Revolutionary War Continental Army Officer. Patriot and mapmaker for General George Washington. After he attended classes at the University of Edinburgh, he made a living as an inventor, engineer and surveyor. In 1762 he invented and patented a new pump, for more eficient pumping of water. Around 1770 a company in Northern New Jersey was looking for someone to manage their iron works. He was hired, an arrived at the job located at the present site of the Ringwood Manor, in June 1771. He ran the business successfully. As soon as war was declared between England and the Colonies, he raised his own militia to fight the English, the first such group in Northern New Jersey. He paid for the supplies with his own money. The Continental Congress commissioned him Captain and had him stay in Ringwood, to guard the iron works and army goods that were stored there. George Washington had heard of his skill as a mapmaker and after an interview with him, he had him commissioned by the Continental Congress, Surveyor General. During his tenure, he over saw the making of 250 maps for the Continental Army. He served in this capacity until his untimely death in 1780 from pneumonia. George Washington attended his funeral in Ringwood. (bio by: Rich H.)
Inscription: "F.R.S. Geographer and Surveyor General to the Army of the United States, son of the Reverend Ralph Erskine, late minister at Dunfermline, Scotland."