A Guide to the John Salmon “Rip” Ford Papers, circa 1836-1896
John Salmon “Rip” Ford (1815-1897) was born near Greenville, South Carolina on May 26, 1815. Raised in Tennessee, Ford moved to Texas in 1836. He served in the Texas army until 1838 and practiced medicine in San Augustine. In 1844, Ford was elected to the House of the Ninth Congress of the Republic of Texas, where he presented the resolution to accept annexation to the United States. Ford moved to Austin in 1845 and became editor of the Texas Democrat. During the Mexican War, he served as regimental adjutant under John Coffee Hays. In 1849, he explored a route later known as the Ford and Neighbors Trail and became a captain in the Texas Rangers. In 1852, Ford was elected to the Texas Senate. He returned to military service in 1858, and commanded many operations and explorations, including leading Confederate forces in the battle of Palmito Ranch, the last battle of the Civil War. Ford relocated to Brownsville in 1868, where he edited the Brownsville Sentinel and served as mayor in 1874. He was a delegate of the State Constitutional Convention in 1875 and served in the Texas Senate from 1876 to 1879. He was appointed superintendent of the Deaf and Dumb School in 1879. Ford died in San Antonio on November 3, 1897.
Creator’s Sketch prepared from information contained in the Handbook of Texas Online.
The bulk of the collection consists of Ford’s personal memoirs, 1815-1892, including his original manuscripts and typescript copies. Also included are an 1844 medical account book, three typescript copies of Ford’s John C. Hayes in Texas, and an 1896 letter from Ford to John L. Dix, Jr., concerning the 1896 presidential campaign and the poor state of the Texas economy.
John Salmon “Rip” Ford Papers, circa 1836-1896, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Detailed Description of the Papers