Revolutionary War Privates
Reuben and Samuel RIGGS
of Morris County, New Jersey
Compiled by Bobby G. Carwile and C. Hammett, 2001
for TNGenWeb (TNGenNet) and the Combs &c. Research Group
Brothers Samuel and Reuben Riggs are believed to have been sons of Edward Riggs (1720-1820, married Jane Buckley), who, with three brothers, Samuel, Reuben and Timothy, removed to the Yadkin River, Rowan County, North Carolina (that part that later became Surry County) from Morris County, New Jersey about 1765. By 1776-7, Edward RIGGS had moved overmountain, initially to Indian Creek in the Powell River Valley (later Hawkins County, Tennessee), and in the Spring of 1778, due to Indian attacks on the settlement, to North Fork of the Holston River, somewhere in the neighborhood of Fort Shelby, Beaver Creek, Squabble State.
REUBEN RIGGS was born circa 1748 (1) in Morris County, New Jersey. His family removed to then-Rowan (later Surry) County, North Carolina about 1760 (or 1765?), and in 1768, a Samuel RIGGS appears on the Rowan County tax list of Gideon Wright. Reuben himself is first found in the records of Surry in 1772 when Samuel RIGGS, David RIGGS and Reuben RIGGS are among those appointed to a road jury. Four years later, in June 1778, Reuben was residing in Surry when he first entered the Revolutionary War, serving for three months under a Capt. SAUNDERS in Col. Benjamin CLEVELAND's regiment. He served a second three months in 1779, both tours of duty having been expeditions against Indians committing depredations around the head of the Yadkin River. By Dec 1780, Reuben had removed to then-Washington County, North Carolina (later Tennessee), where he joined Capt. PRUITT'S company and fought in the Battle of Boyd Creek under Col. John Sevier (an expedition against the Cherokees). In 1783, he was on a Greene County tax list, but by 1786, owned land in Washington County, and in 1787 appeared on the Washington County tax list. He later removed to Grainger County, Tennessee (formed in 1795 from Hawkins and Knox counties) where he resided until 1808.
Sometime in 1808 or 1809, Reuben removed to what would become Giles County, Tennessee in 1809, but in the southwestern part of the county, that portion still in the hands of the Chickasaws. The earliest record of Reuben in the Giles county area is on 29 May 1809 when he appears on an list of intruders (illegal settlers) removed by federal soldiers from Chickasaw indian lands. Later Giles County land records indicate that Reuben's land was on Buck Creek, a fork of Little Shoals Creek of the Elk River (Giles County Land Entries), where he apparently remained until his death almost thirty years later.
The following is a chronology of the records of Ruben's life, as well as other (select) Riggs records:
(Selected) Riggs Records: 1768-1850
1768 Rowan Co, NC tax list of Gideon Wright lists a Samuel RIGGS two names below that of Benjamin CLEVELAND. (Abstracted by C. Hammett for Combs &c of Rowan Co, North Carolina)
02 Mar 1769 Rowan County, North Carolina. Married: Mary Crawford and Reuben Riggs (Extracted by C. Hammett from marriage index)
Feb 1772 (NC State Library and Archives. CR092.925.5. Surry Co., NC Road Records 1772-1879. Folder: 1772-1799).Surry Co, NC Court. Road jury records. Samuel unty. Feb'y Court 1772. Ordered that the following jury to wit: Samuel RIGGS, David RIGGS, Abrael COBBS, Reuben RIGGS, Admirum ALLEN, Joseph GRAVES, William NALL, John HARDY, John PARKS, David MARTIN, Charles DODSON & Peter GREENSTREAT lay off a road the best & most convenient way from Thomas JONES at Long Bottom on Roaring River to David ALLINS & make return thereof to the next court. A Copy Test. Jesse BENTON, Ck. Ct. (Transcribed by Combs-Cody Researcher George Baumbach for Combs &c. of Surry Co, North Carolina)
BGC Note: This Samuel RIGGS was a brother of Edward, Reuben and Timothy, RIGGS. David RIGGS was the son of Timothy, and later removed to Bedford County, Tennessee. Samuel RIGGS died in Surry County, North Carolina in 1798 (see below).
Dec 1780 Reuben and Samuel Riggs Battle of Boyd Creek, Tennessee: Capt. William PRUITT (PREVITT), Col. John SEVIER.
1783, June 12 , NC Treasurers Papers, Voucher 1092 (Accounts Vol 1, Folio 40) Auditors for Washington and Sullivan Cos. Allowed L6/19/6 paid L7/2/3. Endorsed by Edward RIGGS.
1783 Greene County, Tennessee Tax List: David PREWITT, Martin PREWITT, William PREWITT Edward RIGGS, Jenny RIGGS, Reuben RIGGS (Abstracted by C. Hammett from The Overmountain Men... by Pat Alderman, Overmountain Press, Johnson City, Tennessee, 1970, p. 242)
1786 Washington County, Tennessee Tax List: No. 702, Reubin RIGGS, 200 acres, 1 white poll (Extracted by C. Hammett from Early East Tennessee Taxpayers by Pollyanna Creekmore, East Tennessee Historical Society, 1952, reprinted by Southern Historical Press, Easley South Carolina, 1980) See also Combs &c. of Washington Co, Tennessee, and note that John COMBS is No. 690 and Thomas ROBESON No. 694 on this list.
