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Zebulon Crane

ZEBULON CRANE was born February 21, 1753. He married Rhoda Thompson on November 27, 1777, who was also of Alstead, New Hampshire by a Justice of the Peace. Rhoda’s maiden name, Thompson, suggests a English or Scottish origin. Pension documents state they had 5 children: Thedosia, Ebenezer, Eunice, Elijah and Nabby. One child, Tryphena, died at two years of age (E.B. Crane).

Zebulon served twice in the Revolutionary War. He later received financial help through the Revolutionary War Pension Act of 1818. Zebulon first enlisted in November or December of 1775. He served in the New Hampshire line in Captain Jason Waits' Company, Colonel Bedel’s Regiment.

In February 1776 Bedel's Regiment traveled to Quebec and by April occupied a strategic position at The Cedars. On May 18 he fought in the Battle of The Cedars where he killed an Iroqois who had injured him with a tomahawk. A day later on May 19th, the British captured his regiment. The commander of his garrison, Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, negotiated a release. On May 30th the British released his regiment at Fort Anne. On January 1, 1777 Bedel’s Regiment disbanded when enlistments expired. Zebulon was discharged on that date at Mount Independence by General Horatio Gates.

Zebulon enlisted again, this time as a private in Colonel Benjamin Bellow’s battalion, Captain William Cary’s Company. They served in General William Whipple's brigade of the New Hampshire militia. He served at Fort Ticonderoga in the spring of 1777.

The Continental Army needed reinforcements for the Saratoga Campaign. On September 21, 1777, Bellow’s Regiment of Militia was called up at Walpole, New Hampshire. The regiment marched to join the forces of General Gates who faced British General John Burgoyne in northern New York.

Barber Wheat Field. Saratoga National Historical Park.
Barber Wheat Field. Saratoga National Historical Park. On October, 7 1777 Second Saratoga took place in and around this field. British forces retreated and on October 17, 1777 General Burgoyne was captured north of here in Schuylerville. Zebulon Crane was present at the capture. Photo credit: Josh Crain (10/15/2015)

Bellow's battalion was part of the New Hampshire militia brigade commanded by General William Whipple, and although they did not serve in the Battles of Saratoga, were present at the siege of Saratoga which forced the surrender of General Burgoyne (Eric Schnitzer, NPS). In Zebulon's 1818 pension testimony he claims to have been present at the “at the capture of General Burgoyne."Brigadier general Whipple is depicted in John Trumbull's painting, The Surrender of General Burgoyne, fifth from the right. With the surrender of Burgoyne's Army on October 17 the regiment was disbanded on October 27, 1777.

On April 21, 1818, at the time of his pension testimony, he lived in Brookfield, Vermont. E.B. Crane places him in Williamstown, Vermont “for a time.” The Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary Or Military Service performed on June 1, 1840; places Zebulon, age 79, in Clarendon, Vermont with an Orin Hewitt, the head of that household. The Vermont Historical Society claims his grave is located in Clarendon, but it is still unclear which cemetery. Zebulon’s date of death was September 9, 1828. Rhoda died on November 3, 1839 according to her son Elijah's pension testimony on August 25, 1847 .

Transcriptions

The following has been transcribed from “Genealogy of the Crane Family. Volume II.

495. Zebulon Crane5 [183], (Lemuel,4 John,3 Jonathan,2 Benjamin1), married Rhoda ; served in Capt. Jason Wait’s company, Col. Bedel’s regiment; paid for this service February, 1776; June 9, 1777, he is reported as serving one month and three days at Ticonderoga in Col. Benj. Bellows' regiment, New Hampshire militia; again from Sept. 21 to Oct. 22, 1777, at Saratoga, same regiment, to reinforce the Continental army under Gen. Gates; was wounded, and lived for a time in Williamstown, Vt. Children:

496—1. Thedosia, b. Sept. 21, 1779; m. Edmund Wetherbee.
497—2. Ebenezer, b. April 1, 1781.
498—3. Tryphena, b. April 2, 1783; d. May 13, 1785.
499—4. Eunice, b. July 6, 1785; m. Elisha Williams.
500—5. Elijah, b. Dec. 4, 1786; d. in Brookfleld, Vt, or Williamstown, Vt.

Crane, Ellery Bicknell. Genealogy of the Crane Family. Volume II.

Zebulon purchases land near Surry, New Hampshire around 1790.

Job Thomson, one of the proprietors of the “John Slade Cemetery,” bought 81 acres of land of John Slade in 1779, extending from the Surry road to Walpole line. He was living on this farm as late as March, 1790, when he sold 26 acres from the west end to Zebulon Crane, son of Lemuel Crane. In 1795 this land was described in a deed as “William Thomson's land” and is the same farm that Capt. William Thomson owned and lived on at his death in 1833. The house, in which Capt. Thomson lived, was very likely built by Job Thomson, who is believed to have been William's father.

