Sunday, February 28, 2010

Richard Stockton: 2/28/1781

His grandson, Robert, was the U.S. Navy Commodore who helped freed slaves found Liberia, West Africa, and in 1846 captured California-the city of Stockton named for him. His brother-in-law, Elias Boudinot, was a Continental Congress President and founder of the American Bible Society. His daughter married Declaration Signer Benjamin Rush. His name was Richard Stockton.

After he signed the Declaration of Independence, the British invaded New Jersey forcing him to move his family for safety. Richard Stockton was betrayed, drug from his bed at night and imprisoned in New York. His farm was pillaged and his library, one of the best in the country, was burned.

His health broken from over a year in the British prison, Richard Stockton died bankrupt at age 51, FEBRUARY 28, 1781. New Jersey placed his statue in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall.

Richard Stockton wrote in his Will: "As my children...may be peculiarly impressed with the last words of their father, I think proper here, not only to subscribe to the entire belief of the great leading doctrine of the Christian religion...but also in the heart of a father's affection, to exhort them to remember 'that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.'"

American Minute with Bill Federer

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