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African American Revolutionary War Soldier Receives Pay from Connecticut
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[AFRICAN AMERICANA; AMERICAN REVOLUTION]. Two documents: Isaac Sherman, Document Signed, Certificate of Service for Job Leason, October 23, 1782. 1 p.; with: Abram Clark, Partially Printed Document Signed, Receipt, December 5, 1782, Hartford, Connecticut. 1 p.

Inventory #24657.01-.02       SOLD — please inquire about other items

Historical Background
The Pay-Table handled Connecticut’s military finances during the American Revolution. In these rare documents regarding an African American soldier, Lt. Col. Isaac Sherman certifies Job Leason’s service in the 8th Connecticut Regiment, and Leason asks the Pay-Table to deliver the order for his pay to the bearer. On December 5, Eleazer Wales ordered Treasurer John Lawrence to pay Leason. Abram Clark acknowledged receipt on Leason’s behalf.

Based on the latest studies, as many as 1,400 soldiers ‘of color’ fought in Connecticut’s Continental regimentsand statemilitias. Historians today believethat an estimated 6,000 to 7,500 Revolutionary War soldiersserving the American cause were of African, Native American, or mixed descent. Both enslaved and free People of Colorserved as soldiers, marines, artificers, laborers, and servants. In some cases, slaves were offered freedom when they enlisted, though others remained enslaved, fighting in place of their masters. Most fought with integrated units, but a few all-black units were also formed.

Job Leason(1756-1828) lived in Windham, Connecticut, and served in Colonel John Chandler’s Regiment of the Connecticut Line from April 1777 to April 1780, when he was discharged at Springfield, New Jersey. The regiment saw action in the Battle of Germantown, the siege of Fort Mifflin, and the Battle of Monmouth. Both he and his brother Jesse Leason were encamped at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778. Job Leason reenlisted in 1781 in a regiment commanded by Colonel Isaac Sherman, and then transferred to one commanded by Colonel Ebenezer Huntington. He was discharged at West Point, New York, in July 1783.

Leason’s first wife is believed to have been Zilpha Perkins, a daughter of London Perkins (1721 - 1799) a former slave who operated a tannery, and his wife Cate Perkins (ca. 1717/18 - 1813). [Zilpha’s parents had both been enslaved by Capt. John Perkins & his wife Lydia of Norwich; they were evidently free by 1786. Their eight children – some of whom retained the surname Perkins, while others adopted the surname Wilson – appear to all have been born into slavery and were all baptized in Lisbon’s church.] According to pension records Leason’s second wife was named Rosanna; they had no surviving children.

After 1808, Leason was feeble and was unable to do any work except basket making. By 1818, he was “very poor and destitute of property” and in need of “assistance for his support.” He began receiving a pension of $8 per month beginning in April 1818. Early in 1828, Leason appointed an agent to obtain a land warrant for his services as a soldier, but Leason died on May 28 before receiving the land grant.

Isaac Sherman(1753-1819) was born in New Haven, the third son of Roger Sherman, who is the only person to have signed the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. Isaac Sherman served as a captain in Samuel Gerrish’s Massachusetts regiment in May 1775 and as a captain in the 26th Continental Regiment in 1776. He served as lieutenant colonel of the 2nd and then 8th Connecticut Regiment. Upon the death of Colonel Giles Russell, Sherman commanded the regiment until January 1, 1781. In the reorganization of the Continental Line, Sherman commanded the 5th Connecticut until it was disbanded on January 1, 1783. In 1785, the Confederation Congress appointed him as an assistant surveyor for western lands.

Abram Clark served as a sergeant in Capt. Samuel Mattocks’ Company in Col. John Chandler’s Regiment in September 1777. He also served as a sergeant in the 7th Company of the 5th Connecticut Regiment, commanded by Isaac Sherman, in August 1782. He also apparently served as Baron von Steuben’s guard.

Condition: Very Good


Complete Transcripts

[Certificate of Service:]

This Certifies that Job Leason served in the late 8th Connecticut Regt previous to the 1st day of January 1781

23rd October 1782                                           Isaac Sherman Lieut Col Comdg


Gentlemen Please to Deliver your order on the Treasurer to the bearer for my service as above

23rd October 1782                                                  his

                                                                        Job  X  Leason


Committee Paytable
Witnesses Isaac Sherman Lt Col Comdg



                                                                        Hartford, Decemr 5th 1782

RECEIVED, of Pay-Table-Committee, their Order on the Treasurer of this State to secure the Payment of Six pounds ten shillings and six pence it being the Balance due to Job Leason on the first Day of January, 1781 as stated by the Committees of the State and of the Army.

                                                                        In behalf of Job Leason
£6..10..6                                                          Abram Clark