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Transcribed and Submitted by Deloris Williams

(William Taborn, sometimes spelled as Taburn, Tabor, Tabourn, or Tayborn, was listed in the Census records as a Free Colored Person or Mulatto. Among some of the records he was listed in were the 1778 Militia Returns of Captain Satterwhite’s Company in Granville County, made entry for 150 acres on Fishing Creek on May 29, 1778 in Granville County, included in the 1784 Granville County Tax List, and was listed in the 1810 Granville County Census as head of household with 8 Other Free. He was married to Nelly Evans of Bute County, North Carolina in 1778, who was probably a daughter of Major Evans of that County. I have transcribed the pension below with the spelling intact, but with a few words which were in question, for which I have indicated the same in square [ ] brackets.)

(says Colored on file)

WILLIAM TABURN SENR. Of Granville, in the State of North Carolina
Who was a Private in the Compy Commanded by
CAPTAIN SAUNDERS of the Regt. Commanded by
COL. TAYLOR in the N. Carolina line for 10 months 10 days

Inscribed on the Roll of North Carolina
at the Rate of 34 dollars 44 cents per annum
to commence on the 4th day of March 1831.
Certificate of Pension issued the 7 Day of Feby

Arrears to the 4th Sept 1833 - $86.10
Semi-annual Allowance ending 4 March 1834 - 17.22

Widow of WILLIAM TABOUR who died of the 4th February 1835
Of Warren in the State of N. Ca.
Who was a Private in the Compy Commanded by
CAPTAIN SAUNDERS of the Regt. Commanded by
COL. TAYLOR in the N. Carolina line for 9 months & 10 days
Inscribed on the Roll of Fayetteville at the rate of
31 Dollars and 10 Cents per annum to commence
On the 4th day of February 1835.

Certificate of Pension issued the 26th day of November 1845
And sent to J.W. WHITE, Warrenton, N.C.
Arrears to the 4th Sept.1845                - $329.88
Semi-annual allowance ending 11 Mar  - $  15.55


In order to obtain the benefit of the 3d Section of the Act of Congress of the 4th July 1836 State of North Carolina, Warren County
Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions May Term 1845

On this 26th day of May 1845 personally appeared before the Court NELLY TABURN a resident of this County & State aged 83 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 WILLIAM TABURN SR who was a private in the No. Carolina Militia in the Revolutionary War, who was a pensioner of the adjoining County of Granville NC. That was placed on the Pension Roll under the Act of June 7, 1832 at the rate of $34.44 per annum. She further declared that she was married to the sd WILLIAM TABURN SR. on the 2nd day of January 17 hundred and Seventy eight (1778). That her husband the aforesaid WILLIAM TABURN SR. died on the 4th day of February 1835 and that she has remained a widow ever since that period as well more fully appears by reference to the proof hereunto annexed.
Sworn to and subscribed to on the day and year first above written before


NELLY TABURN (her mark)

A copy-------

North Carolina State

Know all men by these presents that we WILLIAM TABURN & JOHN WATSON of Bute County in the State aforesaid are held and firmly bound unto RICHARD CASWELL Esq. Governor & Captain General in & over the said state in the sum of Five hundred pounds proc To which payment well & truly to be made to the said RICHARD CASWELL and his successors, we bind ourselves, our heirs Exrs & Admrs jointly and severally firmly by these presents Sealed with our Seals, and dated this first day of January 17 hundred and Seventy eight – the condition of the above obligation is such that whereas a License hath issued out of the Clerks office of the said County for a Marriage Shortly to be solemnized & had between the above bound WILLIAM TABURN & NELLY EVANS both of the above County. Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage then the above obligation to be void else to remain in full power force & virtue


Signed & Sealed in presence of

State of NC
Warren County

I MARCELLUS J. MONTGOMERY Clerk of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for said County in said State do certify that foregoing is a true & exact copy of the Marriage Bond of WILLIAM TABURN to marry NELLY EVANS found on file in my office with the exception


In order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed 7th June A.D. 1832

State of North Carolina
Granville County
Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, August Term A.D. 1832

On this 10th day of August A.D. 1832 personally appeared in open court before MAURICE SMITH, JAMES WYCH, & LEWIS GREEN member of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of the County and State aforesaid now sitting

WILLIAM TABURN SENR a freeman of color who was born in Northampton County in the State of North Carolina on the North side of Roanoke river his father name was WILLIAM TABURN and his mother was JUDEY ALLEN his age he is unable to state nor does he know whether any Register was ever made of his age who is now very poor and decrepid and is almost blind barely able to distinguish day from night and an inmate of the Poorhouse of Granville County who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.

