Colonel John Stevens III (Continental Army)

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Colonel John Stevens III (Continental Army)'s Geni Profile

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Col. John Stevens, III

Birthdate: (89)
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Death: March 6, 1838 (89)
Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Stevens, II of Perth Amboy, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States and Elizabeth Stevens
Husband of Rachel Stevens
Father of Elizabeth Juliana Stevens; Francis Bowes Stevens; John Cox Stevens; Edwin Augustus Stevens; Mary Sands and 6 others
Brother of Mary Livingston

Managed by: Private User
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About Colonel John Stevens III (Continental Army)

A Patriot of the American Revolution for NEW JERSEY with the rank of MAJOR. DAR Ancestor # A108918

Col. John Stevens, III (1749 - March 6, 1838) was an American lawyer, engineer and an inventor.

Life and career

Born the son of John Stevens (1715–1792), a prominent New Jersey politician who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, and Elizabeth Alexander, daughter of New York lawyer and statesman James Alexander. His sister, Mary Stevens (d. 1814), married Robert R. Livingston, the first Chancellor of the State of New York.

He graduated King's College (which became Columbia University) in May 1768.

At age 27 he was appointed a Captain in Washington's army, and was afterwards treasurer of New Jersey, and bought at public auction from the state of New Jersey land which had been confiscated from a Tory landowner. The land, described as "William Bayard's farm at Hoebuck" comprised approximately what is now the city of Hoboken. Stevens built his estate at Castle Point, on land that would later become the site of Stevens Institute of Technology (bequeathed by his son Edwin Augustus Stevens).

In 1802 he built a screw-driven steamboat, and in 1806 he built the Phoenix, a steamboat that ultimately sailed from Hoboken to Philadelphia in 1809, thereby becoming the first steamship to successfully navigate the open ocean.

In October 1811, Stevens' ship the Juliana, began operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service was between New York, New York, and Hoboken, New Jersey). The first railroad charter in the U.S. was given to Stevens and others in 1815 for the New Jersey Railroad. He designed and built a steam locomotive capable of hauling several passenger cars at his estate in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1825.The invention of the steam engine helped begin the modern railroads and trains. He also helped develop United States patent law.


On October 17, 1782, he married Rachel Cox, a descendant of the Langeveldts (Longfields) who originally settled New Brunswick, New Jersey.

They had eleven children:

John Cox Stevens (1785–1857), first commodore of the New York Yacht Club.

Robert Livingston Stevens (1787–1856), applied the wave line to shipbuilding, and president of Camden and Amboy Railroad, the first railroad built in New Jersey.

James Alexander Stevens (1790–1873)

Richard Stevens (1792–1835)

Francis Bowes Stevens (1793–1812)

Edwin Augustus Stevens (1795–1868), founder of Stevens Institute of Technology.

Elizabeth Juliana Stevens (1797–1821)

Mary Stevens (1799–1825), first wife of Rear Admiral Joshua R. Sands

Harriet Stevens (1801–1844), second wife of Joshua R. Sands

Esther Bowes Stevens (1804-?)

Catherine Sophia Van Cortlandt Stevens (1806-?)

The offspring of Stevens alive today are also prominent American figures. Trevor Owen Allen, a polyglot and distinguished scholar at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson NY, is sixth generation grandson of Stevens. Trevor has lived and studied in Italy Russia and Estonia.

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Colonel John Stevens III (Continental Army)'s Timeline

New York, New York, United States
September 24, 1785
Age 36
October 18, 1787
Age 38
Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States
Age 41
Age 43
Age 44
July 28, 1795
Age 46
Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Age 48
Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States
Age 50
Age 52