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The Samuel Gore Petition

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Submitter by Pat HITTLE Gore

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, at the City of Washington:

The petition and memorial of Samuel Gore, of Sheshequin Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, humbly showeth: That your petitioner's request is of a singular nature, differing from the common case of those who served in the War of the Revolution; was not was not engaged for any limited time; that he resided at Wyoming Settlement at the commencement of the late Revolutionary War; that in the year 1777, in the month of May, he was enrolled in the militia of Captain Aholiab Buck's company, and took the oath of allegiance, to be true and faithful to the cause then at issue; that in December, the same year, he was draughted on a tour of duty up the river, as far as Wysox and Towanda; the command he was attached to took twenty-eight prisoners, men that had served under General Burgoyne, the proceding campaign; that in the year 1778 the Settlement was in almost continual alarm, the fore part of the season; and what added mostly to our fears was, that three companies of soldiers had been enlisted in the Settlement, and had joined the main army of Washington. The militia that was left was on duty the principal part of the time, in fortifying, scouting, and learning the military discipline, till the month of July, when the settlement was invaded by the British and Indians, under the command of Colonel John Butler and Brandt, the Indian Chief. Your petitioner was in the memorable battle and massacre of Wyoming, and narrowly escaped the fate of five brethern, the officers, and principal part of the Company to which he belonged. In addition to his misfortune, in running across a bay or morass, the Indians in close pursuit, every step over the knee in mud and mire, by over exertion, caused a breach in his body, which has been a painful and troublesome disorder ever since. It is unnecessary to describe the entire destruction of the settlement, by the enemy, the dispersions and hardships of the fugitives. Old men, women, and children, fleeing through the wilderness, carrying with them scarcely enough to support nature by the way. The place was retaken in August or September following, by Colonel Zebulon Butler and Captain Simon Spalding, and a garrison replaced there. Your petitioner returned soon after, and served as a volunteer, during the years of 1779, 1780, and 1781, and was subject to be called on, in ever case of emergency. The expedition of General Sullivan to the Gennesse country, did not prevent wholly, the depredations of the enemy, being frequently harrassed by small parties. In the year 1782 Captain Spalding's company was called to join the main army, at headquarters, and a company of invalids was stationed at the post, commanded by a Captain Mitchel, soldiers that were not calculated for the woods, scouting, etc. Colonel Dennison gave orders to have the militia organized and classed, which took place. John Franklin was chosen Captain. Your petitioner was appointed Sergeant, and had the command of a class, which was ordered to be ready at the shortest notice, to scout the woods, and to follow any party of the enemy that should be sent on their murderous excursions. That he performed four tours of scouting that season, of about eight days each. Your petitioner never drew any pay, clothing or rations, during the contest for Independence, but ammunition, he was supplied with from the continental store. Had the charge of the family at the time, (his father being dead); had to support himself as well as he could, by laboring between spells, and frequently ploughing with his musket slung at his back. Being informed by the newspapers that a bill has passed the House of Representatives, by a large majority, to compensate all those that were enlisted in the service of their country from three months to six, and nine; to compensate according to the time of their engagement, let their circumstances be what they may. Encouraged by the liberality and generousity of our National legislators, I take the liberty to request of your Honorable Body, to take my case into consideration; and if you, in your wisdom and justice, should think that your petitioner is entitled to any remuneration, to do what you may think right and just; and your petitioner will ever pray.

A letter addressed to Philander Stephens, Esq., a Member of Congress, within the petition, which I also copy:

Sheshequin, April 3, 1832 Philander Stephens, Esq.,--Dear Sir: I have been waiting with considerable anxiety, for some time, expecting to hear from you, as I think you promised to write to me. I would take it as a favor, if you would inform me what is the prospect of the bill for the general compensation of old soldiers and volunteers of the Revolution; whether it is like to pass the Senate, the present session; also whether you have presented my petition, and if any encouragement therefrom. Some cheering information on this subject would revive my spirits, which have been almost exhausted during the severity of the past winter--the hardest I have experienced since the return of Sullivan's expedition to the Indian country, in the year 1779. On reflecting back in these trying times, I would state some particulars respecting our family, at the commencement of the Revolution. My father had seven sons, all zealously engaged in the cause of liberty. Himself an acting magistrate, and a committee of safety, watching the disaffected and engouraging the loyal part of the community. Three of his sons, and two sons-in-law, fell in the Wyoming massacre. Himself died the winter following. One son served during the war, the others served in the Continental army for shorter periods. Let any person at this time of general prosperity of our country, reflect back on the troubles, trials and suffering of a conquered country by a savage enemy. Men scalped and mangled in the most savage manner. Some dead bodies floating down the river in sight of the garrison. Women collecting together in groups, screaming and wringing their hands, in the greatest agony; some swooning and deprived of their senses. Property of every description plundered and destroyed, buildings burned, the surviving inhabitants dispersed, and driven through the wilderness, to seek subsistance wherever they could find it. This, sir, is a faint description of Wyoming destruction in 1778. The savages continued their depredations in a greater or less degree, until 1782. Lest I intrude on your patience, will conclude. I am, with respect, your humble servant, Samuel Gore

This was copied from Mrs. George A. Perkins' work, EARLY TIMES ON THE SUSQUEHANNA, which was printed 1906 by the Herald Company of Binghamton

Submitted by Debbie Smith
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