Bidwell Lore – More on Agrippa’s Military Pension, Part II

Welcome to Bidwell Lore number 161! This week, we continue to explore the work Agrippa and Margaret had to complete in order to receive his military pension.

If you love history as much as we do and have not yet visited the Bidwell House Museum, there is still time to book your tour! We offer guided tours by appointment until the end of October. It is a beautiful time to visit the house: click HERE for details about scheduling your visit.

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.

Agrippa’s Military Pension, Continued
Rick Wilcox, 2022

As you may remember from last week, we have been reviewing various documents related to Agrippa Hull’s army pension and his difficulties in securing it. Below is an affidavit from 1818 where Agrippa testifies about his time in the army.
District of Massachusetts Berkshire SS. On this 27th day of April in the year of our Lord 1818, before the subscriber Chief Justice of Circuit Court and State including said County, personally appeared Agrippa Hull aged fifty seven years, resident of the Town of Stockbridge in the County of Berkshire aforesaid in the said District – who being by me duly sworn according to law, doth, on his oath, make the following declaration, in order to obtain the provisions made by the late 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” that he the Agrippa enlisted in May 1777 Stockbridge in the State of Massachusetts in the company commanded by Captain John Chadwick Colonel Brewer’s regiment of the Brigade of General Paterson of the Massachusetts line for & during the war. That he continued to serve in said corps, in the service of the United States the war two years as Servant to General Paterson and the remaining four years and two months as Servant to General Thaddeus Koscioszke when he was discharged from the service in New Burg on the River State of New York as willfully appeared by the annexed discharge signed by George Washington 24 July 1783. That he was in the battle so-called and that he is in reduced circumstances, and stands in need of the assistance of his Country for support: And that he has no other evidence now in his power of his said service. Sworn to and declared before me this day and year aforesaid John Hooker. Agrippa Hull.
I John Hooker Chief Justice aforesaid do certify that it appears to my satisfaction that the said Agrippa Hull did serve in the revolutionary war, as stated in the preceding declaration, against the common enemy, and I now transmit the proceedings and testimony take and had before me, to the Secretary for the Department of War, pursuant to the directions of the aforementioned act of Congress. John Hooker.

I Joseph Woodbridge clerk for the said court of the County do testify and attest, that the abovenamed John Hooker Chief Justice of the Court and that the foregoing is his signature. In testimony whereof, I have hereto set my hand and affixed the Seal of said Court, the day and year above written.

What follows are a few documents from 1853, related to Agrippa’s widow, Margaret, testifying to their marriage and confirming facts about Agrippa for the Court:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts County of Berkshire SS. I Jonathan E. Field do certify that the following is a transcript from the records of the Town of Stockbridge: Agrippa Hull and Margaret Timbrook of Stockbridge were lawfully married by the Rev. E.G. Swift. That this transcript is all of the record & a true copy thereof except the date which is expressed on the record in said legible figures as follows – “Feby the 4th 1813.” I Jonathan E. Field above named depose and say that I hold the office of Town Clerk of the Town of Stockbridge in the County of Berkshire and State aforesaid and that the above is a true extract from the records of said Stockbridge with the exception above named as certified by me. Jonathan E. Field. Signed before me May 11, 1853 H.L. Davies Justice of the Peace.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts County of Berkshire SS. Daniel R. Williams [1] of Stockbridge aged forty years being duly sworn swears that he has always been a resident of said Stockbridge. That he has ever since his recollection & until the time of the death of Agrippa Hull hereafter named been acquainted with Agrippa Hull of said Stockbridge a pension of the United States that said Agrippa Hull was a member of the same Church with this deponent that he saw said Agrippa Hull during his last sickness that he knew of the death of the said Agrippa Hull – That the same occurred according to my best recollection 1848 and that the said Agrippa Hull’s body was buried in the grave yard at Stockbridge And this deponent further says that he knows Margaret Hull the widow of said Agrippa Hull – That they lived together the said Agrippa & Margaret as man & wife in said Stockbridge ever since the recollection of this deponent until the time of death of said Agrippa Hull. That said Margaret has not married since the death of said Agrippa Hull – but has been since the time of his death & still is the widow of said Agrippa Hull. Daniel R. Williams. Signed and Sealed before me May 11 1853 H. L. Davies Justice of the Peace.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Berkshire SS I Charles Sedgwick of Lenox Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court being duly sworn deposed  & say – That I was acquainted with Agrippa Hull of Stockbridge during his life time – That I had known him for many years – I knew of his death – the same occurring in May 1848. That I have known said Agrippa Hull ever since my recollection – That I have known said Agrippa Hull as the husband of Margaret Hull & that the said Agrippa & Margaret Hull lived together as man & wife from the time of their marriage in 1813 until the death of said Agrippa Hull. That since Margaret Hull now is & ever since the death of Agrippa Hull has been the widow of said Agrippa Hull. Chas Sedgwick May 11, 1853. H. L.. Davies Justice of the Peace.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Berkshire SS I Charles Sedgwick Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth for the County of Berkshire do Certify Hargod L. Davies, Esqr. before whom the foregoing Depositions of Jonathan E. Field, Daniel R. Williams & Charles Sedgwick were taking was at the house H. L. Davies Justice of the Peace in & for said County duly commissioned & qualified and with the signatures of the said Henry L. Davies. In testimony whereof I have hereto set my offered the Seal of said Court this eleventh day of May 1853. Charles Sedgwick.

