The papers of Jonathan Drake Stevenson consist of correspondence, miscellaneous legal and business papers and a few accounts
and clippings. They are contained in one document box and range in time from 1840 to 1892, although the larger part of the
material falls within the time span 1845-1880.
Stevenson was born Jan. 1, 1800 in NY; private secretary to NY Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, later accompanying him to Washington,
DC, when Tompkins was elected Vice-President in 1816; won a seat in the NY State Assembly; accepted command of military volunteer
regiment in CA from President Polk in 1846 and arrived in San Francisco in March 1847; made commander of post in Monterey
and later became military commander of the southern district of CA (headquartered in Los Angeles), May 1847; after his regiment
went out of service in 1848, he later entered the mining and real estate businesses; appointed Shipping Commissioner, Port
of San Francisco, 1872; died in San Francisco on Feb. 14, 1894. Jonathan D. Stevenson was born with the century on January 1, 1800, in Richmond, Staten Island, New York. His father, an old
time shipmaster attached to the Revenue Department, was an intimate friend of the Vanderbilt family. Young Stevenson and Cornelius
Vanderbilt were contemporaries, and through Stevenson's influence, Vanderbilt received his start in the shipping business
that was to lay the foundation for the Vanderbilt fortune. Although Vanderbilt often urged him to go into business, Stevenson's
proclivities were in the direction of mercantile pursuits which eventually brought him into New York state politics.
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