Major James Burd
Burd, son of Edward Burd, was born March 10, 1726, in Ormiston,
Scotland and came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1747 or 1748
as a merchant. He and his wife Sarah, daughter of Philadelphia's
former mayor Edward Shippen, had eleven children, eight of whom
survived to adulthood. They moved to the Shippensburg area in 1752
so Burd could handle land holdings belonging to his father-in-law.
joined the Pennsylvania provincial military in 1756 at the outset
of the French & Indian War, the same year he moved to a farm
in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was commissioned a Major in The Augusta
Regiment and on December 8, 1756, he took command after the resignation
of Lieutenant Colonel William Clapham.
his command the construction of Fort Augusta was completed as well
as the Provincial Road between the fort and Tulpehocken, the location
of Conrad Weiser's homestead. Burd also participated in the construction
of Fort Ligonier in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
1758, Major Burd was elevated to Colonel. Burd went with Forbes
on the Duquesne Expedition under Bouquet. 360 of the 400-man garrison
participated in the Expedition, leaving 40 men at Fort Augusta.
After the fall of Duquesne, Colonel Burd was sent to the Erie area
where he supervised the construction of roads and fortifications
including, with brother-in-law Captain Joseph Shippen of the Pennsylvania
Provincial Regiment under Colonel William Clapham, the construction
of Fort Burd. He returned to Fort Augusta in 1760 and remained there
until the dissolution of the Pennsylvania Regiment in 1764.
served as Justice of Lancaster County from 1764 till 1770.
did not serve in the American Revolution, but he was active in convincing
the people of Lancaster County to support the Revolution. He was
elected Colonel of a militia battalion briefly but because of a
dispute concerning rank and insubordination in his command and some
criticism from the Committee of Safety of which he was a member,
he resigned and retired to civilian life.
died at "Tinian," his farm near Highspire in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania,
on October 5, 1793. James and Sarah Burd are buried near the entrance
of the Old Presbyterian Cemetery at the corner of Union and High
Streets, Middletown, Pennsylvania.
At the time of his death on October 5, 1793, James Burd was a county
detailed journals during the time of the construction and his command
at Fort Augusta have been preserved and are readily available for
research in the Pennsylvania State Archives, 350 North Street, Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, and through their website.