Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oath Of Peter W. Ruttan

An affidavit by Peter W. Ruttan regarding his knowledge of Captain James Cotter, as well as their service in the War of 1812, was found in the among the papers in the below petition:

Upper Canada Land Petitions
"C," Bundle 5 
County of Prince Edward
22 April 1850

Peter W. Ruttan's oath stated that he was "...with the late Captain James Cotter of Sophiasburgh Township, Prince Edward County" and was "...on duty in the War of 1812."

Some background on the Ruttans (there may have been a Peter Ruttan, Jr. and Sr.) as well as a story about surviving the Hungry Year (1787) in rural Canada:

The Ruttans were descended from a Huguenot, who settled in America about 1734. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Henry's father and his "Uncle Peter took up arms for the King (3rd Battalion of the Jersey Volunteers). [The Loyalist family moved to Canada] At the best of times, it was hard to get provisions in any little hamlet... .   
For instance, if the people at Adolphustown needed to get a barrel of pork or to have a sack of grain ground, they had to go all the way to Kingston. But in "the Hungry Year" the soldiers in the garrison were put on an allowance of a biscuit a day, so it was vain to look for help in that quarter. At last, in desperation, Peter Ruttan, who had saved some money from the sale of his captain's commission, sent two men all the way to Albany, in New York State, for four bushels of Indian corn. It was a perilous journey through the trackless woods deep in snow; but they returned in safety with the precious grain, and upon this, the milk of their cow, and the roots and berries they could gather in the woods, the family of eight persons lived till harvest. [Source]

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