In 1855, Margaret went back to the court to try to get land that had been Agrippa’s that she felt she was entitled to:

23.572 Margaret Hull. Send Warrant to J.E. Field, Stockbridge, Mass. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. On this twenty third day of March AD one thousand eight hundred & fifty five personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace within and for the county and state aforesaid Margaret Hull aged Seventy two years a resident of Stockbridge in the State of Massachusetts who being duly sworn according to law declares that she is the widow of Agrippa Hull deceased who was a private in the Second Massachusetts Regiment – Commanded by Jacob Townhier the company she is unable to give that he served in the Revolutionary War the term of Six years & two months that he was regularly discharged on the twenty fourth day of July seventeen hundred and eighty three That he was a pensioner of the United States – She further stated that she had a pension certificate as the Widow of said Agrippa Hull bearing date the seventeenth day of August eighteen hundred & fifty three to the paper on file in the Pension Office at Washington she begs leave to refer as furnishing evidence of her husband decease of her Marriage – She further states she was married to the said Agrippa Hull in Stockbridge on the fifth day of February AD eighteen hundred and thirteen by our Ephraim Swift a Clergyman and that her name before said Marriage was Margaret Timbrook – That her husband died at Stockbridge on the twenty first day of May eighteen hundred & forty eight- She further states that she has never heretofore made any application for Bounty land under any act of Congress nor has she ever received any Bounty land that her husband the said Agrippa received a Warrant for one hundred acres of land which was issued in Seventeen hundred and eighty nine which Warrant was by him legally disposed of and it cannot now be returned she makes this declaration for the purpose of  obtaining the Bounty land to which she may be entitled under such act – approved March 1855 Margaret her X mark Hull.
We Charles M. Owen and Daniel B. Fenn, Jr. residents of Stockbridge in the State of Massachusetts upon our oath declare the foregoing declaration was signed and acknowledged by Margaret Hull in our presence and that we believe from the appearance and statement of the Applicant – that she is the identical person she claims to be – We knew the said Agrippa in his life time and knew the said Margaret as his wife We have been well acquainted with her and have known her ever since as his widow which she now is. CM Owen DB Fenn, Jr. The foregoing declaration & affidavit here sworn to & acknowledged before me on the day & year above within and I certify that I know the applicant to be a credible person – that the claimant is the person she represents herself to be & that I have no interest in the claim. J.E. Field Justice of the Peace.” [2]

Below is an image of the document from Clerk Charles Sedgwick testifying to the veracity of J. E. Field’s signature on the documents above.

Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives, Agrippa Hull Collection

Next week, we will switch gears and look at some of the Selectboard records related to Agrippa Hull.

1. Daniel R. Williams was President of the Housatonic National Bank and President of the Stockbridge Water Company.
2. Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives, Agrippa Hull Collection.