Revolutionary War Pension File


Cato Copeland, b. 1758/d. 1827, was listed as a Free Person of Color in the census from 1790 in Craven Co.,North Carolina, to 1820 Halifax County. He alternately appeared in records as Cato/Cader/Kader/Keeder Copeland.

(transcribed by Deloris Williams from NARA Pension file WI7665)




 CATO COPELAND, Private in N. Carolina Line.“Inscribed on the Roll of North Carolina at the rate of EIGHT dollars per month, to commence on the 12th  of MAY 1818.”
Certificate of Pension issued the 20th of October 1818 and Sent to J.J. DANIEL, Esq. Judge, Halifax, NC

ARREARS TO 4TH OF SEPTEMBER 1818,                                  30.23
SEMI-ANL, AL’CE ENDING 4, MARCH 1819                              48.00
District of North Carolina, Halifax County , Superior Court of Law, October Term 1820.
On this 27th day of October in the year of our Lord, One thousand eight hundred and twenty personally appeared in open Court, being a Court of Record, Cader Copeland aged fifty years and made oath that he was attached as a private to Capt. Clem Hall’s Company in the Regiment commanded by Colonels Harvey and Clark, and that he has rec’d three pensions that is up to March last -  and the said  Cader Copeland further took and subscribed in open Court the following oath.   To wit -
“I Cader Copeland 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 otherwise disposed of any property or any part thereof with an intent whereby to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an Act of Congress entitled.   An act to provide 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, 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 -
1 tub, 1 pail, 1 old wheel, 2 old chairs, some plates, knives and forks, and a pot and that my family consists of myself and wife aged 60 years.”

Signed: Cader Copeland  (his mark = X)

Whereupon the Court is of opinion that the property mentioned in this foregoing schedule is of the value of five dollars -

A Copy Teste.
Signed: Elisha B. Smith, Clerk of the Court, aforesaid


State of North Carolina, Halifax County,
12th day of May, 1818

Cato Copeland personally appeared before me W. Daniel, one of the judges of the Superior Court of Law & Equity for the State aforesaid, who being by me duly sworn according to law, doth on this day make the following declaration in order to obtain the provisions made by the late Act of Congress entitled “An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land & naval services of the United States in the Revolutionary War”, that he this said Cato Copeland enlisted in the North Carolina Regiment & Battalion of Infantry,  Clement Hall, was his Captain of Company.  That he enlisted about the first day of  October in the year 1777 & that he continued to serve in the Corps until the capture of Charleston by the British where he was a prisoner, (and that) afterwards he joined the said Corps under Capt. Stewart & remained until the Treaty of peace, when he was discharged at Georgetown, South Carolina.  He states that he was a Continental Soldier for four years.  That he was at the Battle of Monmouth, Stony Point, & at the fall of Charleston, SC.  That he is palsied & utterly unable to work,  & has been on the parish of  Halifax for some time.  He is of the age of  Sixty years or thereabouts.  He is in reduced circumstances and stands in need of the assistance of his Country for support & that he has no other evidence of his services.
Sworn to and declared before me    -    W. Daniel - J.S.L.E.
Signed;  Cato Copeland  ( made his mark=  X)


I, Thomas Burges have known the above named Cato Copeland for many years & have always understood & believed that he was a soldier of the Revolutionary Army in the Continental Line, & I do further state that I heard that the Cato (next few words illegible)…Cato Copeland.
Signed:  T.Burges

Sworn to before me the 12th May 1818.
Signed: W. Daniel   - J.S.L.E.


State of North Carolina, Halifax County

On this 31st day of November 18hundred forty-two personally appeared before me John Alston one of the acting Magistrates and a member of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in and for said County and State -to being a court of Record-  Mrs. Nancy Copeland a resident of the aforesaid County & State aged Eighty-six years.  Who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress passed July 4th, 1836.  That she is the widow of Cato Copeland who was a private in the North Carolina Continental Line in the Revolutionary War and drew a Pension under Act of 1818 at the rate of ninety-six Dollars per anum commencing abt 1818, who lived in Halifax County, NC.
She further declar’d that she was married to the said Cato Copeland on the 16th day of December in the year Seventeen hundred seventy Eight.  That her husband the aforesaid Cato Copeland died in the year 1827 -  and that she has remaind a widow ever since that period as will more fully appear by reference to the proof  hereunto annexed.

Sworn to and subscribed on the day and year above written before John Alston, State of North Carolina, Halifax County

Signed: Nancy Copeland (her mark = X)

I certify that Nancy Copeland who hath this day sworn to & subscribed the above declaration is a credible person and to be believed on oath.  I also certify that she is by reason of bodily infirmity unable to attend court to make her said declaration and I further certify that she is the widow of the Identical Cato Copeland as named within that drew a Pension as stated.  That they lived together as husband and wife up to the time of said Copeland’s death and that she has never since married.   Given under my hand and set this 21st day of November 1842
Signed: John Alston


State of North Carolina
Halifax County

I, James Simmons, Clerk of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, for said County in said State certify that John Alston, Esq. Whose signature appears to the foregoing Declaration & certificate is a Magistrate, as above, duly commissiond & quallefied -
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal of office at Office in Halifax ths 22nd day of Nov. A.D. 1842
Signed: Jas. Simmons, Clk


I, Allen King of Warren County N.Carolina certify on oath that I knew Cato Copeland & his wife Nancy -whose maiden name was Mitchell- for a great many years, & lived a near neighbour to them in the County of Halifax, N.Carolina & that they always lived together as husband & wife up to the period of said Cato Copeland’s death, which occurred some fifteen years past.
I further certify that I know that the said Copeland was a Revolutionary Pensioner at the time he died and that Nancy Copeland his widow has never married since his death.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 2nd day of January 1843.

Signed:  Allen King   (made his mark= X)

Signed:  Jno. P. Shearin

State of N.Carolina,
Warren County
I certify that Allen King who hath this day sworn to and subscribed the foregoing certificate is a creditable man & is to be believed on oath-  Given under my hand and seal this 2nd day of Jan’y 1843
Signed: Jno. P. Shearin

I, Marcellus J. Montgomery, Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for the County of Warren in the State of North Carolina, certify that John P. Shearin, Esquire, whose signature appears to the within affidavit was and is one of the acting Justices of the Peace in and for said County and the signature purporting to be his is a genuine signature.  Therefore due forth and credit should be given to all his official acts.
In testimony whereof I have set my hand and affix my seal of office at Office in Warrenton this 11th day of January A.D. 1843.
Signed: M. J. Montgomery, Clk





(Filed with the Pension Application)


Know all men by these presents that we Cato Copeland and John Williams are held and firmly bound unto this Juror of North Carolina or his successor in office in the sum of five hundred pounds for which sum pay I well and truly to be made. We bind ourselves, our heirs and firmly by these presents dated the eleventh day of December Ano Domini Seventeen hundred Seventy eight. The condition of the above Obligation is such that whereas there is a Marriage shortly to be solemnized and had between the above bound Cato Copeland and Nancy Mitchel. Now if their be no lawful cause to obstruct the said Marriage then the above obligation to be void else to remain in full force power and virtue.
Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Zadock Carliss

Cato Copeland (his mark x)
John Williams (seal)

State of North Carolina
Halifax County

I, James Simmons, Clerk of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for said County in said State certify that the foregoing is a tru and exact copy of a Marriage Bond of Cato Copeland to marry Nancy Mitchell found on file in my office with the exception of the dated which on wills in the original thus 11th December 1778, in fair legible figures as above expressed, To Wit December 11, Eighteen (crossed out?) hundred Seventy Eight.



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