John Potter Stockton (1826 - 1900)

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Birthplace: Mercer County, Trenton New Jersey
Death: Died in New York City
Occupation: Democrat. U.S. Minister to Papal States
Managed by: Catherine "Erin" Spiceland
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About John Potter Stockton

John Potter Stockton (August 2, 1826 – January 22, 1900) was a New Jersey politician who served in the United States Senate as a Democrat.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Stockton was the son of Robert F. Stockton, grandson of Richard Stockton (1764-1828) and the great-grandson of Richard Stockton (1730-1781), both prominent New Jersey politicians. He graduated from Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, where he studied law.

Stockton's first foray into politics was as U.S. Minister to the Papal States (1858–1861). After returning to New Jersey to practice law for four years, he was appointed to the Senate. His first tenure lasted barely a year before he voted against the proposition of the Fourteenth Amendment, which failed to pass the Senate by one vote. In response to this, the Senate passed a motion, by a majority of one, to retroactively unseat him, despite the fact that the Constitution specified that a two thirds majority was required to expel a Senator. The inventive response to this was that the Senate was unseating him retroactively, which was claimed to be quite distinct from expulsion. The outrage caused by this led to New Jersey rescinding its ratification of the Amendment, in protest of his arbitrary removal. He returned to the Senate, this time for a full six-year term, in 1869. Stockton served as New Jersey Attorney General from 1877 to 1897.

Stockton died in New York City in 1900 at the age of 73. He was interred in Princeton Cemetery, in the borough of Princeton, New Jersey.

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John P. Stockton, U.S. Senator's Timeline

August 2, 1826
Mercer County, Trenton New Jersey
Age 18
Age 25
January 22, 1900
Age 73
New York City
Princeton Cemetery, Princeton NJ