Manuscript Group 368, Stockton Family (Princeton, NJ) Papers, 1795-1942 (Bulk dates: 1824-1862)


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 368, Stockton Family (Princeton, NJ)

Papers, 1795-1942 (Bulk dates: 1824-1862), 0.2 linear feet / 22 items

Call Number: MG 368



Correspondence and documents. Included are letters of Samuel J.  Bayard, John P. Stockton, Richard Stockton (1764-1828), Robert Field Stockton, and Robert Field Stockton, Jr.

Purchase (in part) 1957.

Biographical Note:

The Stockton Family-

The Stockton family immigrated to the United States and settled in Flushing, New York in the early 1600s.  Richard Stockton, the son of one of these immigrants, bought land in the Princeton area of New Jersey and settled there. The manor and estates he created were called Morven and became the family home for generations to come.

While Morven was a working farm, providing income for early members of the family, the Stocktons were both professionally and politically active and became influential on a local and national level.

Locally, John Stockton (b. 1701) gave land to and helped found the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).  The Stocktons remained actively involved with the university, not only attending the institution, but also serving as trustees.

A number of Stocktons took on national prominence by becoming lawyers and politicians.  For example, John Stockton’s son, Richard Stockton (1730-1781), was not only a “gentleman farmer” and lawyer, but was also a participant in the Revolutionary War and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  This Richard Stockton would become known as “The Signer” to distinguish him from his ancestors and his son of the same name.

Stocktons Represented in the Collection-

Richard Stockton (1764-1828), son of Annis Boudinot Stockton and Richard Stockton (1730-1781), was a lawyer, the head of the New Jersey Bar, and a U. S. Congressman.  He was known as “The Duke” for his stately demeanor.

Lucius Horatio Stockton (d. 1835), son of Annis Boudinot Stockton and Richard Stockton (1730-1781), was a lawyer and the District Attorney for New Jersey.

Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866), son of Mary Field Stockton and Richard Stockton (1764-1828), was a Navy officer and later a Senator.  He was interested in and experimented with steam powered ships, and was active in the railway business.  He was known as “The Commodore.”

John Potter Stockton (1826-1900), the son of Maria Potter Stockton and Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866), was a lawyer, a U. S. Senator, and Attorney General of New Jersey.

Robert Field Stockton, Jr. (1832-1898), the son of Maria Potter Stockton and Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866), was a lawyer, President of the United Railway and Canal Companies of New Jersey, State Comptroller of New Jersey, and Adjutant General during the Civil War.

Provenance Note:

The essay, “The Stocktons of Morven” was donated by Mrs. Bayard Stockton in 1932.  The letter from Richard Stockton (1764-1828), “The Duke” to Elias Boudinot was purchased in 1986.  Most of the remainder of the papers were probably purchased in 1957.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists of twenty-two documents dating from 1795-1942, with the bulk of the materials from the time period 1824-1862.  The collection is divided into five small series, which are as follows: Richard Stockton (1764-1828) “The Duke,” Lucius Horatio Stockton, Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866) “The Commodore,” John Potter Stockton, Robert Field Stockton, Jr. (1832-1898), and Miscellaneous.

The collection is composed mainly of correspondence, which documents personal matters such as illnesses and births in the family, and professional matters such as Richard “The Duke” Stockton’s resignation from Congress, “The Commodore’s” gunnery experiments, and the creation of a New Jersey regiment to fight in the Civil War.  The remainder of the collection consists of business and legal records, such as court decisions, deeds, and promissory notes.

Of particular interest is a typescript essay found in the Miscellaneous Series, written by an unnamed descendant of the Stockton family and entitled, “The Stocktons of Morven.”  It gives an in-depth look at the early American Stocktons and their founding and ownership of the home-estate of Morven, and includes transcribed letters and biographical accounts of the 17th-19th century Stocktons.

Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 1221, Annis Boudinot Stockton (1736-1801) Copybook

Manuscript Group 1363, New Jersey People: Individuals, Families, and Group Photographs

Manuscript Group 1411, Elias Boudinot Stockton (d. 1918) Genealogy Collection

Folder List:



Richard Stockton (1764-1828),
“The Duke”
1 Richard Stockton to Elias Boudinot,
regarding the birth and naming of a son.
December 13, 1802
2 Richard Stockton to ( ) Griffith,
regarding land deeds willed to his brother.
October, 11, 1806
3 Richard Stockton to ( ) Covenhoven,
resignation from Congress.
n. d.
4 Note from R.D. Howell to Richard
Stockton, regarding sheriff elections and the commission of ( ) Newton.
February 20, 1795
5 Deed of Gift from Richard Stockton
to Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866) for land on the north side of
January 24, 1824
Lucius Horatio Stockton
6 Lucius Horatio Stockton to Richard
Stockton (1764-1828), regarding land mortgages for his Ohio land.
January 31, 1827
7 Circuit Court decision. March 12, 1828
Robert Field Stockton
(1795-1866), “The Commodore”
8 Robert Field Stockton to Professor
Joseph Henry, regarding gunnery experiments.
December 22, 1842
9 Robert Field Stockton to ( ),
regarding children with Scarlet Fever.
August 10, 1849
10 Charles Floyd to Robert Field
Stockton, regarding the shooting death of Major John Floyd.
January 29, 1830
11 Samuel Bayard to Robert Field
Stockton, regarding bonds of indemnity.
November 27, 1835
12 W. Kemble to Robert Field Stockton,
regarding reimbursement of Navy bill.
August 24, 1842
13 I.O.U. to Anderson Hughes, with
records of payment, for $5,000.
September 30, 1848; 1848, 1849,
1850, 1851
John Potter Stockton (1826-1900)
14 John Potter Stockton to ( ),
regarding sent photographs.
January 27, 1870
15 John Potter Stockton to Amzi Smith,
telling him to send documents.
September 11, 1875
16 John C. Underwood, auditor, to John
Potter Stockton, regarding discrepancies in his account.
September 23, 1861
Robert Field Stockton, Jr.
17 Robert Field Stockton, Jr. to
William M. Shipman, about the formation of a state regiment.
May 28, 1862
18 Robert Field Stockton, Jr. to
William M. Shipman, a call to service in the 15th Regiment of
New Jersey.
July 15, 1862
19 Robert Field Stockton, Jr. to Barber
Ogden, declining a dinner invitation.
July 4, 1878
20 Matthew Hale Smith – Decision
regarding land claims of William C. Stockton.
April 27, 1855
21 “The Stocktons of Morven,”
by a descendant.
22 “Alexander Pope at Morven,”
written by Helen Hamilton Stockton, wife of Bayard Stockton, and
granddaughter-in-law of Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866), “The Commodore.”

Processed by Kim Charlton, October 1999 as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


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