Larkin Benjamin Mays Pension


On August 15, 1812 in Kingston, Roane Co, TN, Larkin enlisted in the 24th Regiment of the army regulars. Larkin was wounded in the left foot and was discharged in April 1813. Larkin spent time at Fort Massac, Metropolis, IL, recuperating from his wound. In 1854 Larkin moved to Illinois with his son James Rufus, daughter Minerva, and her husband James Hamlet. In 1864 Larkin applied for and received a pension. At that time he was living in Sandoval, IL, with Minerva. Larkin was listed as being retired and blind. Larkin died on Feb 3 1866 and is buried in IL.

Letter by Larkin Mayse (Larkin Benjamin Mays) Source: Charles Lee Mays - Desc June the 4th 1864
Mr. Joseph H. Barret Commissioner

Dear Sir i recieved your letter the 19th of May informing me that in order to procure pension i must prove my first service and honable discharge and i do not claim to be in service any longer than that on
account of not being able to stand the March to canday and the taken me up Ohio near to a settlement and thure capt Butler fave me a bill of directions to get out now must i miss getting pension or part of pension on account of my disability to stand the march when i was just as willing a man as there was

i could not stay at fort massac by myself no i coud not go along

I should not tried to procure any pension if it had not bin for my neighburs since i have bin blind and not able to make my living & my children has all gone but too & they are not able to keep me, i have been blind nearly ten year and i was raised by a revolutioner, bin raised true to my contry & i raised my family so to.

Ansure this if you pleas

Sandoval Illinois Larken Mayse


Black Hawk War Story:

Story told in Phillips family as recollected by Earl C Phillips at age 91. ( 19 June 1982)

Larkin Mays was lost in the woods during the Blackhawk War. For six days he wandered around in circles and had only berries to eat. Larkin finally wandered into an Indian camp. The men were all gone but the women in the camp fed Larkin. One Indian woman took a piece of deer meat, put her bare foot on one end of it and tore off a piece which she threw in the pot. Larkin said that was the best meat he had ever eaten.

In the Phillips family the story is told that James Mays, son of Larkin, married in North Carolina and came to Southern Illinois. No mention was made about Larkin and most family members was unaware of his existence.