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First Name: Jonathan

Last Name: Stevenson

Birthplace: Station Island, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Drake

Date of Birth: 01 January 1800

Date of Death: 14 February 1894

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Jonathan Drake Stevenson

•  Mexican-American Wars (1846 - 1848)


Jonathan Drake Stevenson
Colonel, U.S. Army

Jonathan Drake Stevenson was born on 1 January 1800 in Staten Island, NY.

New York State Politics

Stevenson became the protégé of New York Governor Daniel D. Tompkins and served as his private secretary, and accompanied him to Washington in that capacity when Tompkins was elected Vice President in 1816. His friendship with prominent politicians and his helping to expose the Glentworth Election Frauds of 1839 gained him a certain stature in the Democratic Party. He won a seat in the New York State Assembly and supported James K. Polk for the Presidency in 1844.

Regiment of New York Volunteers

In 1846, President Polk offered Stevenson command of a regiment of volunteers to be raised as part of the American Occupation Army during the Mexican-American War in California. Colonel Stevenson raised a volunteer regiment of ten companies of 77 men each or 770 men to go to California with the understanding that they would be mustered out and stay in California. On the 1st of August 1846, the regiment was mustered into Federal service as the "Seventh" New York Volunteers. Stevenson, with his Regiment of New York Volunteers, sailed around Cape Horn for California on 26 September 1846, and arrived at San Francisco on 7 March 1847. After his arrival in San Francisco, Stevenson joined General Stephen W. Kearny at Monterey and was made Commander of the Post. In May 1847, he became Military Commander of the Southern District of California with headquarters in Los Angeles. In 1848, an order was received by Colonel R. B. Mason, directing that Colonel Stevenson's Regiment should be designated thereafter the "1st Regiment of New York Volunteers" instead of the "Seventh."

Post Bellum

When his Regiment was mustered out of service in 1848, Stevenson went to the mining community of Mokelumne Hill. He was appointed Alcalde of the settlement, and drew up a code of mining laws and regulations. He returned to San Francisco to enter the real estate business with Dr. William C. Parker, who had been assistant surgeon in the Regiment of New York Volunteers. He bought the southern half of Rancho Los Medanos in 1849 and laid out a site for a town they called "New York of the Pacific" which was changed to Pittsburg in 1911. He was appointed Shipping Commissioner for the Port of San Francisco in 1872.

Death and Burial

Colonel Jonathan Drake Stevenson died on 14 February 1894 in San Francisco, CA. He is buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, CA.

Honoree ID: 3114   Created by: MHOH




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