The Life of Revolutionary War Patriot, Captain Adam Hope

In 1765, a man named Adam Hope arrived in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.   Not much is known today about Adam Hope’s history or why he came to Hunterdon County. In fact, his parents remain a mystery.

Slightly bit more is known about from where he came.  A small grain of evidence suggests he may have come by way of the Easton, Pennsylvania area.  Easton is just over 20 miles from historic Clinton House in Hunterdon County. In 1736, Thomas Penn and Benjamin Eastburn, Surveyor General, selected and surveyed land at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers. The survey for the town Easton began in the 1750s at “Lechanwitauk” which translated to “Forks of the Delaware.”  City of Easton, General Info A Brief History & Architectural Tour, (lasted visited Dec. 13, 2017); Rev. Henry Martyn Kieffer, D.D.,  Some of the First Settlers of “The Forks of the Delaware” and Their Descendants, at pp. 1-4 (1902). 

In John W. Lequear’s, Traditions of Hunterdon, Traditions of Our Ancestors, (1957),  the author recounts a story claiming that Captain Hope came to Hunterdon County “at an early period” from the “Forks of the Delaware.” Furthermore, James P. Snell, in his History of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, New Jersey (1881), is definitive, stating:

Family Hope Adam Snell Quotation


Adam Hope was born in 1741. Various sources attribute his actual birth date to either June 12 or August 24.  Adam Hope married Sarah Dunham of Hunterdon County, New Jersey in 1765—taking out a license and/or bond for marriage on October 30.

Family Hope Adam Marriage License

New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1683-1802; New Jersey, Published Archives Series, First Series, at 185.

From the New Jersey State Archives, I obtained Hope’s marriage bond.  Adam Hope, together with Samuel Rogers, posted a 500-hundred-pound bond for the marriage, which is consistent with the fact that his family was not native to the Hunterdon area and was not well known.  A copy and the text of this bond are below.

Family Hope Adam Marriage Bond

Family Hope Adam Marriage Bond Translation

Sarah Dunham was born on August 27, 1746, according to the age on her tombstone and to the Isaac Watson Dunham, Dunham Genealogy.  English and American Branches of the Dunham Family, at p. 271  (1907) (although fraught with noted errors, I am citing this source cautiously where secondary verification exists). 

Family Hope Adam Dunham Genealogy page 271

She was the daughter of Nehemiah Dunham, and likely his first wife (H)ester Ann Dunn. Sarah’s mother died at a young age, possibly in childbirth. We are not exactly sure when, but it was before Nehemiah Dunham married his second wife, Mary Clarkson, in approximately 1750 when Sarah was around 4 years old.

Sarah’s father, Nehemiah, was originally from Piscataway, New Jersey. This is where Sarah was also born. But by the time Sarah was around 14 in 1760, her father had purchased 600 acres in Hunterdon County and moved there with his family. Sarah’s fifth sibling, John Clarkson born in 1761, was born in Hunterdon County.  Hunterdon County historian, Snell, regards Nehemiah Dunham as “a famous character in his day.” Dunham is remembered as being a cattle appraiser and dealer and also for supplying the “Federal army with vast quantities of beef.”

Sarah descended from a number of well-regarded and influential colonists. She was the granddaughter of Edmund Dunham and Dinah Fitz Randolph and of Samuel Dunn and (H)ester Martin. The Dunhams, the Fitz Randolphs, the Dunns and the Martins were all among the original settlers of Piscataway, New Jersey. Oliver B. Leonard, Esq., “Outline Sketches of the Pioneer Progenitors of the Piscataway Planters 1666-1716,” included in History of the First Baptist Church of Piscataway, Stelton, New Jersey, at pp. 110-15 (1889).

Adam and Sarah began their family shortly after their 1765 marriage. Adam and Sarah’s first son, Samuel was born the next year on September 23, 1766.   Isaac Watson Dunham, Dunham Genealogy at p. 272.


It is likely that Adam Hope was a cabinetmaker by trade.  The Hunterdon County, New Jersey Historical Society retains an account book donated by Miss Elizabeth Grandin with an entry that reads “1770, paid to Adam Hope for a mahogany desk, two pounds, ten shillings.”  “The Elizabeth Grandin Bequest,” Hunterdon Historical Newsletter, at p. 6. (Spr. and Sum. 1970).  Grandin donated a desk to the Hunterdon Historical Society, which is likely the one referred to above. The mahogany desk is now on display at the Hunterdon Historical Society’s 1845 Greek Revival Style Doric House in Flemington. Captain Hope crafted the desk in 1790 for Dr. John Grandin, a navy surgeon, who was also a resident of Hunterdon County. “Research Cataloging Project,”  found at (lasted visited Dec. 13, 2017); Julie Flynn, ed., “Opportunities to Tour Doric House Expanded to 2nd & 4th Saturdays,” Clinton Township Newsletter at p. 14 (Jun., 2014).  A painted image of Captain Hope’s daughter Anna hangs above the desk.


Picture from the public website of the Hunterdon County Historical Society at

In the next update to this post, I will discuss Captain Hope’s endeavors for freedom as a member of the New Jersey Militia.









2 thoughts on “The Life of Revolutionary War Patriot, Captain Adam Hope

  1. Thank you so much for writing this! Looking forward to information from your follow-up post as this is an ancestor of mine.


    1. Thanks for reading this article! I am looking forward, as well, to posting an update. I don’t have much time to write, but I really enjoy it. I actually have dug up some more information about Adam Hope, but most of it is all of his court cases where he was either suing or being sued for owing someone money. Seems like the Hope family was pretty familiar with the court system. But I guess that makes sense, since Sarah’s father was a Justice in Hunterdon County.


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