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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Morristown in Morris County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Ford Mansion

Morristown National Historical Park

 
 
Ford Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 9, 2018
1. Ford Mansion Marker
Inscription.
The Army is quartered within three Miles of this place, in the usual way of hutting. Head Quarters is in this Town, at the Widow Fords, at the great white House at the North end of the place.
Major General Nathaniel Greene, December 25, 1779

Jacob Ford Jr., a wealthy iron manufacturer, built this Georgian style home in the early 1770s. A colonel in the New Jersey militia, Ford died of pneumonia on January 10, 1777 while General George Washington’s Light Infantry quartered in his home. Washington directed the Light Infantry to provide Colonel Ford with a military funeral.

Nearly three years later, his widow Theodosia Ford allowed General Washington, his wife Martha, and his military family of five secretaries and eighteen servants to return to her home to use the Ford Mansion as their quarters from December 1779 to June 1780.

Eventually, General Marquis de Lafayette, and Spanish and French Ambassadors visited the home with their servants and secretaries. Including Mrs. Ford, her four children, and her servants, this house might have quartered over 300 people a night.

< Sidebar: >
History for Sale, History Preserved

When Mrs. Ford’s grandson died in 1872, no other Ford descendant was interested in living in the 100-year old Ford Mansion. Therefore, on June
Ford Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 9, 2018
2. Ford Mansion Marker
28,1873 the mansion was put up for public auction. Fearing that the Ford Mansion might be converted into a boarding house, or worse, four prominent men joined together at the auction to purchase it for $25,000.

In 1874, the four men, Theodore Randolph, N. Norris Halstead, George Halsey, and William Lidgerwood, formed the Washington Association of New Jersey (WANJ) to manage the property. With additional members joining throughout the years, the association preserved the Ford Mansion and operated it as a museum until 1933.

In 1933 the WANJ donated the Ford Mansion and its historical collections to the United States of America. Combined with the donations of Jockey Hollow by Lloyd W. Smith and Fort Nonsense by the township of Morristown, these gifts led to the creation of Morristown National Historical Park – the first designated “national historical park” in the National Park System.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 40° 47.781′ N, 74° 27.988′ W. Marker is in Morristown, New Jersey, in Morris County. Marker is on Morris Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the Ford Mansion. Marker is in this post office area: Morristown NJ 07960, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Marker in Morristown image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 9, 2018
3. Marker in Morristown
The Ford Mansion can be seen behind the marker.
are within walking distance of this marker. The Path to History (here, next to this marker); Continental Army Encampments at Morristown (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington’s Headquarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Washington’s Headquarters (was within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing. ); Washington’s Headquarters Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Powder Mill (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morristown.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker contains “An imagined scene of General Washington greeting his wife Martha Washington upon her December 1779 arrival to his Ford Mansion winter quarters.”
A photograph of the Ford Mansion second floor armory exhibit (circa 1920) appears in the sidebar.
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsWar, US Revolutionary
 
Ford Mansion, Washington's Headquarters image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 9, 2018
4. Ford Mansion, Washington's Headquarters
War Room in Ford Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 17, 2010
5. War Room in Ford Mansion
From December 1779 through June 1780, Gen. George Washington ran the Revolution from this room. Among those who visited Washington here were Alexander Hamilton, Gen. Anthony Wayne, Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr and the Marquis de Lafayette.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 9, 2018, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 86 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 9, 2018, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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