The ready availability of Revolutionary War pension records online gives us a glimpse of life in the early 19th century. Pension applicants were required to submit an inventory of their belongings and show they had no other sources of income. One thing I find quite striking is the limited amount of personal possessions these pensioners list in their inventories. My 6th great-grandfather owned 7 things other than the clothes on his back and possibly some bedding. The inventory of Elisha Houghton equals $43.38 in 2012 dollars! He was awarded a pension of $48 semi-annually and back pension pay of $31.76. The semi-annual amount is $893.72 in 2012 dollars.
So how did Elisha Houghton earn his pension? He fought in the Revolutionary War and was at Bunker Hill and Stillwater. Then he re-enlisted for three years in the 15th Massachusetts (Bigelow's regiment) under the command of Capt. Joshua Brown. He took part in the battles of Monmouth and Newport and was at Valley Forge. The Battle of Monmouth is where Molly Pitcher gained fame.
Apparently he lost his gun at Bunker Hill because it is reported that he petitioned for remuneration for loss of a gun taken from him while assisting wounded men from the field June 17, 1775. I have no idea if he got the money for the gun or not.
That I am by occupation a labourer that I am not able to labour that the number of my family residing with me is none
|Bunker Hill Monument|
|Battle of Monmouth|
|Battle of Bunker Hill|
Elisha Houghton - 6th great-grandfather
Moses Houghton - 5th great-grandfather
Sally Houghton - 4th great-grandmother
Florilla Dunham - 3rd great-grandmother
Nina King Ellingwood - 2nd great-grandmother
Annie Florilla Ellingwood - great-grandmother
Fern Lyndell Cotton - grandmother