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Digital Collections: War of 1812 Pay Vouchers

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image of a pay voucher for John Wilson filed in the State Archives of North Carolina

Image: “Pay Voucher, John Wilson” State Archives of North Carolina

Many people research the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, but the War of 1812 doesn’t seem to get as much attention. North Carolina didn’t have as big of a role in the War of 1812 as some other states did, but there were still plenty of soldiers who fought from NC. In conjunction with the State Archives of North Carolina, the Government and Heritage Library has a digital collection for pay vouchers from the War of 1812.

A little about pay vouchers: The system was used to pay soldiers and in some cases those who gave supplies to the war effort. They were later redeemed for money. The vouchers were pre-printed forms with specific details like name, rank, and company filled in by hand. When a voucher was redeemed, a hole was punched through it, such as in the picture for this blog.

This database has approximately 5000 vouchers on it. Browsing the collection shows vouchers in order by first name. It shows the title (“Pay Voucher: [first name last name]), the year, the place of the militia company they served, and any additional notes such as their rank and/or which company they were in. The majority of soldiers who fought from NC were in state militia companies ordered to defend the coast (and many of those were from counties along the coastline) as well as companies ordered to meet in Wadesboro (county seat of Anson County).

If you are having trouble finding War of 1812 soldiers from North Carolina, send us a request and we will see what we can find in our published abstracts.

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