Pension Application of Rowland Harris

Pension Application of Rowland Harris, son of Edward Harris: R4649:

Transcribed by C. Leon



State of South Carolina} SS

District of Richland}


On this nineteenth day of November in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty personally appeared in open court now sitting, before the Judge of the Court of Ordinary within & for the District & State aforesaid Rowland Harris a resident of Richland District in the state of South Carolina aged sixty one 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 the (sic) provision made by the Act of Congress passed July 7 1838 entitled "An Act granting half pay & pensions to certain widows" & of the Acts of  3d March 1843, 17th March 1844 and such other Acts & resolutions as relate to such Class of widows. That he is the son & heir at law of Clarissa Harris deceased who was the widow of Edward Harris deceased who entered the service of the United States under the following named officers & served as herein stated. That said Edward Harris was a regularly enlisted soldier in the Third South Carolina Continental Regiment Commanded by Colonel William Thompson (sic: also spelled William Thomson) and in the Company Commanded by Captain Richard Brown: That among his Comrades in said service & from the same neighborhood were Gideon Griffin, Morgan Griffin, Berry, Allen & Osburn Jeffers and his cousin, Drury Harris: That his said father Edward Harris deceased aforesaid having served three years in said company & Regiment for which he enlisted returned to his home in what is now Richland District South Carolina: That among the battles of which Deponent recollects hearing his said father speak of having been engaged in were those of Savannah, Georgia, Camden, Stono (sic: Stono Ferry SC), Charleston, Eutaw (sic: Eutaw Springs SC), Monkís Corner (sic: Monckís Corner SC), Cowpens, & Hanging Rock: That neither of his said parents could read or write, but that Deponentís mother Clarissa Harris decíd, aforesaid, spoke of having the Grant of Land made to her said husband for his services in the Revolutionary War & of keeping it until she worn it out & thrown it away: That his said mother being illiterate, poor and destitute as a widow after the death of his said father about the year 1830, did not know that she was entitled to a pension, both parents being free persons of color: That his said mother Mrs. Clarissa Harris deceased after the death of her said husband continued the widow of said Edward Harris until her death on the fifteenth day of September A.D. 1848: He further declares that said Clarissa Harris decíd. was married to the said Edward Harris deceased on the [blank] day of [blank] in the year seventeen hundred and about eighty seven as this deponent being sixty one years of age must have been born in the year 1789 & his brother Jacob being older by one year at least: That her husband the aforesaid Edward Harris decíd. died on the [blank] day of [blank] about the year 1830: That said Clarissa was not married to him prior to his leaving the service, but the marriage took place previous to the first of January seventeen hundred & ninety four, viz, on or about the time above stated: That the Deponent has a record of his own birth, but that is father & mother aforesaid had no family record showing the births of their childern or their date of their marriage: Sworn to and subscribed on the day & year above written (signed) Rowland Harris


Before me}

James S. Guignard}

Judge Court of Ordinary}



Edward Harris was probably a free African-American. The Richlands District SC census for 1830 listed his brother Jacob

Harris and his cousin Drury Harris as "Free Colored Persons" aged 55-100, the census for 1840 listed Clarissa Harris as a

"Free Colored Person" aged 55 -100, and the 1850 census listed Roland Harris as a mulatto age 55. It is not credible that Edward Harris served in all the battles listed by his son, since the SC Third Reg. was surrendered and dissolved at the fall of Charleston on 12 May 1780. Allen Jeffers (S1770) and Morgan Griffin (S18844), free blacks Rowland Harris claimed his

father served with (though he is not mentioned in their pension applications), stated that their three-year enlistment expired

while he was at the siege of Charleston in 1780, then the correct year of his enlistment would have been 1777 rather than

1778. His enlistment having expired, the British apparently paroled him as a civilian.