War of 1812 Widow's Pension, No. 2028, for Betsey Leland, widow of Sherman Leland, a Captain with the 34th Infantry at Fort Sullivan at Eastport, Maine, on Moose Island. The pension awarded Betsey $8 a month.
Signatures on the front of the document, which measures approximately 12" by 9":
Signatures on the reverse of the document
- Charles A. Phelps, Esq., Pension Agent
- John Mayhew, Clerk
A month later Fort Sullivan was captured by a British fleet, whereupon Leland left to settle at Roxbury, Massachusetts. Moose Island was held by the British until 1818, when it returned to U.S. control.
At Roxbury, Massachusetts, Leland again practiced law and served in both houses of the Massachusetts Legislature; he was president of the Massachusetts Senate in 1828 and 1829. In 1830, he was appointed Judge of Probate for Norfolk County and served in this capacity until his death in 1853.
More information on Sherman Leland comes from a brief biography published in a Maine State Bar Association publication in 1922.
During his term at Fort Sullivan, Leland was one of a group of officers disenchanted with their commanding officer, George Ulmer. Ulmer was ultimately discharged and felt he had been unfairly maligned, especially by Leland. Eventually, Ulmer managed to have his rank restored, in name only, thanks to his acquaintance with Maine Congressman Richard Cutts. Cutts was married to Dolly Madison's younger sister Anna Payne Cutts, and arranged for Ulmer to have an audience with President Madison, who proved sympathetic to the difficulties Ulmer had faced in trying to rein in the flourishing smuggling industry in the border area of Maine and New Brunswick.
More information on the dispute between George Ulmer and Sherman Leland and on smuggling in the Passamaquoddy Bay area:
- Major Philip M. Ulmer: A Hero of the American Revolution, written by Patricia M. Hubert and published in 2014. The book includes much information on George Ulmer, who was Philip's brother.
- Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalist and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783-1820, written by Dr. Joshua M. Smith and published in 2006
Sherman Leland was born at Grafton, Massachusetts [or at Cambridge, Massachusetts], on March 29, 1783, the son of Eleazer and Elizabeth (Sherman) Leland. On October 13, 1811 at Roxbury, Massachusetts, Sherman Leland married Elizabeth Adams, "Betsey", daughter of Andrew Adams, Jr., and Lucy (Merriam) Adams.
Sherman and Betsey (Adams) Leland had, I believe, three sons: Edwin Leland; Henry Leland; and William Sherman Leland. Sherman Leland died November 19, 1853 at Roxbury, Massachusetts; Betsey died November 28, 1878 at Somerville, Massachusetts. They're buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.