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First Name: Jacob

Last Name: Ford

Birthplace: Morristown, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Militia - Revolutionary War

Date of Birth: 19 February 1739

Date of Death: 10 January 1777


Years Served:
Jacob Ford, Jr.

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Jacob Ford, Jr.
Colonel, New Jersey Militia

Jacob Ford, Jr. was born on 19 February 1738 in Morristown, NJ, the second son and sixth child of eight, born to Jacob and Hannah Ford.

In 1762, he married Theodosia Johnes, the daughter of the local Presbyterian minister. They had five children. Ford's father gifted the couple a 200 acre tract in Morristown upon which they built what was, at the time, the largest house in town. He also owned two iron forges at Long Meadow and Middle Forge, as well as grist and hemp mills, and an iron furnace at Mount Hope, which he leased to Swiss iron master, John Jacob Faesh.

In 1765, he was elected sheriff and served for three years. In January of 1775, Ford was commissioned First Colonel of Militia of the Eastern Battalion of the Morris County Militia. In April he submitted plans to the New Jersey Committee of Safety for a gunpowder mill to be built near Morristown. He, in partnership with his father, was granted a loan for construction and the mill was in production by June. By September, his militia unit was on duty at Bergen Neck (present day Jersey City) during the battles for New York. From there, they were ordered to Elizabethtown (present day Elizabeth) and by November, he was named commander of Bergen, Essex, and Morris County militias.

By December, General Williamson, the overall commander of New Jersey State Militia, asked to resign his post, and recommended Ford as his replacement. In December, Ford led an attack against a larger British force at Springfield with 500 militia and routed them, taking only three casualties. The militia then returned to Morristown in order to recruit and began marching his new recruits to Chatham.

On 4 January 1977 he collapsed, ill with pneumonia, and was carried to his home. He died less than a week later at the age of 39. General George Washington, quartering in Morristown that winter, ordered a funeral with military honors for the militia Colonel. Delaware troops served as an honor guard. In a letter from Samuel to John Adams, he was referred to as "a leader…brave Colonel Ford, they followed him with alacrity."

Death and Burial

Colonel Jacob Ford, Jr. died on 10 January 1777 in Morristown, NJ, at age 39. He is buried at the First Presbyterian Churchyard in Morristown.


Honoree ID: 2504   Created by: MHOH




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