Research


New York State Adjutant General's Office War of 1812 Certificates of Claim and Related Records

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists mostly of affidavits documenting a claimant's right to reimbursement from War of 1812 service in a New York militia or volunteer unit, as well as certificates issued to claimants after the Adjutant General's Office reviewed and adjusted their claims. The bulk of the series documents in-state claimants.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
18 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
circa 1858-1876
Series Number:
A0020

Arrangement

Organized into five subseries: 1. Claims correspondence (ca. 1860-1876), arranged alphabetically by sender's last name; 2. Certificates of claim and supporting documentation (ca. 1860s-1870s, bulk 1869-1875), arranged numerically by claim number; 3. Lists of New York State claimants and related correspondence (ca. 1859-1875), arranged alphabetically by name of town, village, or city; 4. Lists of out-of-state claimants and related correspondence (ca. 1859-1875), arranged alphabetically by state and therein alphabetically by name of town, village, or city; 5. Books of certificates of claim (ca. 1858-1861), arranged by claim number.

Administrative History

New York militiamen and volunteers who served during the War of 1812 became eligible to receive reimbursement for supplies, clothing, and equipment furnished for the war effort by the Laws of 1818, Chapter 270 and Laws of 1819, Chapter 117. It was not until 1857, however, that the State of New York created an administrative "board of commissioners," consisting of the Adjutant General and Inspector General, to examine and approve claims submitted by War of 1812 veterans, their widows, or other legal claimants (L. 1857, Ch. 597). Legislation passed two years later (L. 1859, Ch. 176) amended the previous law, and authorized the board of commissioners to issue certificates to claimants stating "the amount which [the commissioners] shall have found to be due." Under the 1859 law, 17,228 claims were audited and approved, and an additional 44 claims were approved in 1872.

Claims totaling $2,250,000 were eventually reviewed by the board, and certificates for about that amount were issued to the claimants by the State of New York. Despite the large sum of money owed to claimants, the State Legislature was only able to appropriate a total of $250,000 to redeem the certificates (L. 1869, Ch. 470; L. 1870, Ch. 524; L. 1874, Ch. 350), leaving a balance of about $2,000,000 to be paid. Probably as a result of the shortage of funds, the 1869 legislation provided that the Comptroller's Office make payments on certificates held by New York State residents only, pro rata, in the following order, until the federal government appropriated funds to pay off the remaining balance (State statute dating back to 1819 held that the federal government was ultimately liable to appropriate funds to pay these claims.): (1) principal on certificates held by surviving War of 1812 veterans; (2) accumulated interest due upon the certificates held by surviving veterans; (3) principal on certificates held by surviving widows of veterans; (4) accumulated interest due on certificates held by surviving widows of veterans; and (5) certificates held by legal representatives of veterans.

According to two reports, one published by the New York Assembly Ways and Means Committee (1885), cited below, and the other by the State Agent for War of 1812 Claims (1905), the State of New York never received any monies from the federal government to pay the outstanding claims. Research conducted by the Comptroller's Office as late as 1987 also confirms that funds were never received to satisfy these claims.

Citation: New York State Assembly, "Committee of Ways and Means Relative to Contingent Expenses of Volunteers and Militia of the State Called into Service of the U.S. in the War of 1812," Assembly Document No. 146, 1885.

Scope and Content Note

This series is one of two that extensively document the War of 1812 claims application and settlement process. The primary difference between the two is that records in this series (A0020) consist mostly of affidavits documenting a claimant's right to reimbursement from War of 1812 service in a New York militia or volunteer unit, as well as certificates issued to claimants after the Adjutant General's Office reviewed and adjusted their claims. Because of an 1869 law that restricted payment on War of 1812 claims to residents of New York State, the bulk of the series documents in-state claimants. By contrast, records in related series A3352, Claim applications for service in the War of 1812, were submitted to the Adjutant General's Office by, or on behalf of, War of 1812 veterans who served in New York militia or volunteer units as the first step in applying for a claim. These applications, which authenticated a veteran's military service and "expenses incurred" for the war effort (L. 1859, Ch. 176), were submitted by claimants who resided in New York State and in other states before the 1869 law restricted payment to in-state claimants only.