26 Oct 1786 Washington County, TN DB1:146-7. North Carolina Grant No. 735 to Thomas ROBINSON, 200 acres, consideration 50 shillings per 100 acres. Land adj. to Ruben RIGS, Shadrick HALE. s/R. CASWELL by J. GLASGOW. (Extracted by C. Hammett from Washington County, Tennessee Deeds, 1775-1800, by Loraine Rae, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1991, p. 105)
1786 Washington Co, North Carolina (later Tennessee) Land Grants. No. 740 Thomas ROBONSON, 200 acres, joining Reuben RIGLAND'S land. No. 744. Shadrach HALE, 300 acres "on the north fork of Limestone fork of Lick Creek." North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778-1791, Golda Burgner, Cartwright and Gardner, Memphis, TN, 1958)
Note: No grant has been located as yet for Reuben under either RIGGS or RIGLAND. Also note that Shadrach HALE had other land grants and that the land by Reuben RIGGS was not necessarily on Limestone.
1799 Grainger County, Tennessee Tax List of Capt. Daniel TAYLOR as returned by John ESTES, Esqr. for the year 1799: Jessee RIGGS, 400 a., 1 white poll, 2 black polls; Reubin RIGGS, 200 acres, no polls [apparently not residing on this land] (Extracted by C. Hammett from Early East Tennessee Taxpayers by Pollyanna Creekmore, East Tennessee Historical Society, 1952, reprinted by Southern Historical Press, Easley South Carolina, 1980)
18 Aug 1801 Grainger Co, TN. Married: Hannah Riggs and William Norton (Grainger Co, TN Marriages, Giles Co, TNGenWeb Researcher C. Hammett)
06 Mar 1804 Grainger County, Tennessee. Married: Shadrick Morris and Nancy Riggs (Grainger Co, TN Marriage Records, Giles Co, TNGenWeb Researcher Carole Hammett)
09 Apr 1806 Grainger County, Tennessee. Married: Caleb Reece and Margit Riggs (ibid.)
25 Jan 1808 Grainger County, TN. Married: Henry Margain and Mary Riggs (Grainger County Marriage Records, Giles Co, TNGenWeb Researcher C. Hammett)
Note: Mary and Hannah RIGGS (and probably Nancy RIGGS?), were the daughters of Reuben RIGGS whose name is listed adjacent to that of Henry MORGAN [sic] and near that of Shadh. MORRIS on the 1812 Giles County, TN Tax List, Nos. 853-1056. Both Reuben Riggs and Henry Morgan are on the 1809 Intruder Lists, and both Reuben Riggs and Shadrach Morris are on the 1810 Sims Intruder Petition. In his 1833 Giles County will (below), Reuben named his daughter, Mary Morgan. Henry Morgan, Shadrach Morris, Reuben Riggs, and Reuben's son, William, were all 1809 Intruders (see below).
29 May 1809 Chickasaw Indian Lands Intruders List: Reubin RIGGS (1809 Intruders List, Giles County, Tennessee, TNGenWeb)
10 Sep 1810 Simms' Settlement Intruders' Petition: Reuben RIGGS (1810 Elk River Intruders Petition, Giles County, Tennessee, TNGenWeb)
1812 Giles County Tax List: William RIGGS, Reuben RIGS, Henry Morgan (1812 Giles Tax List, Giles County, Tennessee TNGenWeb)
1818 Riggs Deed - East Fork of Buck Creek (a fork of Shoal Creek*)
3 Dec 1818. Giles County, Tennessee Deeds. Reuben RIGGS to William RIGGS. Deed. This indenture made this 3rd day of December 1818 between Reuben RIGGS of the one part and William RIGGS of the other part. Witnesseth, that the said Reuben RIGGS for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars to him in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, hath this day bond gained sold and by these presents do grant bargain sell aline convey & confirm unto the said William RIGGS a certain tract or parcel of land lying in Giles County on the east fork of Buck Creek, about 13 miles from Pulaski, it being part of the tract I now live on, beginning for said part, at a Hickory & Red Oak, thence West 100 poles to a stake, thence South 76 poles to a stake, thence East 100 poles to a stake, thence North 76 poles to the beginning, containing fifty acres. To have and to hold the above described fifty acres with their appurtances and premises to his proper use and behoof forever, and the said Reuben RIGGS for himself his heirs does agree that he................. [The rest of the deed was not readable. BGC]
(Transcribed by Researcher Bobby Carwile)
1820 Giles County Census Index, p. 7: Reuben RIGGS, William RIGGS
1830 Giles County Census, page 171:Line 12: Henry C. Morgan: 1wm under 5; 2wm 5-10; 1wm 40-50; 1wf under 5; 1wf 5-10; 1 wf 10-15; 1wf 40-50
Line 13: Reubin RIGGS: 1 wm under 5; 1 wm 30-40; 1 wm 80-90; 1 wf 20-30; 1 wf 50-60 and 1 wf 80-90.
Line 14: Jno. GRACY: 1 m 10-15; 1 m 70-80; 1 wf 15-20; 1 wf 20-30; 1 wf 50-60;
Line 15: William RIGGS: 2 wm 5-10; 1wm 15-20; 1wm 20-30; 1 wm 40-50; 2 wf 10-15; 1 wf 15-20 1 wf 40-50.
