Penn People

Joseph Ball

d. 1821

Penn Connection

  • Trustee 1794-1821

Joseph Ball was a prominent merchant, landowner, industrialist, and capitalist. His chief industrial pursuit was ownership and operation of the Batsto Iron Works in Burlington County, New Jersey. He was also an original director and president, in 1798-1799, of the Insurance Company of North America.

During the American Revolution Ball was an ardent patriot, supplying the Continental Army with munitions manufactured at Batsto. After the war he, along with many others in a plan directed by Robert Morris, gave liberally of his great fortune in an attempt to restore the public credit. Although this act of charity did not ruin him financially, it did cause him enormous loss.

Ball served as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania from 1794 until his death.