This series consists of claims certificates issued to veterans of the War of 1812, their widows, or other legal representatives by the Adjutant General's Office; supporting documentation pertinent to claims reviewed by the Adjutant General, such as affidavits relating to a veteran's military service; and correspondence and other records concerning the submission and processing of claims. The series is organized into five subseries.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A1182 Index to War of 1812 claim certificates, indexes this series

Series A3352 Claim applications for service in the War of 1812

Series A1303 Record of certificates and affidavits of veterans of the War of 1812 (1869-1870)

Series A1183 Opinion of state agent for War of 1812 claims

Series B0810 War of 1812 abstracts of payrolls for New York State militia

Series B0811 Transcriptions of War of 1812 payrolls for New York State Militia units.

Other finding aids

Index of Awards on Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812 (Comptroller's Office: 1860; rev. 1969). This work has been digitized and is searchable in Ancestry.com New York.

Folder list available.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):
Function(s):

Detailed Description

Subseries 1: Claims correspondence

Dates:
circa 1860-1876

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries concerns such subjects as the issuance of certificates of claim, requests for information about laws relating to the claims process, and payment of claims. The bulk of the letters were sent to the Adjutant General's Office and Comptroller's Office by both claimants and claimants' attorneys residing in New York State and outside of the state.

Arrangement:

Alphabetical by sender's last name.

  

Contents Box Folder
A 1 1
B 1 2
C 1 3
D 1 4
E 1 5
F 1 6
G 1 7
H 1 8
I 1 9
J 1 10
K 1 11
L 1 12
M 1 13
N 1 14
O 1 15
P 1 16
Q 1 17
R 1 18
S 1 19
T 1 20
U 1 21
V 1 22
W 1 23
X 1 24
Y 1 25
Z 1 26

Subseries 2: Certificates of claim and supporting documentation

Dates:
circa 1860s-1870s (bulk 1869-1875)

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries contains certificates, affidavits, and related documentation pertinent to each claim submitted to the Adjutant General's Office. The certificates provide the claim number, name of claimant, claimant's attorney, and amount of claim, while the affidavits provide the following information about the claimant: name, residence (town, county, and state), length of time claimant has resided in town and in New York State, age, certificate number, length of service in War of 1812, location where soldier served during the war, and name of commanding officer during the war. The affidavits also include the claimant's signature, attesting to the validity of the information provided; statement of the justice of the peace, indicating that the claimant has testified before him; and sometimes a statement by the county clerk, attesting to the genuineness of the justice of the peace. Affidavits in this subseries exclusively document claimants who were residents of New York State, likely because Chapter 470 of the Laws of 1869 (and subsequent claims legislation of 1872 and 1874) restricted payment on claims certificates to New York State residents only. Documentation of out-of-state claimants generally takes the form of handwritten correspondence to the New York State government without any accompanying certificate or affidavit. Most of the correspondence, both from in-state and out-of-state claimants, is written by War of 1812 veterans, veterans' widows, administrators of estates, or attorneys representing the claimants.

Arrangement:

Numerical by claim number.

