Richard Witham Stockton

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Richard Witham Stockton

Birthplace: Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey, USA
Death: Died in Sussex Vale, New Brunswick, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Stockton and Rachel Stout
Husband of Mary Ann Stockton
Father of Rachel Riley; Charles Witham Stockton; Ann Stockton Richardson; Andrew Hunter Stockton; Phoebe Stockton and 5 others
Brother of Joseph Stockton; Jacob Stockton; Rachel Stockton; Anne Stockton and Ruth Stockton
Half brother of Samuel Stockton and Amy Stockton

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About Richard Witham Stockton

Richard Witham Stockton Major (Samuel , Richard , Richard , John , John , Thomas ) was born in Jul 1733 in Princeton, New Jersey. He died on 8 May 1801 in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. He was buried in Anglican Cemetery, Sussex Corner, New Brunswick, Canada.

   During the Revolution, Richard Witham Stockton was a major in the BritishArmy. He also purchased commissions in the British Army for his two sons,Charles Witham and Andrew Hunter Stockton. Among the King's troops he wasknown as "Stockton, the famous land pilot." On February 18, 1777, he wassurprised by Colonel Neilson, of Brunswick, N.J., and, with 59 privates,taken prisoner. General Putnam sent Major Stockton to Philadelphia inirons, and act of which General Washington disapproved . "The Major,"Washington wrote, "has, I believe, been very active and mischievous; butwe took him in arms, as an officer of the enemy, and by the rules of warwe are obliged to treat him as such, and not as a felon."
   In the proceedings of the Continental Congress for Oct. 25, 1777, itappears that on that day a letter from Richard W. Stockton and others,prisoners in Carlisle gaol, and a letter, of the 22nd, from the committeeof Carlisle, with one enclosed from Dr. John Kearsley, were read,representing the uncomfortableness of the gaol, on account of the windowsnot being glazed; and a resolution was passed to have the jail made "ascomfortable as circumstances will admit." On Dec. 22, 1777, the Councilof Safety for New Jersey agreed that the prisoners taken with RichardStockton, and now confined at Carlisle, be treated as prisoners of war.
   At the close of the war, finding continued residence in the United Statesundesirable on account of his Tory sympathies, he removed, with otherLoyalists, to St. John, New Brunswick (then in Nova Scotia). This townwas founded by Loyalist emigrants from the United States May 18, 1783,and was at first called Parrtown. His wife and seven younger childrenaccompanied him, but the three elder children remained in the UnitedStates. Major Stockton was a grantee of the city of St. John, and spenthis remaining days in New Brunswick, retired on half pay. He died May 8,1801. He was the leader of those of his family whose sympathies were withthe mother country in the Revolution, and is known as "the Loyalist," andwas the founder of the Canadian branch of the Stockton family and herefollows an account of the founding of the city of St. John, N.B. Canada,with which it was connected.

This article begins on page 211 of The Loyalists of New Jersey in the Revolution.

   He joined the New Jersey Volunteers in August, 1776, and was commissioned Major of the 6th Battalion on December 3, following. When in command of a post at Lawrence Island on February 18, 1777, he was taken prisoner by Colonel Nielson's party and marched to Philadelphia with a Captain, four subalterns and 100 men, captured at the same time, and was kept a prisoner there and at Carlisle, Pa., for nearly 18 months. (A.O. 13:83).
   Major Stockton was tried by court-martial on August 15, 1789, as a party to the murder of Derrick Ammerman, of Long Island, and was found guilty and sentenced to death, but the sentence was remitted. His name is on the list of Seconded officers in 1783. (Ind.: 5605).
   This Loyalist, called "Double Dick" by his enemies, was the son of Samuel and Rachel (Stout) Stockton, of Princeton. He was skilled as a guide and was named the "Famous Land Pilot." His wife, Mary, was a daughter of Joseph Hatfield, of Elizabethtown. His daughter, Mary Ann, married Captain John Barbarie (q. v.), he also had a son, Charles Witham, who saw service on the British side. 

In regards to his capture by the Patriots, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution (page 335), states that

   General Putnam sent him to Philadelphia in irons, which [General] Washington disapproved. The Major, he said, "has, I believe, been very active and michievious; but we took him in arms, as an officer of the enemy, and by the rules of war we are obliged to treat him as such, and not as a felon." 


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Richard Witham Stockton's Timeline

July 1733
Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey, USA
December 3, 1753
Age 20
November 22, 1754
Age 21
Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey
July 16, 1756
Age 23
Princeton, Somerset Co., N. J.
Age 24
January 3, 1760
Age 26
Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey, USA
Age 27
Age 29
Age 30
Age 32