Morristown National Historical Park

Morristown
NJ

Ford Mansion

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The park preserves 1,700 acres that the Continental Army occupied from 1779 to 1780. General Washington chose the site for its geographical and topographical advantages — plus it was not far from New York City, which was occupied by the British.

There are over 27 miles of hiking trails as well as houses used as military headquarters by Washington and General Arthur St. Clair; includes visitor center, library and archives.

The park includes:

  • Ford Mansion
    As one of the finest homes in Morristown, Washington accepted an invitation by Mrs. Ford to use the mansion as his headquarters. Washington brought with him his aides-de-camp and servants, leaving Mrs. Ford and her four young children with only two rooms of the house.

  • Jockey Hollow
    Of the 1,000 log huts that were built to precise specifications beginning December 1779, there are now five replicas. The winter of 1779—80 was the worst winter in New Jersey in 100 years — much worse than the winter of 1777—78 at Valley Forge. There were at least 20 snowstorms that cut supply lines, for food, clothes, shoes ...

  • Wick Farm
    The large farm, containing 1,400 acres of timber and fields, served as the winter quarters for approximately 13,000 soldiers. The comfortable farmhouse served as the headquarters for General Arthur St. Clair.

The failure of the Loyalists to flock to the royal standard cannot be understood without appreciating how effectively they had been locked down and neutralized by the patriots. Loyalists could not buy, sell, or bequeath property or other assets. They were barred from all legal recourse to recover debts or redress any other injury. They could not practice law or teach unless they had taken an oath of allegiance to the cause. They could not be executors of estates or be a guardian to a child. Any person who wrote, or spoke, or by any act libeled or defamed Congress ... should be brought to trial.

Michael Stephenson
Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (2007)