Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Treasure Chest Tuesday -- 1777 Record of Payment by David Kirby for Being Drafted

Yes, I know it's supposed to be Treasure Chest Thursday, but I can't help it - I want to share some of the goodies that Susanne shared with me - see A Kirby Family Genealogical Windfall From Susanne (17 March 2016).

Today's treasure is the 1777 record of payment by David Kirby for being drafted:

The transcription of the top paper is:

Dartmouth may the 21 Day AD 1777
Received of David Kirby ten pounds
Lawfull money for his being Draufted
a Continental Soldier for Nine months
Received by me one of the Committy of
                                     Benj'a Brownell

The source citation for this document is:

Ichabod Kirby Family Papers (loose papers on scrapbook page, created after 1801 by unknown persons), digital image of loose papers privately held by Susanne Nisbet, [address for private use], Wake Forest, N.C., 2016 (7th great-grandchild of Ichabod Kirby); Payment by David Kirby, 1777;  Provenance is David Kirby family of Westport, Mass. ca 1801 to Susanne Nisbet 2016, provided to Randy Seaver March 2016 via email.

This document appears to indicate that David Kirby paid the Committee of Safety (probably in Dartmouth), Massachusetts) for being drafted, presumably into a Continental regiment during the Revolutionary War.  

Note that it does not say that David Kirby received ten pounds for nine months service from the Committee of Safety.  It clearly states that the Committee of Safety received them oney from David Kirby.

My suspicion is that he was paying the Committee of Safety to find a replacement for himself rather than serving for nine months.  

Why would David Kirby (1740-1832) do this?  He was a man aged 36, married for 13 years, with one child in 1777.  Perhaps he had been injured in his previous service in 1775 and 1776, or did not want to leave his family again to serve, or there was some other reason.  I doubt that we will ever know.  

David Kirby (1740-1832) is my 5th great-grandfather, who married Martha Soule (1743-1828) in 1763.  I am descended through their daughter, Sibel Kirby (1764-1848) who married Humphrey White (1758-1814).

Has any researcher seen a similar document or record?  Am I interpreting this document correctly?  How common was it for a drafted man to pay to find a replacement?


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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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