1832 Revolutionary War Pension Application of Private Reuben Riggs
1833 Giles County, Tennessee Will of Reuben RIGGS
State of Tennessee
Set on this 20th day of August 1832
Personally appeared in open court, before the justice holding the court of Pleas & Quarter Session for the county & state of service, at this August term of said court Reuben RIGGS of said county of Giles, resident therin aged eighty five years, who being first duly sworn according to law does on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832. The said Reuben RIGGS saith and declares that he first entered the service under one Col. [Benjamin] CLEVELAND in Surry County, North Carolina, one SAUNDERS being his Captain, the day not recollected but most probably in the month of June in the second year after the declaration of Independence and during that year served a tour of three months and also served a similar tour under the same officers during the year following. These tours were against the Indians committing depradations about the head of the Yadkin river. The declarant then moved into Washington County in North Carolina but now in East Tennessee where in the month of December 1780 he volunteered under Col. [John] SEVIER in an expedition against the Cherokee indians. They mustered at Stockdon's Mill & proceeded on the expedition until Col. CLARK & Col. [Arthur] CAMPBELL of Virginia overtook & joined Sevier. RIGGS was in Captain PREVITS [PRUETT] company until its close, the declarant was present at several skirmishes between the whites & Indians, on Boyd's Creek of French & Broad river & at Echols________.Telleco & ________ what time that campaign closed he does not now remember, but supposes that some history or other record testimony in the public office of his county will show. He has no documentary evidence, having long since lost his discharge and that he knows of no person now alive who can testify to his services, the last man who could have done so to his knowledge, died during the last year, one Jesse RIGGS of Lincoln County, Tennessee. The said Reuben RIGGS duly relinqueshes any claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on any pension roll of any state or territory whatsoever. Sworn and subscribed this day and year aforesaid.
Mr. Stephen SHELTON, Clergyman residing in the county & state aforesaid & Thomas MARTIN merchant of the town of Pulaski, in the county and state aforesaid do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Reuben RIGGS,who has subscribed & sworn to the above declaration and we believe him to be eighty five years of age & that he is respected & believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution and that we concurred in that opinion.
Sworn and subscribed
1. Interrogatories propounded by said court to the said Reuben RIGGS.
2. Where & what year were you born?
Answer: In Morris County, New Jersey in 1749 (some read it 1747)
3. Where were you living when called into service?
Where have you lived since the revolution?
Where do you now live?
Answer: In Surry County, North Carolina & Washington County as before stated when I entered the service & from Washington I moved to Grainger County in East Tennessee where I lived until about 1808 when I moved to Giles County, Tennessee where I have resided ever since.
4. How were you called into service?
Answer: In all the above campaigns I volunteered.
5. State the names of some of the Regular Officers?
Answer: I have stated all of the general officers whose names are now recollected
6. He further states that he received discharges from his said Captain SAUNDERS & PREVITT but has no recollection of what has become of them.
Reuben RIGGS (his signature)
Sworn and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid
(Transcribed by Bobby Carwile, email: BGCarwile@aol.com)
1833 Giles Co, TN. Richard RIGGS, North Carolina line, had filed for his pension in Giles County, TN, and a certificate issued in 1833, but no papers are in the file. (Rev War Pension File No. S1926) (2)
In the name of God Amen. I, Reuben RIGGS of the County of Giles and State of Tennessee, being of a sound and perfect memory do this twenty-sixth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and thirty three, make this my Last Will and Testament as follows:
First - I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary RIGGS, the tract of land which I now live on, Also All the house and kitchen furniture, during her life or Widowhood, and at her Disease [decease] to be sold at twelve months credit, and equally divided amongst my four children: Phebe RIGGS, William RIGGS, Mary MORGAN, and Margaret POOR. I also give and bequeath to my daughter Phebe, all my stock of horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs, and all my farming tools. I also give and bequeath to my grandsons Jeremiah HENDERSON, William CONDON, Ruben W. RUNNELS and Thomas P. NORTON, each two dollars.
I do hereby appoint my worthy friends James WHITE and David A. GOOCH Executors to this my Last Will and Testament_______In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand affixed my seal day and date above written.
(Transcribed and submitted to Giles County, TNGenWeb by Bobby Carwile)
1836 Giles Tax List, District 3 includes Reuben RIGGS with 93 acres and no poll tax (levy-free) and James and James B. RIGGS with 1 white poll each. William Riggs not found on the 1836.
1840 Giles County Census, page 96, includes William RIGGS (age 50-60), and on p. 97 is is H. E. [sic] MORGAN, with: H. E. [sic] Morgan, 2wm 1-15; 1wm 40-50; 1wm 50-60; 1wf under 5; 1 wf 5-10; 1wf 15-20; 1wf 20-30; 1wf 30-40; 1wf 50-60; 1wf 90-100 (possibly Reuben's widow, Mary?)
15 Sep 1842 Giles Co, TN Entry No. 36. Occupant Law Surveys. For Samuel KERR, Entry 2, assignee of Reuben RIGGS, 100 A in Rng. 1, Sec. 1, on waters of Shoal Creek & Jenkins Creek, in C.D. 3, adj. entry of William RIGGS on which Joseph B. GRACE now resides; GOODMAN; John MOORE. Surv. 15 Sep 1842. Franklin GRACE & James PAISLEY, C.C. (Janell McCann's Early Giles County Land Surveys, 1821-1849)
1850 Giles county census: The only RIGGS remaining in Giles are William RIGGS, farmer, age 66, born in TN; and wife, Milly, age 63, and also born in TN. They are in the District 3 household of Henry and Jinsey ARTHUR (p. 319). (Henry D. ARTHUR married Geney (Jency) RIGGS in Giles County, 27 Oct 1841). The Henry C. Morgan family is also missing from the 1850.
