Sunday, May 27, 2012


Samuel Asay (1750-1833)

My sixth great uncle

me --> Ruth Rasmussen Buchanan --> Alice Houston Rasmussen --> Eliza Adelaide Asay Houston --> Edwin Asay --> Joseph Asay --> Isaac Asay --> Joseph Asay Sr. --> Joseph Asay --> brother of Jospeh Asay, Samuel Asay

Samuel Asay fought in the Revolutionary War.

Problem is, he needed to prove it.

On June 7, 1832 Congress passed an act giving a pension to all of those who fought in the Revolutionary War.  On November 26, 1832, at the age of 78, Samuel Asay appeared before the Burlington County Court in New Jersey to get his share.

This is what he told them:

He enlisted in March 1776 at Mount Holly and then marched to Allentown then New Brunswick to get weapons and clothing and then on to Elizabethtown where they formed the 3rd New Jersey Regiment.  They then marched to New York and arrived on May 7, 1776.

Then they went to Johnstown for 2 or 3 weeks, then German Flats on the Mowhawk River and then arrived at Fort Heyler on the 12th of July where they stayed until October 12.

Then they went to Fort Ticonderoga and stayed for 5 months.  His year expired and he went home to Morristown, NJ.

Six months later in November 1777 he left again to war.  This time with the Burlington County Militia.  His officers were Col. Height, Capt. Myers and Lieut. Dobbins.

They marched to Hattenfield, Gloucester County where they had a skirmish with the British and he was wounded.

This is what he brought as evidence:

His family bible proving he was born on June 9, 1750.
His brother, Jacob Asay.  He testified that Samuel had enlisted in the 3rd New Jersey Regiment and served again for one month.  Jacob said that the letters Samuel sent home, matched the testimony given by Samuel.

His request was denied.
His pension would have been $8 a month.
He died 3 months later.

I believe you Samuel.

Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored. 
~Daniel Webster

1 comment:

  1. While Samuel Asay is your uncle on our mother's side, he is my 5th Great Grandfather on my dad's side. He and his family were denied his rightful pension. His daughter Susannah Asay Zelley, my 4th great grandmother, was finally denied anything in 1855. I believe that if they had the files that I have or if they had read them correctly, he would have received his pension.

    There appears to have been some contention that Samuel deserted before returning to New Jersey while the regiment was in New York in early 1777. There was a lot of dissension in the ranks of the 3rd. After they had been marched North they found out that the British had invaded New Jersey and their homes were being ravaged. Many deserted right away to return to their families. Samuel does show up in the payroll lists for the 3rd and the 4th Regiments at Ticonderoga and then at Fort Independance. He was shown to be sick and sent to Albany. Finally in a "Pay Abstract of Captain Abraham Lyons company of the 4th Jersey Regt", Samuel is noted as Deserted for the "Month of May 1777". However in what appears to be the final muster for the 3rd Regiment dated June 3rd 1777, each of the 3rd is listed with their disposition. This document is titled "A Muster Roll of Captain Richard Cox's Company of the 3rd New Jersey Regiment of Foot in the Service of the United States, Commanded by Colonel Elias Daton, This muster is taken from the time of Inlistment to 31st May inclusive." This clearly shows the names of those deserted, sick, absent, on duty and discharged. Many names have nothing noted in the Remarks and could have reenlisted. Those who Deserted usually have this written out clearly, or in a shortened form where "ted" is easily seen. The last four names listed have Discharged clearly written or what appears to be an abbreviation of what looks to be "Descar'd". None of these last four names have the "ted" for Deserted. In it is "38. Samuel Acy Inlisted Febr 8th Descar'd May 20".

    A family letter was introduced as evidence explaining how Samuel had not deserted. This is also corroborated by family history. Samuel was so sick that he was given a pass to go to a hospital in Albany, New York, some time before March, 1777. When he was well enough to return to his company, they had already left for New Jersey. So Samuel walked back to Burlington County, New Jersey, where he went home because his one year enlistment was up. He was home only a couple days when he saw a friend from his company. This friend told him that the company was disbanded and that he should go to Morristown to get his proper discharge. Samuel immediately went to Morristown to return his uniform and was discharged on the last day before the unit was disbanded.

    Later Samuel served two separate months in the militia. On one occasion he was with his militia unit when they came upon a small group on British who were coming down the Delaware as the British prepared to attack Fort Mifflin. The American militia captain thought that they held a better ground and fired upon the British as they crossed a bridge over Timber Creek. Samuel was wounded by the return volley.