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John P. Stockton

 

John P. Stockton

John Potter Stockton
United States Senator
from New Jersey
In office
March 15, 1865 – March 27, 1866
Preceded by John C. Ten Eyck
Succeeded by Alexander G. Cattell
In office
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1875
Preceded by Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
Succeeded by Theodore F. Randolph
Personal details
Born (1826-08-02)August 2, 1826
Princeton, New Jersey
Died January 22, 1900(1900-01-22) (aged 73)
New York City, New York
Political party Democratic

John Potter Stockton (August 2, 1826 – January 22, 1900) was a New Jersey politician who served in the United States Senate as a Democrat.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Stockton was the son of Robert F. Stockton, grandson of Richard Stockton (1764-1828) and the great-grandson of Richard Stockton (1730-1781), both prominent New Jersey politicians. He graduated from Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, where he studied law.

Stockton's first foray into politics was as US Minister to the Papal States (1858–1861). After returning to New Jersey to practice law for four years, he was appointed to the Senate. His first tenure lasted barely a year before he voted against the proposition of the Fourteenth Amendment, which failed to pass the Senate by one vote.

In response, the Senate passed a motion, by a majority of one, to unseat him even though the constitution specified that a two-thirds majority was required to expel a Senator. The inventive response to this was that the Senate was unseating him retroactively, which was claimed to be quite distinct from expulsion.

The outrage caused by this led to New Jersey rescinding its ratification of the Amendment, in protest of his arbitrary removal. He returned to the Senate, this time for a full six-year term, in 1869. Stockton served as New Jersey Attorney General from 1877 to 1897.

Stockton

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