Robert F. Stockton

Infobox Governor
name = Robert F. Stockton


order = flagicon|USA
office = Military Governor of California
term_start = 1846
term_end = 1847
lieutenant =
predecessor = John Drake Sloat
successor = John C. Frémont
birth_date = 20 August 1795
birth_place = Princeton, New Jersey
death_date = Death date and age|1866|10|7|1795|8|20|df=yes
death_place = Princeton, New Jersey
party =
spouse =
profession = Soldier
religion = Roman Catholic

Robert Field Stockton (20 August 1795ndash 7 October 1866) was an United States naval commodore, notable in the capture of California during the Mexican-American War. Stockton was from a notable political family and also served as a U.S. Senator from New Jersey.

Biography

He was born at Princeton, New Jersey into a political family; his father Richard Stockton was a U.S. Senator and Representative, and his grandfather, another Richard Stockton, signed the Declaration of Independence.

Stockton was appointed a midshipman in the U.S. Navy at the age of 16, serving at sea and ashore during the War of 1812. After that conflict, Lieutenant Stockton was assigned to ships operating in the Mediterranean, in the Caribbean and off the coast of West Africa. He was the first naval officer to act against the slave trade and captured several slave ships. Stockton along with Dr. Eli Ayers of the American Colonization Society negotiated a treaty that led to the founding of the state of Liberia. During the later 1820s and into the 1830s, he primarily devoted his attention to business affairs in New Jersey. The birth of his son John P. Stockton, later also a U.S. Senator representing New Jersey, occurred during this time.

In 1838, Stockton resumed active naval service as a captain. He served in the European area, but took leave in 1840 to undertake political work. Offered the post of U.S. Secretary of the Navy by President John Tyler in 1841, he declined the offer, but worked successfully to gain support for the construction of an advanced steam warship with a battery of very heavy guns.

This ship became USS "Princeton", the Navy's first screw-propelled steamer. The ship was designed by John Ericsson. Stockton commanded her when she was completed in 1843. Although he was the deviser of a defective gun, Captain Stockton was absolved of responsibility for the February 1844 explosion of the gun, the "Peacemaker," on board the ship. The explosion killed two cabinet officers and several others. [ [http://www.military.com/NewContent/0,13190,NH_0905_Cruise-P1,00.html Fatal Cruise of the Princeton - Page 1 ] ]

He had so much power that he managed to get the whole blame put on Ericsson, even though it was not Ericsson's gun that had missfired.Cleared by the court of any wrongdoing in the explosion incident, Stockton was sent by President James K. Polk to Texas. Stockton carried with him Polk's offer to annex Texas, sailing on the "Princeton" and arriving in Galveston. Stockton's observations while in Texas made him aware of the looming war with Mexico, a fact he communicated directly to Polk once he arrived back in Washington. [A Sketch of the Life of Com. Robert F. Stockton, by Derby & Jackson, 1856. See http://books.google.com/books?id=CIKa7URH05UC]

In 1846, with the appointed title of Commodore, Stockton commanded U.S. naval forces in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and was instrumental in taking Alta California from Mexico during the outset of the Mexican-American war. After his command suffered initial defeats at the Siege of Los Angeles, the Battle of Dominguez Rancho and the Battle of San Pascual by the Southern Californio militia, his American forces were victorious at the Battle of Rio San Gabriel and the Battle of La Mesa, resulting in the Treaty of Cahuenga, which ending fighting in Alta California. He served as the first military governor of California.

Stockton resigned from the Navy in May 1850 and returned to business and political pursuits. In 1851 he was elected as a Democrat from New Jersey to the United States Senate, where he sponsored a bill to abolish flogging as a Navy punishment. He resigned on January 10, 1853 to serve as president of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company, a position he held until 1866.

In 1861 he was a delegate to the unsuccessful conference that attempted to settle the secession crisis. In 1863, he was appointed to command the New Jersey militia when the Confederate Army invaded Pennsylvania. Captain Robert F. Stockton died at Princeton, New Jersey, and is buried in the Princeton Cemetery.

Four U.S. Navy ships have been named USS "Stockton" in honor of Robert F. Stockton. The cities of Stockton, California and Fort Stockton, Texas are named in his honor, as is Stockton Street in San Francisco, California and Fort Stockton, San Diego, California, which is now a ruin, but was occupied during the Mexican-American War.

References and notes

"The United States Navy: A 200-year History". pp 196-221. Houghton Mifflin Company.C 1986
*Bancroft, Hubert Howe (1882). The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Co. ISBN 2539133.

External links

*CongBio|S000942


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robert F. Stockton — Robert Field Stockton Robert Field Stockton Robert F. Stockton (* 20. August 1795 in Princeton, New Jersey; † …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Field Stockton — Robert …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Field Stockton — (20 août 1795 – 7 octobre 1866) était un officier de la Marine américaine, connu principalement pour la capture de la Californie durant la guerre mexico américaine. Il est né à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Robert Stockton — Robert Field Stockton Robert Field Stockton Robert F. Stockton (* 20. August 1795 in Princeton, New Jersey; † …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Menendez — Robert Bob Menendez (* 1. Januar 1954 in New York City) ist ein US amerikanischer Senator aus New Jersey. Im Januar 2006 wurde er vom ehemaligen US Senator und neu gewählten Gouverneur von New Jersey, Jon Corzine, damit beau …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert G. Torricelli — Robert Guy Torricelli (* 27. August 1951 in Paterson, New Jersey) mit dem Spitznamen „The Torch“, ist ein US amerikanischer Politiker aus dem US Staat New Jersey. Torricelli, der der Demokratischen Partei angehört, saß von 1983 bis 1996 im US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Guy Torricelli — Robert G. Torricelli Robert Guy Torricelli (* 27. August 1951 in Paterson, New Jersey) mit dem Spitznamen „The Torch“, ist ein US amerikanischer Politiker aus dem US Staat New Jersey. Torricelli, der der Demokratischen Partei angehört, saß von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Stockton — may refer to: Places;Australia: *Stockton, New South Wales; New Zealand: *Stockton, New Zealand;United Kingdom: *Stockton, Cheshire *Stockton, Herefordshire *Stockton, Norfolk *Stockton, Powys *Stockton, Shropshire *Stockton, Warwickshire… …   Wikipedia

  • Stockton — ist der Name folgender Orte: in Großbritannien: Stockton (Cheshire) Stockton (Herefordshire) Stockton (Norfolk) Stockton (Powys) Stockton (Shropshire) Stockton (Warwickshire) Stockton (Wiltshire) Stockton on Tees Stockton on Teme Stockton on the… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Stockton (California) — Stockton Ciudad de los Estados Unidos Otros nombres: California s Sunrise Seaport, Mudville, Stocktown, Fat City, Most Dangerous City In California Lema: Stockton All America City …   Wikipedia Español


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.