Revolutionary War Service Affidavits c.(1820-1830)
Pension Papers from the Court of Common Pleas
“Entitlement to pensions based on service-connected disabilities for Revolutionary War veterans and for widows and orphans of officers killed during that war had been established by the Continental Congress and continued by the first Federal Congress. However, Congress had not done anything for surviving enlisted men, who had been poorly compensated both during the war and also upon being mustered out. Beginning in 1816, an increase in tariff rates produced a large surplus in the Federal Treasury and in December 1817 President James Monroe proposed in a message to Congress that surviving Revolutionary War soldiers be provided for out of the surplus. Following this suggestion, in 1818 Congress passed such a law and thereby established two precedents: That the government would provide for its former soldiers in their old age and that such payment would be tied to high tariff rates”.
(National Archives and Records Administration, Guide to the Senate Records, Chapter 9, Pensions, 9.36)
Thomas Shirkey's Affidavit
On July 4, 1820 Thomas Shirkey, a former weaver of New Paltz, made this declaration in the Ulster County Courthouse, in an effort to claim a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War.