Zebulon Crane sold land to Thomas Root on March, 29, 1782 (Peck, p. 41)

Thomas Root signed the remonstrance against setting off a parish in Alstead, May 31, 1793. July 30, 1795, he sold his farm of thirty-two acres on the east side of the Surry road, consisting of twelve acres from Lot 2 in the first range and twenty acres from Lot 2 in the second range which he bought of Zebulon Crane, March 29, 1782, to his brother-in- law, William Slade, and probably removed from town.

Peck, Thomas Bellows. William Slade of Windsor, Conn. And His Descendants. Keene, New Hampshire: Sentinel Printing Company, 1910. Google Books. Web. 2015.

On April 21, 1818 in Williamstown, Vermont, Zebulon Crane testified before Elijah Paine, Judge for United States District Court for the District of Vermont and former U.S. Senator. Paine certified the testimony and recommended Crane for a pension through the Revolutionary War Pension Act of 1818 (3 Stat. 410).

I Zebulon Crane of Brookfield in the County of Orange & State of Vermont do upon oath depose & declare that I am aged sixty six years & that I served as a Corporal & Sergeant in the war of the revolution in the following manner—I enlisted as a Corporal in November or December in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred seventy five in Captain Jason Waits Company in Colonel Beedles Regiment in the New Hampshire line and in that corps went to Quebec where we arrived in February 1776 & remained there until the American Troops returned & was discharged at the end of one year after my enlistment at Mount Independence by General Gates. But I have lost my discharge. About the last half of my year’s service I was a Sergeant—I again served as a volunteer at Ticonderoga in the spring of 1777 about [illegible] months and in the autumn of 1777 I served as a volunteer at the capture of General Burgoyne—

I further depose & declare that I am a resident citizen of the United States & that from my reduced circumstances I need the assistance of my country for support.

April 21, 1818
[Signed] Zebulon Crain

United States
Vermont District
April 21, 1818 Sworn to before me
Elijah Paine Judge
of the Vermont District

I Elijah Paine Judge of the district court for the Vermont District, do certify that it appears to my satisfaction that the said Zebulon Crane did serve in the revolutionary war, as stated in the preceding declaration against the common enemy for the term of nine months on the continental establishment, and I now transmit the proceedings and testimony [illegible] I had before me to the Secretary for the Department of War, performed to the directions of the Act of Congress entitled An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the revolutionary war.

[Signed] Elijah Paine

The Department of Veterans Affairs. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty—Land—Warrant Application Files. (Rolls 601-800). Page 5.

On August 16, 1819 Elijah Paine provided information to Secretary for the Department of War on Zebulon's behalf; which included proof of service, an account of how he was injured near The Cedars and his need of support from the government.

I also transmit the declaration of Zebulon Crane with some proof of his services—with my certificate of circumstances. I believe there can be no doubt of his services—It has always been said and believed and I have no doubt of the fact that near The Cedars he had a single combat with and Indian in which he received a very bad wound from the Tomahawk but finally succeeded in killing the Indian.

The Department of Veterans Affairs. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty—Land—Warrant Application Files. (Rolls 601-800). Page 21.

I Elijah Paine Judge as aforesaid do certify to the Secretary for the Department of War, that I honor that the said Zebulon Crane is in very reduced circumstances and is in need of assistance from this Country of support—given under my hand August 16, 1819

[Signed] Elijah Paine

The Department of Veterans Affairs. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty—Land—Warrant Application Files. (Rolls 601-800). Page 6.

Zebulon testified in county court on July 4, 1820 as to his financial situation and the need of assistance from the U.S. government.

State of Vermont Orange County ss
On this 4th day of July 1820 personally appeared before the County Court for the County of Orange in open court, said court being a court of record agreeable to the laws of this state having the power of fine & imprisonment &c. Zebulon Crain aged 69 years resident in Brookfield in said County of Orange who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath declare that he served in the revolutionary war as follows. That he enlisted the first of January 1776 into Captain Jason Waits Company, Col. Beedles Regiment in the New Hampshire line and served one year and was discharged by Gen. Gates at Mount Independence. That he served his original declaration on the 21st day of March 1818 has received a Pension certificate No 14.997 and I do solemnly swear that I was a resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift sale or in any manner disposed of any property or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of The United States in the revolutionary war passed on the 18th day of March 1818. And that I have not nor has any person in trust for me any property of securities contracts or debts due to me nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and by me subscribed.

10 Sheep, 5 Chairs, Table, Loom, Chest of drawers and other articles to the amount of $1[?].73, [illegible] $20. in all $48.98.

I justly owe [illegible] $50.00

My occupation is a farmer and my family consists of myself very infirm not able to do any labor of consequence, my wife Rhoda aged 69 years not able hardly to help herself One daughter 41 years of age deaf dumb a cripple.

[Signed] Zebulon Crain

The Department of Veterans Affairs. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty—Land—Warrant Application Files. (Rolls 601-800). Page 4.