Samuel RIGGS, Revolutionary War Soldier, was born 4 Apr 1760 in Morris County, New Jersey, brother of Reuben above, and son of Edward and Jane BUCKLEY Riggs. He married Mary MORRIS, the daughter of Gideon MORRIS, the man who donated 400 acres to found the city of Morristown in East TN, now Hamblen Co, TN (Some records show Gideon MORRIS as married to Jenney RIGGS)
Samuel RIGGS served several tours during the Revolutionary War as an enlisted Private and several tours as a Lieutenant. He was under the impression in 1834 that only officers of the Regular Army were entitled to draw a pension as an officer; so he applied as an enlisted man. He later found out that he could draw a pension at his highest rank, that of Lieutenant. He filled for an upgrade in his pension to that of a Lieutenant on 06 Aug 1845 in Hawkins County, TN at the age of 85.
Revolutionary War Pension Application S4095
National Archives and Records Service
STATE OF TENNESSEE
COUNTY OF HAWKINS
1st Judicial District - April Term 1834
On this 4th day of April 1834, personally appeared in open court before the Judge of the Circuit Court of Hawkins County now sitting, Samuel RIGGS, a resident citizen in the County of Hawkins and State of Tennessee, aged seventy four years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.
That the Declarant Samuel RIGGS was born in Morris County, in the State of New Jersey, on the 4th day of April 1860 . He has no record of his age himself; but here is a record of his age in the Bible left by his father at his death, now in the possession of his oldest sister, Elizabeth RIGGS of Jefferson County, Tennessee. When the declarant was five years of age, his father moved to Surry County, North Carolina, on the Yadkin River. There he lived 12 years. In his seventeenth year Declarant moved with his father to Powell's Valley on Indian Creek, now Hawkins County, East Tennessee, where he lived nearly a year - thence to the North Fork of Holson [Holston], where he remained until the spring of 1778. When he moved to the North Fork of Holson [Holston] from Indian Creek; it was on account of an attack by the Indians upon that settlement, in which they had killed the next neighbor of Declarants father, one William PARKS. Shortly after his removing to the North Fork of Holson [Holston], Declarant volunteered under Captain Isaac SHELBY in the summer of 1778, in the month of July, day not recollected, for the purpose of protecting the frontiers against the Indian incursions and of garrisoning a fort on Beaver Creek.
There were about thirty men under Captain Isaac SHELBY. Lieutenants and ensign not recollected. The company were for the greater part of the time engaged in keeping the Fort. This Fort was capable of containing five hundred people. Repeated attacks were made by the Indians upon the settlements, and the people compelled to take shelter in the Fort, until the company had driven off the Indians, and the people thus cultivated their land under the protection of Captain SHELBY'S company. Captain SHELBY'S company were contantly in service, in doing the duty of Sentries, or in scouting parties, and in all such service as was necessary for the protection of the families of that frontier settlement.
While the Declarant was in service under Captain SHELBY at this Fort, General CHRISTY, in the fall of 1778 in October, day not recollected, came by the Fort with his troops on his expedition against the Cherokee Indians, and it being thought that the people would not need the protection of Captain SHELBY'S company during this invasion of the Cherokee Country, Captain SHELBY went on with General CRISTY. The Declarant was anxious to go on this expedition but, his health being bad, he was not permitted to do so. The Declarants father received a written discharge from Captain Isaac SHELBY for the Declarants service, setting forth that the Declarant had served a tour of three months under him garrisoning the Fort on Beaver Creek. Whether his Father ever received anything for Declarants Services or not, Declarant does not know. Declarant did not receive anything, nor does he know what has become of the Discharge obtained by his father.
In the month of December 1778, day not recollected, Declarant volunteered under Captain Isaac BLETCHER, Major Anthony BLETCHER [BLEDSOE?] commandant. Lt. George HART was the Lieutenant of the company - other officers not recollected. Captain BLECHER'S was one of the three companies raised for the purpose of garrisoning a large Fort on the North side of the Holson [Holston] River, opposite to the Long Island. This Fort was on the remotest part of the frontiers. These three companies - under Major BLETCHER were constantly engaged on duty, in keeping the Fort or in Scouting parties protecting the settlers and ascertaining the approaches of the Indians. This garrison was regularly detailed for guard duty and for the duty of Scouts and was regularly paraded night and morning and were every Sabbath Day taught the manual exercise.
In the month of April 1779, day not recollected, this Declarant was discharged after a service of four months by Captain BLETCHER on the application of Declarant's father, who was then about to move back to North Carolina. Whether Declarant's father received anything for his services or not, Declarant does not know. Declarant himself received nothing. Declarant moved back to Surry County, North Carolina with his father and there remained until the fall of 1780 when he again moved with his father to Green County, North Carolina, now East Tennessee.
Early in the month of December 1780, Declarant volunteered under Captain William PRUETT, (John HOWARD, Lieutenant, no Ensign) to go under Colonel John SEVIER against the Cherokee Indians. We were mounted riflemen. Col. SEVIER commanded the men from Washington and Greene Counties - Major TIPTON, Captain HAWKINS and Captain Langdon CARTER were officers under Col. SEVIER. There were four companies under Col. SEVIER, about 200 men.
