The American Revolution Hunter’s Iron Works John Strode

John Strode

John Strode (c.1735-c.1820)—a Quaker from Chester County, Pennsylvania. Around 1764 he came to work at James Hunter’s iron works near Falmouth. Here he built a new dam and many of the mills and factories. Strode was responsible for converting Hunters works from a supplier of domestic needs to a maker of all manner of military supplies and equipment needed for the Revolution. He worked with Patrick Henry to obtain state funding for the expansion and to the already existing facility added a second iron furnace, a brass furnace, a steel furnace, and a massive gun factory. At the time of the expansion Strode traveled to Pennsylvania and New Jersey and hired more highly skilled Quaker craftsmen to work at Hunter’s. Hunter’s Iron Works and Rappahannock Forge, the company’s gun-making subsidiary, was a major supplier of arms and equipment to American forces during the Revolution. John Strode became ill and retired from the forge in 1779 and moved to Culpeper County. After the Revolution, he built and operated several large merchant flour mills in Culpeper County. His farm there, Fleetwood, was later the site of the Battle of Brandy Station.