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Remembering Dr. Jabez Campfield

Dr. Jabez Campfield (1737-1821), surgeon in the Continental Army and local founding father in Morristown NJ, died two hundred years ago today on 20 May 1821.  Dr. Campfield served in the army from the time the war first arrived in New Jersey in December 1776 until the Continental Army was dissolved after the war in 1783.  He helped inoculate soldiers against the deadly smallpox epidemic, served in many notable battles (Springfield, Brandywine, Germantown and more), winter encampments (Morristown, Valley Forge, Hudson Highlands), and the Sullivan Expedition.  He was the first elected Surrogate of Morris County and held several other civil service roles, founded the Morris Academy and the Morristown Library, and served on the committee to build a new building for the Presbyterian Church in Morristown.  He was a founding member of the Society of the Cincinnati of the State of New Jersey, a founding member of the Medical Society of New Jersey, and a Freemason.  He was most likely the first doctor in Morristown, and trained many local doctors, playing an important role in establishing the practice of medicine in the area.

Dr. Jabez Campfield House, Morristown, NJ

Dr. Jabez Campfield

Dr. Campfield’s home is lovingly conserved by the Morristown Chapter DAR, and is open for tours on Sunday afternoons.  Because of its association with the romance of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, “the match made in Morristown,” we know it as the Schuyler Hamilton House.

We take time today to honor Dr. Campfield’s life and legacy, and thank him for the many gifts he left us.

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