The company of Captain PRUETT started after Col. SEVIER had started. The first night we encamped on Lick Creek; the second night we overtook Col. Sevier on Long Creek in what is now Jefferson County; the third day we started two hours before day and crossed French Broad River at Buckingham's Island and encamped on the other side of the river. The fourth day we marched for Chota Town. We started early in the morning, and after marching two miles we came to where the Indians had encamped the night before on their way to attack the whites. The Indians had fallen back to waylay us.
Our spies having gone on and met the advancing spies of the Indians, made us acquainted with their situation; they had fallen back about two hundred yards from where they had encamped. Col. SEVIER was leading one division and Major TIPTON the other. Suddenly a gun was fired about fifty yards off from the midst of a field of tall grass before us at Col. SEVIER - Major WALTON, a volunteer being next to Col. SEVIER, jumped from his horse and fired at the Indian, who had discharged his gun at Col. SEVIER, and broke his the Indian's leg. The Indians immediately jumped up and fired - our men jumped from their horses at the fire of the first gun (except Col. SEVIER) and commenced firing - and immediately drove the Indians, completely routing them. We killed sixteen of them. None of our men were killed; on of our men was slightly wounded in the hand and one of our horses was killed and one of our men was injured by being thrown from his horse. We pursued them to a cane break, in which they took refuge, and we were ordered to halt. We got a good many guns and knapsacks, which were thrown down by the Indians. The same day we returned to Buckingham's Island, and there remained encamped for eight days, waiting for reinforcements from Virginia.
A considerable body of men, about 500 came on commanded by Colonel Archibald [Arthur] CAMPBELL. Other Virginia officers are not recollected. Col. CAMPBELL took the command of the united forces, and the whole body, the day after the junction, marched towards the Indian Towns. After leaving Buckingham's Island, we crossed Little River and arrived the second night at the Indian Town on the Tennessee River. Here we found provisions, deer skins, horses, cattle and a swinel (?). After burning this town, we marched up the river, on to Chota several miles above the mouth of the Tellico River. We remained sometime in Chota - finding here corn that had been concealed - an Indian was killed at this town.
After burning Chota we marched back down the Tennessee River to the mouth of Tellico River to Tellico Towns. Here we remained for some time, when the army divided. The larger part, of which Declarant was one, marched under Cols. CAMPBELL and SEVIER to the Hiwassee Old Town; the remainder being left at the Tellico Towns. We arrived at the Hiwassee Old Town the second day - burnt it and immediately returned to Tellico, where we again remained for several days. At our entrance into Tellico Towns, Captain ELLIT (?) of Virginia was killed by an Indian. There were some Indians gettting corn in Tellico on our arrival. Captain ELLIT? was in front. One of his men wounded an Indian. The Indian having falled (followed?) Captain ELLIT rode up to him, and as he approached, the Indian rose up and shot him dead through the head. ELLIT fell so near the Indian, that the Indian got ELLIT'S gun and fired it at one of the men before he was killed, which was immediately done.
We found several negroes in the towns. After burning Tellico, we marched back together until we came to Long Creek, in what is now Jefferson County, when we separated, Col. SEVIER returning with his men through Greene County, and Col. CAMPBELL to Virginia through Hawkins County. The men who were engaged in this tour were informed that they would receive certificates for a three months tour at Jonesborough from a committee of the North Carolina Legislature, and those who applied did receive certificates for a three months tour - though this Declarant never did, and never received any other than the verbal discharge of his Captain on his return into Greene County. The Declarant was engaged in this expedition from November 1780, day not recollected, until February 1781, day not recollected, a period of three months.
After the year 1783 Declarant served three tours against the Cherokees under Col. SEVIER - his Captains were Wm. LEA, Stephen COPELAND and JOHNSON, and one tour against the same Indians under Cols. [Alexander] OUTLAW and COCKE, his Captain Wm. LEA. Declarant was detailed as a guard for the first settlement at Knoxville for two months - He was detailed as a Lieutenant with six men to guard a frontier settlement on Flat Creek one of the branches of the Holson for two months. Declarant served two tours as a spy - for all which services he has never received one cent.
In the year 1780 Declarant moved to the head of Lick Creek in Greene County, North Carolina now East Tennessee, where he lived five years, when he removed to the waters of French Broad River in what is now Jefferson County, East Tennessee, where he lived two years, then to the waters of Holson [Holston] River in Jefferson County where he lived three years, then to Fall Creek, waters of Holson [Holston], in Hawkins County, where he has lived for forty four years and where he now lives.
Declarant makes no claim for the services which he performed after 1783. Tho' he has never received one cent for them, he served in the year 1778 three months undere Captain Isaac SHELBY in garrisoning Fort Shelby - in the year 1779 he served four months under Captain BLETCHER [BLEDSOE?] - in garrisoning the Long Island Fort. In the year 1780 he served a tour of three months in Captain William PRUITT'S company under Col. SEVIER in an expedition against the Cherokee Indians. These he served in all during the revolution, ten months as a volunteer as above stated. In the year 1782 he served two tours as an Indian spy - making five weeks service.
