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Ford, Thomas (05 December 1800–03 November 1850), governor of Illinois and historian, was born near Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue, farmers. His father died in 1803, and Ford’s remarkable mother moved her numerous family to Spanish Louisiana the next year, only to learn upon arrival at St. Louis that the free land she expected to find there was not available after the Louisiana Purchase. The Ford family located across the Mississippi at New Design, Illinois, where Thomas Ford received his first schooling and hired himself out to labor....