Historian Sam Willis explores the criminal underworld of Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries, beginning with the arrival of the highwayman in the wake of the English Civil War. Heavily romanticised in literature, these glamorous gangsters became a social menace on the roads and a political thorn in the side of the creaking British state, but a far darker reality lay underneath the dashing image of stylish robbers on horseback.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates and Rogues - James Ford (pirate) - Netflix
James Ford, born James N. Ford, also known as James N. Ford, Sr. the “N” possibly for Neal (October 22, 1775 – July 7, 1833), was an American civic leader and business owner in western Kentucky and southern Illinois, late 1790s to mid-1830s. Despite his clean public image as a “Pillar of the Community”, Ford was secretly a river pirate and the leader of a gang that would come to be known as the “Ford's Ferry Gang”. His gang was the river equivalent of highway robbers; they would hijack flatboats and Ford's “own river ferry” for tradable goods from local farms, coming down the Ohio River. Ford was an Illinois associate of Isaiah L. Potts and the Potts Hill Gang, highway robbers, of the infamous Potts Inn. James Ford also had an association with illegal slaver trader and kidnapper of free blacks, John Hart Crenshaw, and may have taken part in the Illinois version of the Reverse Underground Railroad. At one point, they used the “Cave-in-Rock” as their headquarters, on the Illinois side of the lower Ohio River, which is approximately 85 miles below Evansville, Indiana.
Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates and Rogues - Death - Netflix
James Ford was ambushed and shot dead at Ford's Ferry near his home on July 7, 1833 by members of his own criminal gang. He was buried in the Ford family cemetery in Kirksville, Kentucky on the grounds of the Ford family plantation property, now located on Tolu-Carrsville Road (Kentucky Route 135 - KY 135), in present-day Tolu, Crittenden County, Kentucky, on a farm that was owned by the Brazwell family in the 1980s. Ford is buried next to the graves of his sons, Philip and William and daughter, Alma. The Ford family cemetery burial ground is located currently owned byon a The inscription on his headstone reads:
Here lies James Ford, who died more for the Western County, building it up more than all others. But was worse misrepresented by ungrateful men, his enemies.
Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates and Rogues - References - Netflix