Affidavit of Charles R. Pierce regarding Black Hawk War Service, 6 August 18551
form for man or woman who has had a warrant before.
On this6day ofAugust one thousand eight hundred and fifty-5personally appeared before mea Justice of the Peacewithin and for the County and State aforesaidCharles R Peirceaged50years, a resident of the County ofSangamonand State ofIllinoiswho being duly sworn according to law, declares thatheis the identicalCharles R Peircewho was aPrivatein the company commanded by captainAbraham Lincolnin the4regiment of^Ills. Mounted Volls ^commanded by colonelSamuel M Thompson in the war with theIndianscommonly called or known as theBlack Hawk War that her said husbandenlistedVol. [Volunteered] in Sangamon Co. Ills.[County Illinois] on or about the21day ofAprilA.D. 1832 for the term of30 daysand was in actual service in said war for fourteen days, and was honorably discharged atFt William ^or near Ottawa Ills^on or near thelastday ofMayA.D. 1832She further states that she was married to the saidinon theday ofA.D. 18by oneaand that her name before her said marriage wasthat her said husband died aton theday of A.D. 18and that she is now a widow.
Hefurther declares thathehas heretofore made application for bounty land under the Act of September 28th 1850on March 22 1852and received a Land Warrant No 10,304for40acres, whichhehas since legally disposed of and can not be returned.Hemakes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the additional bounty land to whichhemay be entitled under the Act approved March 3d, 1855. Healso declares that he has never applied for nor received under this or any other act of Congress, any bounty land warrant except the one above mentioned. Thathehereby appoints E. Wright and Wm. J. Conkling,2 ^of Springfield Ills^ or either of themhistrue and lawful Attorney, with power of substitution to prosecute thishisclaim for bounty land; to receive the certificate or warrant when issued, and to do all other acts necessary and proper in the premises.3
|Attest Abraham Lincoln||}|
|Charles R Peirce
|Attest Thomas Moffett|
WeAbraham LincolnandThomas Moffettresidents of the County ofSangamonand State ofIllinoisupon our oaths declare that the foregoing declaration was signed and acknowledged byCharles R Peircein our presence, and that we believe, from the appearance and statements of the applicant, thatheis the identical personherepresentshimself to be.4Abraham Lincoln.
The foregoing declaration and affidavit were sworn to and subscribed before me, on the day and year above written; and I certify that I know the affiants to be credible persons; that the claimant is the personherepresentshimself to be, and that I have no interest in this claim.Wm F. Elkin J. P. [Justice of the Peace]
I,Noah W MathenyClerk of theCountyCourt within and for the County ofSangamonand State ofIllinoisdo certify thatWm F Elkin Eqr [Esquire]the Justice whose name is to the above certificate, is and was at that time a Magistrate duly authorized by law to act in that capacity, and that his signature thereto I believe to be genuine.
In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my name and seal of office atSpringfieldThis6thday ofAugustA. D. 1855N. W. Matheny5 Cl’k of C. [Clerk of County] Court.
Charles R Peirce application For Bounty Land Act 3 March/55 7
1The blanks on the printed form for this affidavit and certifications were filled in by a single unknown person except where noted below. Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Moffett, Charles R. Pierce, William F. Elkin, and Noah W. Matheny all signed their own names.
2Erastus Wright and William J. Conkling began advertising their services in assisting veterans in obtaining additional bounty lands soon after the passage of the act of March 3, 1855.
Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 20 March 1855, 2:6; “An Act in Addition to Certain Acts Granting Bounty Land to Certain Officers and Soldiers Who Have Been Engaged in the Military Service of the United States,” 3 March 1855, Statutes at Large of the United States 10 (1855):701-2.
3At the outbreak of the Black Hawk War, Lincoln volunteered for the Illinois State Militia. On April 21, 1832, Lincoln and other men from the New Salem area were mustered into a company in the Fourth Regiment of Illinois Mounted Volunteers, and the members of the company elected Lincoln as their captain. Pierce served as a private in Lincoln’s company from April 21 to May 27, 1832.
On September 28, 1850, the U.S. Congress passed an act granting certain groups who had served in the United States military during the War of 1812, any of “the Indian wars” since 1790, or the Mexican War parcels of public land. Per this act, the amount of land that veterans (or their legal heirs) were entitled to depended upon the length of their engagement and actual time served. Pierce was prompted to make this affidavit by an additional act passed by the U.S. Congress on March 3, 1855, which declared that all those who had served in any U.S. war since 1790 were entitled to receive 160 acres of land in total. Pierce affirmed here that he had received the forty acres he was originally entitled to under the 1850 act in order to claim an additional 120 acres as authorized by the new law of 1855. The outcome of Pierce’s claim is unknown. Lincoln made a similar affidavit regarding his own service later this same month and was successful in obtaining an additional 120 acres of bounty lands.
Muster Roll of Abraham Lincoln’s Company of Mounted Volunteers; Muster Roll of Abraham Lincoln’s Company of Mounted Volunteers; Ellen M. Whitney, comp., The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832: Illinois Volunteers, vol. 35 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), 1:176-78; “An Act Granting Bounty Land to Certain Officers and Soldiers Who Have Been Engaged in the Military Service of the United States,” 28 September 1850, Statutes at Large of the United States 9 (1862):520-21; “An Act in Addition to Certain Acts Granting Bounty Land to Certain Officers and Soldiers Who Have Been Engaged in the Military Service of the United States,” 3 March 1855, Statutes at Large of the United States 10 (1855):701-2.
4The blanks in this printed certification were filled in by the same unknown person as the blanks in the above affidavit, with the exception of Moffett’s name, which Moffett himself filled in.
Partially Printed Document Signed, 2 page(s), RG 15, A1, Entry 4: Records of the Bureau of Pensions and the Pension Service, Bureau of Pensions Correspondence and Pension Bounty Land Case Files Relating to Military Service Performed Between 1775 and 1861, Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, Case Files of Bounty Land Warrant Applications Based On Service Between 1812 and 1855 and Disapproved Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, 1800-1900, NAB.