Declarant has no documentary evidence in regard to his service having never gotten the discharges which his father received for his two first tours, Declarant being then under age. His Father lost them, where or when Declarant knows not. Declarant never got a discharge for his last tour, never applying for one. Declarant knows of no living witnesses, by whom he could prove his services. Declarant hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension except the present, and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the Agency of any State.
Signed: Samuel RIGGS
Sworn to and subscribed in Open Court this 4th day of April 1834, W. B. MITCHELL, Clerk
Question 1st: Where and in what year were you born?
Answer 1st: I was born in Morris County, State of New Jersey, on the 4th day of April 1760.
Question 2nd: Have you any record of your age and if so, where is it?
Answer 2nd: There is a record of my age in the possession of my sister Elizabeth of Jefferson County, East Tennessee.
Question 3rd: Where were you living when called into service; where have you lived since the Revolutionary War, and where do you now live?
Answer 3rd: When called into service, I was living in what is now Hawkins County, East Tennessee, and Greene County, East Tennessee, then frontier settlements. Since the Revolutionary War I have lived in East Tennessee, where I now live in Hawkins County, Tennessee.
Question 4th: How were you called into service, were you drafted, did you volunteer, or were you a substitute; and if a substitute, for whom?
Answer 4th: I was a volunteer in every tour I served.
Question 5th: State the names of some of the Regular Officers who were with the troops, where you served; such Continental and Militia Regiments as you can recollect, and the general circumstances of your service.
Answer 5th: There were no Continental Troops, when I served. I served as a volunteer under Captain Isaac SHELBY, in garrisoning Fort Shelby on Beaver Creek, above the North Fork of Holson [Holston] River, near the line between Virginia and East Tennessee, from July 1778 date note recollected until October 1778 day not recollected, a tour of three months. I served as a volunteer under Captain BLETCHER, in garrisoning Long Island Fort on Holson [Holston] River in what is now East Tennessee, from December 1778 day not recollected until April 1779 day not recollected, a tour of four months. I served as a volunteer under Captain William PRUETT in an expedition under Col. SEVIER against the Cherokee Indians from November 1780 until February 1781 - a tour of three months. I served five weeks in 1782 as and Indian Spy in two scouting parties. In all I served ten months as a Volunteer as above named and five weeks as an Indian Spy - during the Revolutionary War.
Question 6th: Did you ever receive a Discharge from the Service, and if so, by whom was it given and what has become of it?
Answer 6th: My father received two of my discharges - he lost them when or where I do not know. I never got one for my srvice under Col. SEVIER - never applying for one.
Question 7th: State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood and who can testify as to your character for veracity and their belief of your services as a Soldier of the Revolution?
Answer 7th: I have lived where I now do for forty four years. I would refer to the Reverend Daniel HOWRY, and Major Thomas HALE, citizens of Hawkins County, and to Dr. Pleasant W. LANE, a citizen of Jefferson County, a neighbor of mine as I live near the line between the two counties, who can be examined as required by the War Department.
Sworn and subscribed in Open Court this 4th day of April 1834,
W. B. MITCHELL, Clerk
Signed: Samuel RIGGS
We, Daniel HOWRY, a Clergyman, resident in Hawkins County, Thomas HALE, a citizen of Hawkins County and Pleasant W. LANE, a citizen of Jefferson County, hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Samuel RIGGS, who has subscribed and Sworn to the foregoing declaration and annexed answers; that we have long known him, that he has ever been respected and believed to be a man of veracity and integrity, and we So believe him; that we believe him to be Seventy four years of age, that he is reputed and believed in the neighborhood, where he resides, to have been a Soldier of the Revolution, and that we concur in that opinion.
Sworn to and subscribed in Open Court this 4th day of April, 1834,
W. B. MITCHELL, Clerk
Daniel HOWRY, Clergyman
P. W. LANE
1st Judicial District
State of Tennessee
County of Hawkins
April Term 1834
And the said Court hereby declares this opinion, after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogations prescribed by the War Department, that the above named Applicant Samuel RIGGS was a Revolutionary War Soldier, and Served as he states; and the said Court further certify, that it appears to them that Danier HOWRY, who has subscribed and Sworn to the foregoing certificate, is a Clergyman, resident in the County of Hawkins; that Thomas HALE who has also subscribed and sworn to the same is a resident citizen of Hawkins County, and that Pleasant W. LANE, who has also subscribed and sworn to the same; is a resident or Citizen of Jefferson County; that they are credible persons, and that their Statement is entitled to credit.
Judge of the Circuit Court of Hawkins County
I, Willie B. MITCHELL, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Hawkins County do humbly certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of the Said Court, in the matter of the application of Samuel RIGGS for a Pension.
In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and private Seal, having no public Seal of Office this 4th day of April 1834.
W. B. MITCHELL, Clerk
I, Samuel BUNCH a member of Congress from the State of Tennessee, do certify that Willie B. MITCHELL, Esqr. is the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the County of Hawkins in said State, and that full faith and credit ought to be given to his acts as Such and that the Signature hereunto annexed perporting to be his is genuine to the best of my Knowledge and belief.
Given under my hand this 18th April 1834
Battle of Boyd's Creek
See Shelby's Fort, Squabble State
Declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress passed 07 June 1832
On this 6th day of August 1845 personally appeared before me John RIGGS, an acting Justice of the Peace in and for the County and State aforesaid.
