Bellamy, Asa

Pioneer, American Revolutionary War Veteran
Birth: December 19, 1753, Wallingford, New Haven County, Connecticut
Death: February 28, March 1 or March 4, 1836, Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio
Burial: Vienna Township Cemetery

Asa Bellamy (sometimes spelled Belamy) was residing in Trumbull County as early as 1807, and is listed on the Federal Censuses of 1810, 1820, and 1830 as living in Vienna Township. He is also listed on the 1810 Ohio Tax List. He married Eunice Clark (1774-1849) on November 30, 1818. They had no children.

American Revolutionary War Service
According to his pension application Asa Bellamy served in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). Bellamy joined the Continental Army in May, 1776, at Cheshire, New Haven County, Connecticut. He served as a private in Captain Hall's Company and in Seventh Connecticut Regiment (January 1, 1777-January 1, 1781) commanded by Colonel Heman Swift. Bellamy was thus a member of the "Connecticut Line" of the Continental Army.

Bellamy fought at the Battle of Germantown (October 4, 1777) and was encamped at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in the winter of 1777-1778, when he was furloughed due to rheumatism. He was discharged from service sometime in 1778.

Pensioner
Many Americans felt that the young nation's Revolutionary War veterans deserved lifetime compensation for their service, and calls for a pension based merely on service and not only on disability increased in the decades after the War. On March 18, 1818, the United States Congress granted pensions for service from which no disabilities resulted. Those veterans who had survived the war uninjured could now apply for a lifetime pension.

Applicants were required to appear in the county court of common pleas and provide documentation or, if documentation was lacking, offer a sworn statement detailing military service. Asa Bellamy, "in reduced circumstances" and "in need of the assistance of his country for support," appeared in front of Associate Judge Ephraim Quimby on October 12, 1818. His service was described as follows:

That the said Asa Bellamy enlisted in Cheshire New Haven County Connecticut with Lieut. ----- Chamberlain in Capt. ----- Halls Company in the regiment commanded by Col. Heman Swift in Genl. Huntingtons Brigade of the Connecticut line some time in the spring of the year 1776 for during the war. That he joined his regiment at New Milford Connecticut & proceeded to Pickskill [Peekskill, New York] on the North River and from there to Reading in Connecticut & wintered at Reading from thence to the State of New Jersey via Pickskill and proceeded across the Delaware and was in the battle of Germantown from then to the mile square from thence to Valley forge to Winter quarters and being disabled with the Rheumatism received a furlough from Col. Swift for 60 days and still being disabled with said disease was legally discharged sometime in the year 1778 by his furnishing a recruit for the remainder of his time by Major Woodbridge.

Bellamy's application was approved. His certificate as an invalid pensioner was issued on May 11, 1819. He received eight dollars per month.

The Life of a Revolutionary War Veteran in Vienna Township
Bellamy had to prove, in 1820, his financial state. So many men had applied for a service pension under the 1818 law that the United States Congress passed legislation on May 1, 1820, that required every applicant to provide a statement of his estate and income to the Secretary of War. This Asa Bellamy provided on December 9, 1820.

Bellamy's pension application offers a snapshot of an elderly veteran's lot in life in Vienna Township. Like many Revolutionary War veterans, Bellamy was suffering from the infirmities of old age. Without children or other family members, farming was difficult. Elisha Booth, Jr., a fellow Vienna resident, testifying that Bellamy was "a poor & infirm man," believed Bellamy "has no other property than that enumerated in the above schedule and do upon my oath say that the value of the property is not more than ninety six dollars sixteen cents as [illegible] believe exclusive of the forty six acres of land which is not sufficient for the support of the within claimant & family."

Bellamy's "List of Property" included:

Forty six acres of land which were it to be rented would not be for more than the person who rented it might obtain from it as the land is of inferior quality and the timber taken off but from one acre

due from Ira Bartholomew--in wheat about
$8.00

two Cows & three calves
$26.00

twenty two gall whiskey from W. Rise
$5.50

one yearling heifer
4.00

three tons of hay
15.00

one axe & one hoe one small iron hot & one [illegible] bail kettle
6.00

four hogs six dollars & fifty bushels corn sixteen 66/100
22.66

one Scythe
1.00

an unsettled account about
8.00

Bellamy's property totaled $96.00. But his debts totaled $98.27 1/2, including monies owed to Jonathan Clinton, W. Coan, John Treat, C. Bosworth & Co., Samuel Lowry, Truman Perry, E. Rogers, Julias [Julius] Humason, Charles Woodruff, and W. Way.

In the 1830 Federal Census, the Bellamy household consisted of Asa, his wife Eunice, and a deaf and dumb person over the age of 25 years, likely taken in to help the aging couple.[1]

Asa Bellamy's grave marker in Vienna Township Cemetery lists his birth date as 1754, though records in Connecticut state December 19, 1753. Without written records, Bellamy depended on his own memory. In his 1818 petition, Bellamy stated he was 64 years old, but two years later, his 1820 statement shows he believed himself to be 68 years of age.

Source
Asa Bellamy Pension Record, Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, ca. 1800-ca. 1900, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC. The file is available here: Asa Bellamy Pension Record.pdf.

Contributor: Shirley T. Wajda


[1] Not until the Census of 1850 were names of each member of a household recorded. In 1830, only the name of the head of the household appears with the number of household members recorded in categories.
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Shirley Wajda,
Sep 28, 2014, 1:28 PM