That he entered into the Continental service of the United States when he was about the age of twenty or twenty one years under JAMES SAUNDERS as Captain his other Company officers he cannot recollect but he remembers that COL. WILLIAM TAYLOR commanded the Regiment The other field officers he cannot recollect. He entered the service by enlistment for two years and a half. The destination of the detachment to which I belonged was for Wilmington, North Carolina and our place of rendesvoux was in Williamsborough in this County. Here we were mustered for a short time, and as soon as preparation could be made the company marched off to Wilmington. There being great difficulty in procuring baggage waggon for this company and I owning a pretty good one and team and the departure of the company being delayed for want of a waggon I was importiencd again and again to let my waggon go with them, but I felt great repugnance to this course but COL. TAYLOR and CAPT. SAUNDERS joining an entreaty to effect this object I at length consented and accepted their proposal to discharge me from any term of enlistment on condition of sending my waggon to carry the baggage. But I had some difficulty in getting a driver; by arrangement with said officers a man by the name of JOHN DAVIS who also had a waggon to accompany the soldiers agreed to and did take charge of my waggon upon condition I would tend and cultivate his crop for him in his absence. This contract was fully and honestly complied with on my part and DAVIS took my waggon and CAPT. BENJAMIN HESTER drove his waggon went with the detachment and brought my waggon back and delivered it to me. I cannot state the day, month, or year in which these occurrences took place but it was at an early period of the Revolution. I never took any discharge or written evidence of this service - I don’t know of any person now living by whom these facts can be proved. I next engaged by draft in a southern tour of five (5) months service under RICHARD TAYLOR as Captain the other officers and field officers I am unable to recollect- we marched from Oxford Granville County by Cross Creek now Fayetteville to Charleston SC or near to it, we thence marched to the river Savannah and joined the American army –I am unable to recollect who was the commander in chief but I rather think that COL. LYTTLE was the Colonel of the Regiment to which I belonged. This circumstance recurs to my memory from the fact that COL. LYTTLE had me put under guard for a whole day for getting drunk and cursing him. While in service in that country engagement took place between the British and our men. They were too hard for us and we had to retreat indeed or were routed & put to flight – and I made the best of my way home. On my arrival at home I found my captain had been returned before me – the precise time I was in actual service I do not know but it could be much short of the Term of Draft- I rather think but am not certain that while on this tour, we engaged in an additional Term of service but of this I cannot speak with recollection – I rather think the battle in which the Americans were routed as before spoken of was that of Briar Creek.

My next Tour of duty was again by Drafts from Granville County under the command of JONES FULLER Captain, THOMAS BRADFORD leuftenant, and BLAKE MAULDER Ensign - CAPT. FULLER had received a wound in his instep and became unable to travel and SHADRACK PARRISH took the command of our company. We marched to Hillsborough & were then put under the command of COL. FARMER[?], LEUFTENANT COLONEL HARRISON & MAJOR SHARPE.

