Morristown National Historical Park


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 press was the mass medium of the eighteenth century, the only way to bring both news and commentary to a broad public audience. The popularity of newspapers soared in Revolutionary America: By the late 1780s, the United States had about ninety-five newspapers, over twice the number at the time of independence. Moreover, the newspapers of 1776 were weeklies, but those of 1787 we often published two or three times a week. There were even a few that appeared daily to satisfy the hungry reading public.

Pauline Maier
Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787—1788 (2010)