An American Family History

Sergeant Jacob Bonham


"[L]iberty must at all hazards be supported.
We have a right to it, derived from our Maker.
But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us,
at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."

-- John Adams, 1765


The Crawford or Sandusky expedition of 1782 was on the western front of the Revolution. The goal was to destroy Indian towns along the Sandusky River to end attacks on settlers. Colonel Crawford led about 500 militiamen, from Pennsylvania. About 70 of them were killed with minimal Indian and British losses. During their retreat, Crawford and an unknown number of his men were captured and executed.

Sergeant Jacob Bonham was born in Maidenhead, (now Lawrenceville, Mercer County), Hunterdon County, (now Lawrence, Mercer County), New Jersey about 1744. His father may have been Amariah Bonham. Researchers point to the fact that Jacob was mentioned in his father’s will dated January 27, 1802 and proved April 22, 1803 as proof that he was the son of Amariah, but this Jacob died in the Sandusky expedition of 1782.

His wife was named Mary. Their children included:

Ruhama Bonham (1765, married Paul Kester),
Mary Bonham (1767, married John Matthews),
Sarah Bonham (1769),
Landon Bonham, 1771),
John Bonham (1772),
Amariah Bonham (April, 1773, married Elizabeth Rebecca Wiley), and
Patience Bonham (1777, married Robert Cummings). 

In May 25, 1782 he marched with the Washington County Militia under the command of Colonel William Crawford, Captain George Brown's company, into what is now Ohio to defeat the indigenous people who had been aiding the British. He died on June 9, 1782 while fighting the British and indigenous people at the Sandusky Massacre in Crawford County, Ohio.

The Pennsyvania Gazette

Children of Amariah Bonham
  • Christian Bonham Fox
  • Rebecca Bonham Johnson
  • Jeriah Bonham
  • Peter Bonham
  • Sarah Bonham Batey
  • Jacob Bonham
  • Hunterdon County was originally part of Burlington County, West Jersey. It was set off from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. It included Amwell, Hopewell, and Maidenhead Townships.

    Lawrenceville, Mercer County, New Jersey was founded as Maidenhead in 1697, as part of Burlington County in the colony of West Jersey. In 1714, the village became a part of Hunterdon County.

    The American Flag was adopted in 1777.




    from Bonham and Related Family Lines

    Jacob Bonham, son of Amariah & (2) wife, Mary (Drake) Bonham, was born 1751; married (?) and had several children. He enlisted May 18th, 1782 as a sergeant under Col. Wm. Crawford in the Sandusky Expedition against the Indians.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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