Col. John Stevens, III
March 6 1838
) was an
American lawyer, engineer and an inventor.
Life and career
engraving of John Stevens estate, Castle Point, Hoboken (now the
site of Stevens Institute of Technology).
]]Stevens was born in New York, New
York, the son of John Stevens (1715-1792), a
Jersey politician who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, and Elizabeth
Alexander, daughter of New York lawyer and statesman James Alexander.
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.
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.
October 11, 1811,
Stevens' ship the Juliana, began operation as the first
(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
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 helped develop
United States patent law
October 17, 1782, he
married Rachel Cox, a descendant of the Langeveldts (Longfields)
who originally settled New Brunswick, New Jersey.
They had eleven children:
- "Hoboken, Castle Point", Historic Houses of
New Jersey (1902).
- The Cox Family in America (1912), pp.