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E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Washington’s Headquarters National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Morristown National Historical.

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Presentation on theme: "E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Washington’s Headquarters National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Morristown National Historical."— Presentation transcript:

1 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Washington’s Headquarters National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Morristown National Historical Park

2 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Ford Mansion Welcome! Experience George Washington’s critical headquarters from December 1779 to June 1780.

3 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A What happened at the Ford Mansion? The Ford Mansion is located in Morristown. Morristown was the site of a number of major encampments for the Continental Army in the American Revolution. Eighteenth-century armies camped for the winter due to transportation problems. General Washington statue in front of Ford Mansion

4 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Why is the Ford Mansion important? For the winter encampment of , the army rented the Ford Mansion for General Washington and his large staff. Despite living in the finest house in town, both the civilians and officers living here made sacrifices and shared in the hardships of this winter camp.

5 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Why was Morristown a strategic location? The American leadership was attracted by Morristown’s defensible terrain, important communication routes, access to critical resources, and the supportive community. George Washington approved Morristown as the site for the main Continental Army encampment during two winters (1777, ) of the War for Independence. Fort Nonsense overlooking Morristown

6 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Ford Mansion In 1779, Morristown was a small city of about 250 residents and 70 buildings. In 1779, Morristown was a small city of about 250 residents and 70 buildings. General Washington and his wife, 5 aides-de-camp, approximately 18 servants including slaves, and a number of foreign and domestic guests settled at the mansion for about six months. General Washington and his wife, 5 aides-de-camp, approximately 18 servants including slaves, and a number of foreign and domestic guests settled at the mansion for about six months. The military sought permission, as well as paid the widow Mrs. Theodosia Ford for their stay. The military sought permission, as well as paid the widow Mrs. Theodosia Ford for their stay. Her husband, Col. Jacob Ford Jr., commander of the Morris County Militia, died from pneumonia in January of Her husband, Col. Jacob Ford Jr., commander of the Morris County Militia, died from pneumonia in January of Where did the Continental Army stay?

7 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Jockey Hollow While the devoted General and his persistent staff tirelessly labored to command the weak Army, about 10,000 to 13,000 Continental troops struggled to survive in Jockey Hollow amidst the worst winter in the 18th century. This wooded area is about five miles south of Washington’s Headquarters. The Pennsylvania Line was one of the units that encamped in Jockey Hollow.

8 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Ford Mansion This imposing Georgian style mansion was constructed for Jacob Ford Jr. and his family in Why was the Ford family wealthy? Business ventures included: iron mine iron mine iron forges iron forges grist mill grist mill hemp mill hemp mill gun powder mill gun powder mill farms farms

9 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The Foyer Prior to Washington’s stay, the Ford family could have used this corridor for reading, conversation, sewing or entertaining. This passage served as a waiting room for visitors and guests for the duration of General Washington’s stay.

10 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Military Office The Parlor served as the “Pentagon” or Command Post for the Continental Army.

11 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Military Office The constant activity in this room involved: conferences, diplomacy, correspondences, records and military strategy.

12 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Statistical records of American troops and supplies reflected consistent shortages of men and provisions. Military Office

13 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Private Study General Washington continuously composed appeals to the Continental Congress and civilian authorities, desperately asking for needed provisions.

14 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Private Study General Washington was a firm leader and true patriot. He did not accept pay for his position as Commander-In-Chief.

15 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Washington’s Bedroom General Washington saw his home at Mt. Vernon for approximately twelve days altogether during the entire eight-year war.

16 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Washington’s Bedroom The only predicable way for Mrs. Washington to see her husband was to visit every winter camp.

17 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Aides-de-camp Rooms Among the officers that quartered and labored in this room was Washington’s youngest staff member, Alexander Hamilton, age 23 in 1780.

18 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Aides-de-camp Rooms Important guests from Spain, France, and Congress quartered in this room as well. quartered in this room as well.