Samuel RIGGS of said County aged eighty five years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June the 7th 1832. States he entered the service of the United States under the following officers and (sic) served as a Lieutenant three tours under Colonel John SEVIER. That he recollects Captain SHELBY, Captain COPELAND and Captain CARTER, and one tour Captain not recollected, does not recollect the times when he entered the service nor date when he left the same, that he was in an engagement with the Indians near French Broad River in which fourteen were killed, and was in several engagements afterwards with them, that he lay on French Broad River until a regiment of about five hundred troops came from Virginia, he was sent to where Knoxville now stands with troops to guard a family then living there and afterwards marched to the different Indians towns, that he served as a Lieutenant four tours and that he served on tours and that he cannot precisely swear as to the precise length of the services but according to the best of his recollection he served not less than twelve months, and for such service he claims a pension. That he is now drawing a pension for $33.33 per annum payable at Jonesborough Agency as a Private. That the reason why he did not make application before as a Lieutenant was that he was under the impression that none but officers of the Regular Army were entitled to draw a pension. That he has no documentary evidence and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his service.
Sworn to and subscribed this the day and year aforesaid.
Samuel (X) RIGGS
Justice of the Peace for Hawkins County
We, Andrew COFFMAN and Y. I. MORRISS, Clergymen residing in the County of Jefferson, State of Tennessee, hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Samuel RIGGS who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration and that we believe him to be eighty five years of age, that he is reputed and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been an officer of the Revolution, and that we concur in that opinion.
Sworn and Subscribed to the day and year aforesaid
Y. I. MORRISS
Justice of the Peace
Question: Where and in what year were you born?
Answer: I was born in New Jersey on the 4th day of April 1760.
Question: Have you a record of your age and if so where is it?
Answer: There was a record of my age in my father's Bible. One of my sisters got the Bible. She is now dead, and I don't know what has become of it.
Question: Where were you living when called into service, where have you lived since the Revolutionary War and where do you now live?
Answer: I lived in Lick Creek which is now in Greene County, Tennessee, and have lived in Jefferson and Hawkins & now reside in Hawkins County.
Question: How were you called into service?
Answer: I was a volunteer.
Question: Did you receive a Commission and if so, by whom was it signed and what has become of it?
Answer: I had a Commission signed by Colonel John SEVIER and Captain SHELBY, which is lost or mislaid so that I cannot find it.
Question: State the names of Persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood and who can testify as to your character for Veracity and their belief of your service as an Officer of the Revolution.
Answer: The Rev. Andrew COFFMAN and Y. I. MORRISS.
I do hereby certify that Samuel RIGGS the above named applicant is unable from bodily infirmity to attend Court.
Justice of the Peace
The Court approves the original proceedings had before John RIGGS Esqr. and do hereby declare their opinion that the above named applicant was an officer of the Revolution and served as he states, and the Court further certifies that Andrew COFFMAN and Y. I. MORRISS who have signed the foregoing certificate are Clergymen resident in the County of Jefferson and that their statement is entitled to credit.
I, Robert JOHNSON Clerk of the County of Hawkins and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of the said Court in the matter of the Application of Samuel RIGGS for a pension and that John RIGGS Esqr. whose name appears on the foregoing declaration is an acting Justice of the Peace in and for said County.
Witness my hand and Seal of Office Rogersville This 1st day of September 1845
Robert JOHNSON, Clerk
By I. L. FULKERSON D. C.
Raliegh NC 20 December 1845
I, William S. COLLINS Comptroller of Public Accounts in and for the State of North Carolina do hereby certify that the name of Samuel RIGGS appears of Record in this office as having had the following special certificates issued in his favor for Military Service in said Books purportedly and for six pounds Nineteen Shillings which Certificate was issued 12 June 1783. See Book No. 1, Page 40. Also another was issued in the name of Samuel RIGGS for Nineteen pounds four shillings (19/4) see Book No. 9, Page 10 given under my hand and Seal this 20th day of December 1845.
William S. COLLINS
MISCELLANEOUS ADDITIONAL RIGGS RECORDS
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT" OF SAMUEL RIGGS OF SURRY COUNTY, NC: Surry County, NC Will Book 3, Page 36 I, Samuel RIGGS of Surry County and State of North Carolina being advanced in years and weak in body but of perfect memory thanks be to God calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make this my Last Will and Testament (viz:) First and principally I give and recommend into the hands of Almighty God who gave it then my body to be interred at the discretion of my friends and as touching such worldly Estate as it has pleased God to bless me with this life I give, devise, and dispose of the same in the following manner and form: First, I give and bequeath to Elizabeth RIGGS, my beloved wife the use of the plantation that I now live on and also the mill her life time and one cow her choice of my stock and one horse her choice of my horses with all my house hold furniture.
ITEM: To Lot RIGGS my son I give and devise my apple orchard lying on the north side of the Spring Branch and the land lying below the road that disects to the mill to a black oak corner of the hundred acre lot in the line of the 400 acre lot from thence down the River including the mill and all my land lying on the south side of the River also the aforsaid hundred acre lot.
ITEM: I give and devise to Silas RIGGS my son the land lying on the Northwest side of the above mentioned line of hundred acre lot. Likewise the fifty acre lot that lies joining the hundred acre lot above Lot RIGGS with all the rest of my Lands and premises on Mitchel's River.
