Richard Stockton, Signer of Declaration of Independence

Richard Stockton’s brother-in-law, Elias Boudinot, was President of the Continental Congress for a term, signed the Treaty of Paris, and founded the American Bible Society.

His son, Richard Stockton, was a U.S. Senator from New Jersey.

His grandson, Robert F. Stockton, was a U.S. Navy Commodore, a hero of the War of 1812, who helped freed slaves found Liberia, West Africa.

In 1846, Robert F. Stockton defeated the Mexican army and captured California, serving as its first military governor. Stockton, California, was named for him.

Richard Stockton traveled to England in 1767, where he met with many leaders: Edmund Burke, the Marquis of Rockingham, the Earl of Chatham, and even King George III, acknowledging the repeal of the Stamp Act.

As a trustee of Princeton College, Richard Stockton traveled to Scotland, where he met with a young Princeton graduate attending medical school there, Benjamin Rush.

Together they persuaded Rev. John Witherspoon to be Princeton’s new President.

Benjamin Rush later married Richard Stockton’s daughter, Julia.

In 1776, Richard Stockton, Benjamin Rush and John Witherspoon all signed the Declaration of Independence.

When the British invaded New Jersey, Richard Stockton and his family had to flee for their lives.

Richard was betrayed, dragged from his bed at night and imprisoned in New York.

His farm was pillaged and his library, one of the best in the country, was burned.

Richard Stockton’s health was broken from over a year in the British prison and he died bankrupt at age 51 on FEBRUARY 28, 1781.

Richard Stockton - Signer of the DeclarationNew Jersey placed a statue of Richard Stockton in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

Richard Stockton wrote in his Will:

“As my children…may be peculiarly impressed with the last words of their father, I think proper here, not only to subscribe to the entire belief of the great leading doctrine of the Christian religion… but also in the heart of a father’s affection, to exhort them to remember ‘that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.'”

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