19 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Aides-de-camp Rooms Hamilton experienced the ill effects of a weak congress in Morristown. Hamilton experienced the ill effects of a weak congress in Morristown. Years later as a politician, Hamilton argued for a stronger central government. Perhaps his duties in Morristown influenced his views. Years later as a politician, Hamilton argued for a stronger central government. Perhaps his duties in Morristown influenced his views.

20 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Servants’ Quarters Notice the absent high plastered ceilings. Notice the absent high plastered ceilings. Also observe the uncovered beams, lack of fireplaces, and the wide floor boards with exposed nails. Also observe the uncovered beams, lack of fireplaces, and the wide floor boards with exposed nails.

21 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Servants’ Quarters This part of the house was obviously not meant to impress guests, but rather, accommodate Mrs. Ford’s six servants, and probably most of General Washington’s 18 servants. This part of the house was obviously not meant to impress guests, but rather, accommodate Mrs. Ford’s six servants, and probably most of General Washington’s 18 servants. This must have been a crowded room! This must have been a crowded room!

22 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Kitchen “Eighteen (servants) belonging to my family and all Mrs. Ford’s (servants) are crowded together in her kitchen and scarce one of them able to speak for the colds they have caught.” General Washington to General Nathanael Greene, January 22, 1780

23 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Kitchen Until sometime in February 1780, when the military log kitchen was built, the Ford’s cook and the headquarter’s cooks shared this space.

24 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Pantry People living in the 1700s did not have supermarkets like we do today, so food storage was critical, especially during the winter. Washington’s food supply was probably stored in the cellar.

25 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Mrs. Ford’s Room Mrs. Ford and her children had to move out of their upstairs bedrooms in order to accommodate General Washington and his military family. Mrs. Ford and her children had to move out of their upstairs bedrooms in order to accommodate General Washington and his military family. This room served as a bedroom for Mrs. Ford and her daughter Elizabeth (12 years old). This room served as a bedroom for Mrs. Ford and her daughter Elizabeth (12 years old).

26 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Mrs. Ford’s Room This elegant space also functioned as the Ford’s dining and entertaining room. This elegant space also functioned as the Ford’s dining and entertaining room. Evidently, Mrs. Ford and her family downsized their extensive living space for the cause to secure American Independence. Evidently, Mrs. Ford and her family downsized their extensive living space for the cause to secure American Independence.

27 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The Ford Boys’ Room This first-floor room is believed to have been used as the bedroom for Mrs. Ford’s three sons during General Washington’s stay. This first-floor room is believed to have been used as the bedroom for Mrs. Ford’s three sons during General Washington’s stay. Her sons included Timothy (17), Gabriel (15), and Jacob III (8). Her sons included Timothy (17), Gabriel (15), and Jacob III (8). Adding to the list of sacrifices by the Fords, Timothy volunteered with the Commander-In-Chief’s Guard and was wounded at the Battle of Springfield in June Adding to the list of sacrifices by the Fords, Timothy volunteered with the Commander-In-Chief’s Guard and was wounded at the Battle of Springfield in June 1780.

28 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Significance “Those who have been in Valley Forge and Middlebrook during the last two winters, but have not tasted the cruelties of [Morristown], know not what it is to suffer.” Major General John Kalb, February 1780 “The oldest people now living in this Country do not remember so hard a Winter as the one we are now emerging from. In a word, the severity of the frost exceeded anything of the kind that had ever been experienced in this climate before.” General Washington to General Lafayette, March 18, 1780

29 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Significance Despite many adversities, General Washington demonstrated his leadership by holding the Continental Army together as an effective fighting force.

30 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A As a result of the willingness of the Ford family and other individuals, both military and civilian, to endure these hardships, the American cause ultimately reaped great rewards – military victory, a civilian government, and political independence for a new nation, the United States of America. Significance

31 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Morristown National Historical Park Credits Photography by Ranger Kim Watts and Volunteer Dan Beards Photography by Ranger Kim Watts and Volunteer Dan Beards Interpretation, layout, and presentation by Ranger Joseph Reidy Interpretation, layout, and presentation by Ranger Joseph Reidy


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