Commodore Stockton


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STOCKTON, ROBERT FIELD, naval officer; born in Princeton, N. J., Aug. 20, 1795; grandson of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; entered the navy as midshipman in 1811; was conspicuous in several of the battles of the War of 1812–15; became captain in 1838, and resigned in May, 1850. In the Mediterranean and on the coast of Africa he was active and efficient—against the Algerine pirates in the first instance, and the slavers in the second—and in 1821 he made treaties with African chiefs by which was obtained the territory of Liberia. He also broke up the nests of many West India pirates. He was among the foremost in advocating steam-vessels for the navy, and the Princeton, built after his plan, in 1844, was the pioneer. In 1845 he was sent to the Pacific with 1,500 men, including 600 sailors, in a small squadron, and in a few months he was chiefly instrumental in conquering California and forming a provisional United States government there.

Commodore Stockton

Commodore Stockton

He was United States Senator from 1851 to 1853, and to him the navy is indebted for the abolition of flogging on shipboard. He died in Princeton, N. J., Oct. 7, 1866. See FREMONT, JOHN CHARLES ; KEARNY, STEPHEN WATTS.




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