Name: Richard Witham Stockton
Died: 8 May 1801
Place: Sussex Vale, NB, Canada
Married: 3 Dec 1753
Place: Elizabeth Town, NJ
Richard Witham Stockton, a Major in the Royal Army during the Revolution,
was a first cousin to Richard
Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as follows...
Richard Stockton m Susannah Witham
Samuel Stockton John Stockton
Richard W Stockton Richard Stockton, Signer
It is known that American artist Henry Benbridge
painted a portait of Major Stockton. The Smithsonian has it listed a
The following record is taken from the article, Marriage Register of
St. John's Church, Elizabeth, from the October 1929 issue of The
Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. It states that the marriages listed
were performed by the Rev. Thomas Bradbury Chandler.
Richard Stogden of Princeton to Mery Hetfield, daughter of Joseph
Hetfield of Elizabeth Town, Dec. 3., 1753.
This article begins on page 211 of The Loyalists of New Jersey in the
RICHARD WITHAM STOCKTON (Major)
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
Known as "Stockton, the famous land pilot" to the King's troops. He was
surprised, February 18, 1777, by Colonel Nelison, of Brunswick, New Jersey,
and, with fifty-nine privates, taken prisoner. General Putnam sent him to
Philadelphia in irons, which [General] Washington disapproved. The Major,
he said, "has, I believe, been very active and mischievous; 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."
And this is found in the article "A History of the 6th Battalion, New
Jersey Volunteers" at the website for The On-Line Institute for Advanced
The battalion also suffered when it lost its second in command, Major
Richard Witham Stockton on 18 February 1777. Stockton commanded a mixed
force drawn from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 6th battalions operating out of
Bennet's Neck when he was attacked and overwhelmed, losing several men
killed and about sixty officers and men made prisoner. Stockton was
humiliated as he and his men were marched in irons through the streets of
Philadelphia. He and his men would languish, almost forgotten, for almost
two years before the survivors were exchanged. While a prisoner he was
retired upon half pay and seconded, no vacancy then being available.
At the same website this transcription of letter written by Stockton and
his fellow prisoners to the Continental Congress:3
May it Please the Honourable Congress
We pray leave to aldress you as Prisoners of War being taken by your troops
in February last and after being confined in the Gaol of Philadelphia for
several months we were sent to the Gaol of York and afterwards to the Gaol
of Carlisle where we are now kept in Close Confinement,
We Crave leave to Observe to your Honours that this Prison is perhaps the
worst on the continent being rather a ruin than a Gaol- where every part of
it distributes air as thro' the holes of a Collender affecting the body with
strange sensations and destroying of our healths and while at the same time
we have no glasses to the windows seven of us are obliged to sleep in one
room without anything but most of us each one Blankett.
As your Honors are well acquainted that Humanity is the Characteristic of a
civilized People and are also well acquainted with the Law of Nations and
the Rules of War. we have presumed to lay our Case before your Honours not
doubting but we shall be relieved in the Premises.
We are with Due respect for your Honours,
Your Honors most Humbl. Servts
Richard W. STOCKTON Major
6 Bt N.J.V.
Asher DUNHAM Capt.
Chas. HARRISON Capt.
Robert MORRIS Capt.
Francis FRAZER Lieut.
John MONRO Lieut.
Robert JAMES Lieut.
John COMBS Lieut.
Papers of the Continental Congress, M247, r100, i78, v18, p117.
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -