This pension application file does, however, call into question an often repeated claim in various books and articles that Thomas Mellen participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill. As is evident, Thomas was at Winter Hill in 1776, but makes no mention of Bunker Hill. Could it be that earlier historians and story tellers, lacking the technology to inspect closely each word of the declaration, confused Winter for Bunker? As it turns out, Winter Hill was Colonel John Stark's headquarters during the Siege of Boston and is located about a mile north of the end of the "Red Line" subway at 191 Main Street in what is now the city of Medford, Massachusetts. I visited Winter Hill in September of 2017. The home stands today pretty much as it was in 1776, and contains a small museum, albeit much less visited than the various Freedom Trail attractions such as the Bunker Hill Monument.
As time permits, I plan to transcribe additional letters on Thomas's pension file and post them on this blob. On my next trip to Vermont, I plan to visit Mount Independence.
Captain Emerson Corliss Declaration To Judge John Holton In Support of Thomas Mellen’s Pension Application, 29 July 1819
State of Vermont
At Bradford in Orange County aforesaid on this 29th day of July 1819 before me the subscriber one of the Judges of said Orange County court, personally appeared Emerson Corliss of Bradford aged 61 years and after being duly sworn by me according to Law, doth, on his oath make the following declaration that he was intimately acquainted with Thomas Mellen now an applicant for a pension and now present before me, in the revolutionary war, that he said Thomas Mellen belonged to Captain George Reed [Reid] Company in Colonel John Stark’s Reg of the New Hampshire line in the year 1776 and he has no doubt but that the said Thomas performed the services he has declared to and which he was with him at Winter Hill early in the spring, at Albany, & afterwards at Mount Independence late in the fall of the year 1776, which the J. Emerson Corliss was a soldier at the same time in Captain Benjamin Manns Company in Colonel James Reeds Regiment of New Hampshire Line and almost daily saw each other and further saith not.
Sworn to and declared before me this day year aforesaid
John Holton Judge Orange Co Court
I John Holton, Judge as aforesaid do certify that the above named Emerson Corliss is a person of truth and veracity and full faith is clear to what he declares.
John Holton Judge
Transcription copyrighted by Brian Hayes, 5 January 2018