ITEM: To Zadok RIGGS my son I give and devise one pound to be paid out of my moveable estate.
ITEM: I give and devise to Chloe SCOTT ten pounds to be paid out of my moveable estate.
ITEM: I give and devise to Eunice LASSWELL five pounds to be paid out of my moveable estate.
ITEM: I give and devise to Iram RIGGS my son ten pounds to be paid out of my moveable estate.
ITEM: I give and devise to Mary WILMOTH thirty pounds to be paid out of my moveable estate.
ITEM: I give and devise to Elizabeth SNOW thirty pounds to be paid out of my moveable estate.
ITEM: To Abigail SNOW I give and devise the sum of thirty pounds too be paid out of my moveable estate.
ITEM: What remains of my moveable Estate if any there be for to be Equally Divided between Chloe SCOTT, Eunice LASSWELL, Iram RIGGS, Mary WILMOTH, Elizabeth SNOW and Abigail SNOW. And I constitute, make and ordain Silas RIGGS, John WILLIAMS, and Ezekiel WILMOTH Executors of this my Last Will and Testament, and I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke and disanul all and every other Will and Testament and Executor heretofore Ratifying and Confirming this to be my Last Will and Testament and no other in witness hereof have hereto set my hand and Seal this 12th day of September Anno Domini 1798.
Samuel RIGGS (Seal) Test:
John PERSONETT, Stephen POTTER, Ephraim WITCHER
State of North Carolina, Surry County, August Session AD 1800. Stephen POTTER and Ephraim WITCHER two of the subscribing witnesses to the foregoing Last Will and Testament of Samuel RIGGS made oath that they saw the said RIGGS sign, publish and declare the same to be his Last Will and Testament that he was of sound disposing mind and memory and that at the same time they saw John PERSONETT, sign, the same as a witness to which was ordered to be recorded. (Transcribed by B. Cargile)
1808 Tennessee Second District Land Surveys (The following David and Reuben RIGGS were sons of Timothy RIGGS of Surry County, North Carolina):
05 Mar 1808. Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District Survey No. 301. Applicant: John GRAY. Acres: 10. County: Bedford. Landmark: Shipman's Creek of Duck River. CC David RIGGS, Rhuben Hill. Tree mark: John GRAY.
11 May 1808 Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District Survey No. 843. Applicant: David ADAMS. Acres: 277. County: Bedford. Landmark: East side BF of Duck River. Chain Carriers: Jno. ADAMS, Rubin RIGGS.
11 May 1808 Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District Survey No. 513. Applicant: John DAVIDSON. Acres: 291. County: Bedford. S side of Duck River. Chain Carriers: Samuel DAILEY, Geo. DAVIDSON
11 May 1808 Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District Survey No. 515. Applicant: John DAVIDSON. Acres: 260. County: Bedford. Landmark: On Duck River. Chain Carriers: Samuel DAILEY, Geo. DAVIDSON.
12 May 1808 Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District Survey No. 517. Applicant: George DAVIDSON. Acres: 245. County: Bedford. Landmark: Duck River. Chain Carriers: Jno. DAVIDSON, Wm. CRIBBS.
13 May 1808. Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District. Survey No. 514. Applicant: Reuben RIGGS, acres: 171. County: Bedford. Landmark: Duck River. "I have surveyed 171-1/2 acres in county of Bedford, on the north side of the Duck River, and bounded as follows... beg. red oak on bank of the river... adj. to John DAVIDSON... boundary of a survey for George DAVIDSON... bounded on the north survey for David ADAMS..." Chain Carriers: David ADAMS, John MIDDLETON. Deputy Surv. Daniel GILCHRIST
31 Jun 1808 Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District Survey No. 1113 Applicant: William GAGE. Acres: 50. County: Bedford. Landmark: S side BF of Duck River. Neighboring tract: Geo REED. CC Dennis HEMBY, David RIGGS.
22 Aug 1808. Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District. Survey No. 1186. Applicant: John ADAMS. Acres: 277 County: Warren. South or BF of Duck River. Chain Carriers: Jno ROBERTSON, Abraham MARTIN
07 Sep 1808 Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District Survey No. 1095. Applicant: John DAVIDSON, Acres: 83. County: Franklin. Landmark: BF of Duck River. S/R: S4 R8. Chain Carriers: Jno DAVIDSON, Jos. GREY (GUY?)
11 Dec 1808 Tennessee 2nd Surveyors District Survey No. 1365. Applicant: Malcom GILCHRIST Acres: 100. County: Bedford. Landmark: Head of east fork of Rock Creek, a south branch of Duck River. Neighboring tracts: Felix ROBERTSON, Adley ALEXANDER. CC Jno BLACKWELL, Rubin RIGGS.
(Abstracted by Fred Smoot, Special Projects Coordinator, Lands of Our Ancestors, A TNGenWeb (TNGenNet), from TSLA Record Group 50, 2nd Surveyor District microfilm.)
1 Reuben's birth year of "circa 1748" is based on his statements in his 20 Aug 1832 Revolutionary War Pension affidavit that he was both 85 years of age (born about 1747), and born in 1749.
2 No more information is available re Richard RIGGS and no other record of an elderly Richard RIGGS has been located in Tennessee. It is possible that the file of Reuben RIGGS was initially opened erroneously with the given name Richard.
Tennesseans in the Revolutionary War
Giles County Tennesseans in the Revolutionary War
The Combs &c. Research Group
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