  

Contents Box Folder
1-43 2 1
46-79 2 2
81-160 2 3
164-249 2 4
251-315 2 5
327-366 2 6
370-418 2 7
424-462 2 8
468-500 2 9
500.5-536 2 10
538-564 2 11
566-608 2 12
609-637 2 13
638-663 2 14
665-720 3 1
732-779 3 2
780-818 3 3
822-859 3 4
866-917 3 5
918-974 3 6
976-999 3 7
1008-1061 3 8
1062-1151 3 9
1152-1243 3 10
1245-1324 3 11
1327-1429 3 12
1430-1499 3 13
1501-1550 3 14
1554-1620 4 1
1622-1670 4 2
1671-1744 4 3
1756-1820 4 4
1821-1874 4 5
1876-1923 4 6
1927-1997 4 7
2003-2064 4 8
2065-2198 4 9
2207-2299 5 1
2302-2390 5 2
2391-2496 5 3
2502-2580 5 4
2581-2681 5 5
2684-2721 5 6
2722-2750 5 7
2760-2807 5 8
2809-2860 5 9
2863-2946 5 10
2948-3000 6 1
3001-3074 6 2
3079-3112 6 3
3113-3169 6 4
3171-3249 6 5
3254-3332 6 6
3333-3386 6 7
3389-3488 6 8
3506-3659 6 9
3660-3722 6 10
3723-3750 7 1
3754-3852 7 2
3859-3943 7 3
3944-3992 7 4
4001-4081 7 5
4085-4150 7 6
4153-4228 7 7
4233-4330 7 8
4333-4432 7 9
4448-4500 7 10
4504-4600 7 11
4602-4671 7 12
4673-4747 8 1
4753-4863 8 2
4864-4912 8 3
4914-4998 8 4
5001-5095 8 5
5102-5169 8 6
5171-5250 8 7
5252-5342 8 8
5343-5392 8 9
5399-5441 8 10
5443-5500 8 11
5505-5541 8 12
5544-5647 8 13
5649-5750 8 14
5762-5825 9 1
5833-5911 9 2
5923-5996 9 3
6002-6111 9 4
6112-6191 9 5
6212-6276 9 6
6279-6356 9 7
6357-6499 9 8
6501-6674 9 9
6677-6754 9 10
6759-6850 9 11
6853-6994 9 12
7009-7042 10 1
7043-7086 10 2
7110-7183 10 3
7184-7321 10 4
7322-7378 10 5
7383-7495 10 6
7503-7599 10 7
7604-7783 10 8
7784-7903 10 9
7906-7951 10 10
7952-7996 10 11
8002-8087 11 1
8088-8192 11 2
8199-8285 11 3
8287-8410 11 4
8411-8499 11 5
8503-8625 11 6
8631-8747 11 7
8749-9000 11 8
9003-9160 11 9
9161-9288 11 10
9296-9371 11 11
9372-9445 12 1
9450-9496 12 2
9534-9659 12 3
9661-9803 12 4
9813-9991 12 5
10007-10157 12 6
10159-10240 12 7
10246-10313 12 8
10314-10413 12 9
10415-10528 12 10
10529-10600 12 11
10617-10750 12 12
10753-10894 13 1
10895-10993 13 2
11001-11096 13 3
11103-11159 13 4
11167-11252 13 5
11254-11379 13 6
11387-11497 13 7
11502-11557 13 8
11565-11698 13 9
11707-11804 13 10
11805-11881 13 11
11883-12000 13 12
12002-12070 13 13
12072-12201 14 1
12220-12477 14 2
12517-12686 14 3
12689-12881 14 4
12887-12997 14 5
13011-13120 14 6
13121-13367 14 7
13399-13513 14 8
13525-13701 14 9
13703-13828 14 10
13832-13977 14 11
14003-14113 14 12
14124-14499 14 13
14509-14790 15 1
14792-14993 15 2
15004-15099 15 3
15104-15178 15 4
15185-15300 15 5
15307-15400 15 6
15401-15502 15 7
15530-15650 15 8
15653-15777 15 9
15781-15905 15 10
15906-15999 15 11
16003-16173 16 1
16175-16284 16 2
16286-16487 16 3
16504-16636 16 4
16645-16785 16 5
16788-16975 16 6
17011-17308 16 7
Numbers Not in Our Index Series 16 8

