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“Be religiously careful in our choice of all public officers . . . and judge of the tree by its fruits

 

The fourth President of the United States (In Congress Assembled) was Elias Boudinot[i] the grandson of a French Huguenot Protestant and skilled silversmith, who fled from Aunis France to New York to avoid the religious persecution of Louis XIV.  Elias was born in Philadelphia on May 2, 1740 and he too was another attorney. He had only one child Susan who married William Bradford the Chief Justice of Pennsylvania.  Again we see with Boudinot that his is a more varied family back background then is evident in the main line of presidents. 

His brother-in-law though, was that Richard Stockton who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Stockton’s family would be involved in American politics for many years and several generations.  Richard Stockton’s being eventually Senator from New Jersey as was the grandson Richard Field Stockton, and the two great grandsons John P Stockton who died in 1900 and his brother Richard Stockton.

Boudinot was elected President in November 1782 until November 1783.  His supporters claim him as First President on the grounds that he is named in the Treaty of Paris.  However news did not reach the United States until after his term finished and ratification was not until January 14, 1784.  At the end of a long career he was to return to the metallurgical skills of his father and grandfather as Director of the United States Mint until he retired in 1805.  His issues of coins are reckoned as the finest quality much admired and collected.  But he himself had no illustrious descendants. 

So we have another eminent skilled man whose descendents do not form part of the political elite of the country.  He is more a connection of the Stocktons than the other way about.


[i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elias_Boudinot

Copyright David Macadam 2010

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