Col. Ephraim Martin
Born in either Piscataway or Somerset County, Martin lived with his parents in what is now Warren Township. As a young man he married, raised a family and evidently prospered and became sufficiently well-established to take on roles in public affairs. In addition to being a landowner he was appointed coroner in 1774 in Sussex County.
One of five deputies from Sussex County who attended the Provincial Congress of New Jersey in 1775, he began his service in the Revolutionary War by raising a regiment of militia in July 1775, which became the 2nd Regiment. He was commissioned as a colonel of the 2nd Regiment, Sussex County Militia, in June 1776 and was later appointed as Colonel of the new 4th New Jersey Battalion of the Continental Army in November of 1776. He was stationed in Princeton in 1777. Records show he likely wintered with troops at Valley Forge in 1778.
He commanded his regiment during the Battle of Long Island where he was wounded by a musket ball in the breast on April 24, 1776 and, as a result, was mentioned in a letter dated August 26, 1776, from George Washington to the Continental Congress:
There has been a little skirmishing and irregular firing kept up between their and our advanced guards, in which Colonel Martin of the Jersey levies has received a wound in his breast, which, it is apprehended, will prove mortal;
The wound did not prove mortal and, after recuperating at the Farmstead, he returned to command his regiment by March 1777 during the Battles of Punk Hill (Amboy) 8 March 1777; and Short Hills 27 June 1777.
Col. Martin marched with his regiment with General Washington to Brandywine, Delaware in June 1777, where he was wounded in the forehead by a musket ball; again recovered, and returned to command his regiment in the battles of Germantown 4 October 1777 and Monmouth 28 June 1778 before wintering with his troops at Valley Forge.
A monument was erected by the State of New Jersey in 1913 to honor its troops at Valley Forge. Col. Martin is mentioned in the inscription.
After the revolutionary war, he resigned his commission and starting in 1779, he began a life-long career of government service which included both appointed and elected positions.
In 1789 he had a prominent role in securing approval of the First Amendment to the US Constitution by the New Jersey legislature.
In 1786, Col. Martin became a Surveyor of the Western Territory of the United States.
In addition, Martin acquired property in Sussex County and the Ohio country.
He was married three times and had 4 children and 5 step-children. His step-sons, Oliver and Samuel Stelle purchased the Farmstead in 1794.
From approximately 1778 – 1795, Col. Martin owned the Farmstead.
While the historical record provides almost no information about the physical character of the farm during his ownership, his livestock and vehicles suggest the existence of a substantial barn and wagon house and it is possible that he enlarged or replaced the earlier dwelling.
According to Bernards Township tax records from 1778, Martin was assessed for 340-acres of “improved land” in Bernards Township, valued at 1,870 pounds, 4 horses, 17 cattle, 7 hogs, 1 slave and 1 riding chair [NJ Archives, Bernards Township Ratables, May, 1778]. Ephraim Martin belonged to the Mount Bethel Baptist Church, located a few miles south of his Bernards Township farm, and became a deacon of that congregation in 1786. His 1805 will provided for the manumission (release from slavery) of three females.
Sources & More information:
“Sketch of Colonel Ephraim Martin, of the New Jersey Continental Line” https://archive.org/stream/jstor-20085525/20085525_djvu.txt 1 George Washington to the Continental Congress, August 26, 1776, from the Original Manuscript Sources https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/washington-the-writings-of-george-washington-vol-iv-1776 2
Col. EPHRAIM MARTIN BIO
Born: Born: September 13, 1733 Piscataway (or Somerset County) New Jersey
Died: February 28, 1806 – New Brunswick, New Jersey
Resting Place: Stelton Baptist Church Cemetery, Edison, New Jersey
• Land Owner
• Revolutionary War Colonel
Farmstead Owner: approx. 1778 – 1795
• Sussex County Deputy – attended the Provincial Congress of New Jersey held in Trenton in October 1775
• Colonel of the 2nd Regiment, Sussex County Militia—1776
• Colonel of the new 4th New Jersey Battalion of the Continental Army on November 28th, 1776
• Elected to New State Governor’s Council – 1779
• Elected to New Jersey State Legislature – 1783
• Prominent role in securing approval of the First Amendment to the US Constitution by the NJ Legislature
• Served as Surveyor of the Western Territory of the United States in 1786
• Martha (Squire) Martin – 4 children
• Keziah (Carman) Martin – no children
• Catherine (Wall; Stelle) Martin – married first, by license dated, 30 Jun 1755, Henry Green; second, by license dated 5 Jan 1780, Rev Isaac Steele (aka Stelle); third, 1789, Mr. Ephraim Martin
Children: Squire Martin, Absalom Martin, Ephraim Martin, Jeremiah Martin
Step Children: (through marriage to Catherine Martin): John Stelle, Abel Stelle, Oliver Stelle, Samuel Stelle, Mary Manning Parents: Ephraim Martin and Eunice Singletary (Dunham) Martin
Parents: Ephraim Martin and Eunice Singletary (Dunham) Martin
Siblings: Margaret Heflin, Humphrey Martin, Nathaniel Martin; Jeremiah Martin and Lt. John Martin; Half brother of Reuben Martin, Revolutionary War veteran, Elizabeth Kennedy (1761 – unknown)
Col. Martin is buried in the cemetery located at the Stelton Baptist Church in Edison, New Jersey. Grave Memorial 80609453
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