John Salmon Ford was born in 1815 in South Carolina. His family later moved to Shelbyville, Tennessee where he studied medicine. Ford came to Texas shortly after the Battle of San Jacinto, arriving in June of 1836. One of his first memories in Texas was to attend a Forth of July celebration in San Augustine in which Sam Houston was honored. Houston was still suffering from his wounded leg, but he gave a rousing speech. Ford joined the Texas Army and served until about 1838 under Col. Jack Hays, participating in many Indian battles. He then set up a medical practice in San Augustine which he operated until about 1844. During this time, he also studied law and passed the bar exam. In 1844, he won an election and began serving in the Texas House. It was Ford who introduced the resolution for Texas Annexation by the United States.