Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This time I mean Robert

The title last time I wrote was certainly misleading. I will try to be more correct this time, but I have a few words I have to say about Richard. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of independence. And so we come to story of Robert Stockton. Sam and I had a suitcase full of things we had discovered about him. And so we sat with all this knowledge and didn't know what to do with it.

Martha, our number two daughter had become a Speech Pathologist. She owned a clinic in Los Gatos California where she was employing five or more therapists. One day her husband said that he had been hired to run an office in the Denver area and they were going to relocate. She sold her clinic and off they went. They stayed in Colorado about a year and returned to their house in Los Gatos. Martha asked if she could have our research on the Stocktons for she did not want to get back into the speech area again. We were happy to give it to her for we certainly had found out we were not writers. She has worked on and off for twenty years on the Commodore and I don't think she has given up on the project yet. She found out that a writer had to have a plot before starting to write, so she studied the subject, wrote a book on the subject and lo and behold she was so successful with her new work that Robert and Richard were put in a waiting line to be dealt with later. She now has a page, an URL for people to learn about Robert, which you can reach by writing Commodore Stockton

Richard abolished flogging in the USA Navy. He was sent by President Polk to make California the next State. President Polk did not tell him that he had sent someone else overland to make California our next State The two met in Los Angeles after Stockton had secured the State for the USA. He was Governor for one day of California. Stockton was well known in Northern California where he had spent time in Monteray. The city of Stockton was named for him and the land where the San Jose Airport is located once belonged to him. I remember so well going with Martha to Princeton where we spent a lot of time at the University and at Morven and at the graveyard. We had much fun and we gleaned a few more facts about him. He was instrumental in the building of waterways and canals and and there was talk about him running for political office.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Commodore Robert Stockton

After our nest was empty, Sam and I had fun doing research on his ancestor, Robert Stockton. Sam was very interested in an older version, Richard Stockton. He, Richard had com from England or Scotland and settled in Princeton New Jersey. There are a few things I remember from his days there. He built a beautiful home called Morven. Then he built a school and sent to Scotland for a man to be the first president of the place that later became Princeton University. His name floats in my brain and refuses to come out, but it may emerge before the end of this blog. George Washington visited the Stocktons and he and Richard's wife formed a close connection. I think there was a poem she wrote in honor of George Washington. And I remember the story of her burrying the family silver among her rosebushes.

One time I was traveling alone to the East Coast to see a cousin of Sam's who lived in a tiny town named White House, NJ. On my way to their place I walked by a bookstore and I have never ever walked by a bookstore, I went in. Lo and behold there was an author talking about a book he had just written, a textbook on the history of New Jersey. We chatted for a while and he hoped I would buy one of his books. I said, only if there is much talk about the Stocktons. We looked in the index and there was page after page about my namesakes. He was interested in the fact that that was my name and I quickly informed him that it was by marriage only.

This was when we had at least two children who were in high school. Our son was working for the Summer at Jane and Stan Friden's farm in Northern California. This will be relevant later.

The author , after he saw I was buying one of his books, took me aside and told me to get in touch with the interior department of New jersey and request to borrow a film that he had been involved with, showing Morven, which now had become the Governors Mansion. The first half of the movie dealt with the Governor and his family. I think he and his wife had eight or nine children. They were democrats. The second part of the movie dealt with the history of Morven.

I was excited about this movie and wrote at once to New Jersey to ask to borrow it. It came and after we saw it Sam and I said we have to show this to Gilbert who was a real non achiever in high School. It took us more than twelve hours to get from Southern California to the Frieden Ranch which was near the Oregon border. We checked into a motel and called Jane and Stan to see if we could borrow Gilbert for tomorrow evening. She said come over and have dinner. We are having froglegs .

Gilbert was excited about the history of Princeton and said I am going to work hard enough to get accepted by Princeton. It was a dream soon forgotten.

Next blog I will tell you what we found out about Robert Stockton. If you would like to find out about him before then, check into Commodore Stockton