Saturday, May 25, 2013

John Stoughtenburgh Prince

A few years ago as I was researching my ancestry, I came across John Stoughtenburgh Prince. I found several books and websites that either mention this man or include a small biography of him. None of the articles or books gave me much information about his ancestors.

I had made the assumption that he might be a descendant of Pieter Stoutenburg based on his middle name through his mother. However, I did not rule out that he might be a Stoutenburg descendant from his father's family. At that time, I was not able to find anything that would connect him to Pieter Stoutenburg.

John Stoughtenburgh Prince settled at St. Paul, Minnesota about 1854. He was a banker and also held the office of mayor for several terms. From what I read, he was a very influential person in St. Paul during his life. He was the son of Joseph Prince and Charlotte Osborne and was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1821.

The only other Stoutenburg descendant who had lived in St. Paul before the late 20th Century was Frank Stoutenburg. I already knew that Frank Stoutenburg was born in Iowa but spent his childhood in the State of New York before heading west to Minnesota. Frank arrived in Minnesota around the time that John Stoughtenburgh Prince died. As far as I could tell there was no connection between these men.

I had hit a brick wall and decided to move on to another area of my research. But the other day that name popped up while I was searching for information on someone else. This time I came across a book published in 2009 that was authored by descendants of John Prince's sister, Amelia Prince, entitled John Broome and Rebecca Lloyd Their Descendants and Related Families 18th to 21st Centuries Volume 1.

Pages 149 - 151 of the book provided me with enough clues to resume my search to find a connection. Charlotte Osborne was born in New York City in 1797. Joseph Prince was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1788. He and Charlotte Osborne married in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1818. The book gave no indication as to how these two met, nor why they were in Cincinnati in 1818. Joseph Prince's father was the mayor of Cincinnati in 1803 so it would appear that Joseph and his parents were in Ohio before 1803.

After the Revolutionary War, the US government paid soldiers of that war in land warrants. The warrants were mostly for land in what is now the State of Ohio in what was then the Northwest Territory (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota). In March 1803, Ohio became a state and what was left of the Northwest Territory became the Indiana Territory. As parts of the original Northwest Territory became states what remained subsequently became the Illinois Territory, Michigan Territory, Wisconsin Territory and finally the Minnesota Territory.

It seemed to me very unlikely that Joseph Prince and his father had much contact with the Stoutenburgs of New York. When I learned from the book that Charlotte Osborne was born in New York City in 1797, I decided to look for the connection there. Her father, Bilious Ward Osborne was from New Haven, Connecticut but married in New York City Bridget Turner, the daughter of John Turner of New York City.

After Joseph Prince died in 1833, Charlotte was a widow with small children so it was only natural that she would remarry. According to the book, she married Gabriel Franchere in Detroit, Michigan and a Colonel Mack was a witness. Charlotte Osborne and Joseph Prince had a son named James Tallant Prince and a son named Andrew Mack Prince.

I could not find any direct relationship with the Stoutenburg family in New York City and wondered if their sons might be named after influential friends or business relations. Since Col. Mack was at witness at Charlotte Osborne's second marriage, I did some research on an Andrew Mack because one son was Andrew Mack Prince. I found that Col. Andrew Mack was in the Ohio Assembly and ran for mayor of Cincinnati in 1829, the same year in which Andrew Mack Prince was born. Col. Andrew Mack was the founder of the Detroit Free Press and was a mayor of Detroit.

Next I turned to James Tallant Prince. I wondered if there was a James Tallant living in Cincinnati about the time that James Tallant Prince was born. Well, there was! I found a court case in Louisiana in 1830 in which a James Tallant was involved. He was the owner of a steamship, Walter Scott, in Cincinnati.

Now I wondered if there was a John Stoutenburgh in Cincinnati, Ohio about the time the John Stoughtenburgh Prince was born. I haven't found any such person. Then I next wondered if there was a connection to Charlotte's family when she lived in New York City. I haven't found a clear link but Isaac Stoutenburgh was a very wealthy merchant and auctioneer in New York around that time. He had a son, John Stoutenburgh, who followed in his father's footsteps.

I don't absolute proof that John Stoughtenburgh Prince was named for Isaac and Elizabeth Will Stoutenburgh's son John. But it does seem very likely to me.

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