My memory is refreshed as to this last part and that of PARRISH taking the place of FULLER by talking with THOMAS JORDAN a soldier who served in the same company with me – from Hillsborough we marched through Salisbury to the Catawba about Bratus ford and joined our army under GENL. DAVIDSON – the enemy were on the opposite bank of the River – I was stationed at Cocrassford[?] when the attempt was made to cross the river at this place as well as at Bratusford three miles above – I was stationed very near GENERAL DAVIDSON who rode upon a black horse when he received the ball that put a period to the life of the ablest, kindest & best officer that ever commanded an army. As soon as he was struck by the ball he called out ‘Help me down, Boys, I am a dead man – give the mare to the men at the Island and above” and expired. We were soon thrown[?] into confusion by the death of our beloved general the Enemy took advantage of it, crossed the river, overpowered our men and put us to flight- we scampered for life and made our way as well as we could to the Widow TORRANCE’s land where we were stopped & formed into order of battle by our company & field officers. It was raining like a torrent – TARLTON with his light horse pursued and here overtook and charged upon us - our guns were so wet we could not discharge them and we were all put to flight in the utmost confusion – I ran and escaped as well as I could – I fell in with an old horse without saddle or bridle and was enabled to get hold of & mounted him – I traveled that day and night and near day stopped at a house to get something for my horse and myself to eat – I was there informed that I was only about twelve miles in a northwest direction from the Widow TORRANCE’s low land where we had been beaten & put to flight – I then bent my course so as to escape the enemy & coming near to but north of Salisbury learned that the enemy ha just passed through that town- I decided my course up the river and crossed the Yadkin high up and passed long through Salem thence a winding and crooked course so as to avoid the enemy until I got entirely clear of them and then struck a direct course toward home – shortly after my return home I was attacked by sickness and was unable to join company under my captain who had crossed Dan River passed down the Roanoke, crossed over at Taylor’s Ferry & had come on to Harrisburg – Being too unable to travel I remained at home when they marched to Hillsborough. In a short time I was so much improved in health and strength that I set out to join the army and at Johnson’s old store on Little River I met the remnant or a part of our company returning home – I was informed by them that as the term of service was within a few days of expiring, and there was great demand for arms to supply the new recruits who had joined the army without arms, & were discharged. I returned with them and in a few days afterwards we heard of the Battle of Guilford.

In the Summer of 1787 I performed another tour of three months duty by draft I was commanded by WM HARGROVE SEARCY Captain the other officers I cannot recollect We were drafted and marched from Oxford in Granville County to Hillsborough thence to Cross Creek, from which place GENL BUTLER marched us to the Raft Swamp in the neighbourhood of which the enemy consisting of British & Tories were collected in considerable force.

After being in service some time CAPT. SEARCY obtained a furlow or discharge and left the Army and I took his rifle – shortly after I was selected by GENERAL BUTLER as a cook and continued in that character until I was discharged which was upon the reception of news of the capture & surrender of the British Army under CORNWALLIS at Yorktown – If I ever took a discharge, which I believe I did not, it is lost or mislaid.

FOWLER JONES, HARRIS HICKS, EDWARD JONES SENR, JAMES HASKINS & WILLIAM HARGROVE SEARCY are the only persons living that I know of who served in this campaign with me.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of any State or territory.

Sworn to and subscribed the day & date first above stated in open court


And the said Court do hereby declare their opinion after investigating the matter as described by the War Department that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary soldier and served as he states. And the Court further certifies that it appears to them that THOMAS JORDAN & FOWLER JONES who have signed the preceding certificate are residents of Granville County aforesaid that they are credible persons & that their statement is entitled to credit.

JAMES WYCHE chrm’n. pro tem

JACOB ANDERSON makes oath that he is a citizen of Granville County and was born, resided and has always resided in it. That he is now and was during the Revolutionary War well acquainted with WILLIAM TABURN SENR. that he lived within a few miles of him the said TABURN when he enlisted in Continental service for two and a half years - this affiant testifies that he knows that said TABURN had found a waggon and team and that it was sent as a baggage waggon with the soldiers – that TABURN had enlisted with from Williamsborough – that said waggon was in the charge of JOHN DAVIS who also had a waggon in the service of the Army – That BENJAMIN HESTER Captain then a young man, drove the waggon of said DAVIS and DAVIS drove the waggon of said TABURN – that said TABURN tended the crop of said DAVIS while he was gone with the waggon a large black stud horse and a large Roan stud horse.


(Transcribed by Deloris Williams from microfilmed copy M805, Roll 787 of Pension files)

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