney, and also, at one time, president of the Massachusetts Senate. His law partner was Henry J. Dunham.