Adam Upperman ( Opperman ) is listed among the Hessians who signed the Oath of Allegiance in the State of Pennsylvania between 1777 and 1789. This list was taken from the book by Thompson Westcott, “Names of Persons Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania between the Years 1777 and 1789, with A History of the “Test Laws” of Pennsylvania.”3
The Hessian soldiers were mercenary soldiers that were employed by the English to fight for the British's goal of squashing the spirit of American independence. They were hired in units, not as individuals and deployed by their princes in Germany. They received wages, but the prince of their respective states received most of the funds; Britain found it easier to borrow money to pay for their service than to recruit its own soldiers 7
A mercenary soldier usually have no ties to any country. Wikipedia defines them as " soldier who fights, or engages in warfare primarily for private gain, usually with little regard for ideological, national or political considerations. However, when the term is used to refer to a soldier in a regular national army, it is usually considered an insult, epithet or pejorative." A response from a moderator5 on the genealogy mailing list at roots web ( AMREV-HESSIANS-L) said that the term as used in the Declaration of Independence, WAS USED AS AN INSULT. It did not correctly name these soldiers, and it was because of this insult that some families hid their Hessian ancestors
After the war ended in 1783, 17,313 Hessians returned to their homelands with about 5000 remaining in America.
Adam Opperman , born in 1757 in Hachborn, Hesse-Kassel,Germany, did not go back. Four years previously, he served in the Hesse-Kassel Jäger Corps and while marching through with his troop through New Jersey, he fled and deserted them. He married an American girl, pledge allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania and became a Patriot.
A "Patriot" was someone in the Colonies who fought for our independence from the King of England. (There is an addition to this, which was a person who assisted in some other way can also be considered a patriot.) Taken from Hessians who signed the Oath of Allegiance in the State of Pennsylvania 1
Aug. 6, 1782
Francis Otto, deserted the Brittish Service about 4 years, a Hessian; by trade a book-binder.
Johannes Parkmann, deserted the Brittish Service & Hessian Line about one year; by trade a tanner & currier.
Johann Bishop, deserted the Brittish Service & Hessian Line about one year; by trade a Shoemaker.
Adam Opperman, deserted the enemy & Hessian line about 4 years; by trade a Weaver.
William Garman (his mark), a Hessian deserter from New York; Labourer.
Merz, Johannes Helmut. Guide to help you find your Hessian soldier of the American revolution [Hamilton, Ont. : J.H. Merz, 2001]
His surname was Americanized to " Upperman" shortly after he swore allegiance to Pennsylvania in 1782.
- Thompson Westcott, “Names of Persons Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania between the Years 1777 and 1789, with A History of the “Test Laws” of Pennsylvania.”.
- Merz, Johannes Helmut. Guide to help you find your Hessian soldier of the American revolution [Hamilton, Ont. : J.H. Merz, 2001]
- Nelda Percival is the web moderator of the AMREV-HESSIAN MAILING LIST WEBSITE.
- Merz,Johannes Helmut Deserters of the Hesse-Kassel Fields- Jaeger Corps, in Hessian Guide:Hessians remaining in America [Johannes Helmut Merz, 72 , 2005, Secondary quality].