Colonel John Cox

1732 – 1793

I was a businessman who proudly served the Revolutionary cause.

I was born in New Brunswick in September 1732 and grew up to be a prominent Philadelphia merchant. In 1770, I became part owner and then full owner of the impressive iron works at Batsto in Burlington County, New Jersey. We produced household items like pots and kettles, and I was also a salt merchant.

When the Revolution broke out, I became a proud supporter of the cause. I served in several political and military offices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. On December 28, 1776, right after the victory at Trenton, I was part of a scouting party with Adjutant General Joseph Reed, and we reported to General Washington that he should return to Trenton from across the Delaware. He did so, which led to the Second Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton, great victories in which I served.

In February 1778, I was made Assistant Quarter-Master for the Continental Army. I decided to move to Trenton with my wife Esther and our six daughters. We lived at Bloomsbury Court, an elegant home built by William Trent around 1719, where we entertained many of the most important figures in the war, and had soldiers camped out on our fields.

We returned to Philadelphia in 1792 and I died there in April 1793, and was buried at Christ Church.


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