Subseries 3: Lists of New York State claimants and related correspondence

Dates:
circa 1859-1875

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries includes various lists of claimants submitted to the Adjutant General's Office, often grouped by a specific attorney, as well as correspondence written by claimants and their attorneys to the Comptroller and Adjutant General, most often to inquire when certificates will be mailed and claims paid. The amount of information on the lists varies, but most lists include the claimant's name, claim number, and claim amount. Box 17, Folder 4 is noteworthy, as it contains lists of military claims of Indians who fought in the War of 1812-for the Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Tonawanda Reservations of the Seneca Nation; Cornplanter's Reservation; Onondaga Nation; Oneida Nation; and Tuscarora Nation. Each chart includes the warrior's name, claim number, and claimant's name.

Arrangement:

Alphabetical by name of town, village, or city.

  

Contents Box
Municipalities A-D 17
Municipalities E-O 18
Municipalities O-W 19

Subseries 4: Lists of out-of-state claimants and related correspondence

Dates:
circa 1859-1875

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries is virtually identical to subseries 3, but this subseries contains lists of claimants and related correspondence sent by non-New York State claimants and their attorneys to the Comptroller and Adjutant General. Documents were sent to the New York State government from individuals residing in the following states: Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Arrangement:

Alphabetical by state and therein alphabetical by name of town, village, or city.

  

Contents Box Folder
Lawyers’ Lists 20 1
Amboy, Illinios 20 2
Thorndike, Massachusetts 20 3
Adrian, Michigan 20 4
Albion, Michigan 20 5
Algansee, Michigan 20 6
Ann Arbor, Michigan 20 7
Caro, Michigan 20 8
Charlotte, Michigan 20 9
Climax Prairie, Michigan 20 10
DeCatur, Michigan 20 11
Detroit, Michigan 20 12
Fentonville, Michigan 20 13
Grand Rapids, Michigan 20 14
Jackson, Michigan 20 15
Lapier, Michigan 20 16
Marshall, Michigan 20 17
Metamora, Michigan 20 18
Northville, Michigan 20 19
Paw Paw, Michigan 20 20
Romeo, Michigan 20 21
New York State 20 22
Akron, Ohio 20 23
Cardington, Ohio 20 24
Domestic, Ohio 20 25
Granger, Ohio 20 26
Painsville, Ohio 20 27
Plymouth, Ohio 20 28
Gerard, Pennsylvania 20 29
Towanda, Pennsylvania 20 30
Parkersburg, Virginia 20 31
Albany, Wisconsin 20 32
Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin 20 33

Subseries 5: Books of certificates of claim

Dates:
circa 1858-1861

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries consists of bound volumes containing claims certificates, copies of claims certificates, and stubs. These volumes seemingly document the processing and mailing of certificates to claimants by the Adjutant General's Office. Stubs generally include the claim number, claimant's name, amount of claim, date, and often the claimant's residence.

Arrangement:

Arranged by claim number.

  

Contents Box
Books of Certificates: Volume 1 1-1000, Volume 2 1001-2000 21
Books of Certificates: Volume 3 2001-3000, Volume 4 3001-4000 22
Books of Certificates: Volume 5 4001-5000, Volume 6 5001-6000 23
Books of Certificates: Volume 7 6001-7000, Volume 8 7001-8000 24
Books of Certificates: Volume 9 8001-9000, Volume 10 9001-10,000 25
Books of Certificates: Volume 11 10,001-11,000, Volume 12 11,001-12,000 26
Books of Certificates: Volume 13 12,001-13,000, Volume 14 13,001-14,000 27
Books of Certificates: Volume 15 14,001-15,000, Volume 16, 15,001-16,000 28
Books of Certificates: Volume 17 16,001-17,224, Related Material File 29
Claim Certificates: Volume 1, Stub book and Stub book index 30
Claim Certificates: Volume 2 2797-6445, Volume 3 4341-5386 31
Claim Certificates: Volume 4 244-4367, Volume 5 6446-7795 32
Claim Certificates: Volume 6 5928-8030, Volume 7 33