James Parker


James Parker (Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States; March 3, 1776 - Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States; April 1, 1868) was an American Congressman, Surveyor, and Member of the General Assembly of the state of New Jersey, mayor of Perth Amboy in 1815 and 1850.


James Parker II was the son of Gertrude MacGregor Skinner (1736-1811) and James Parker I (1725-1797), who served on the northern frontier during the French and Indian War as a young man and left the army sometime after 1746 , and partnered with New York soldier and settler Beverly Robinson in a mercantile business. He was also a member of the provincial council before the Revolution and an active member of the colony's board of owners and owner of large real estate properties. [1] His parents were married on February 12, 1763 in Monmouth, New Jersey and together they had 11 children.

Her maternal grandparents were the Rev. William Skinner (rector of St. Peter's Church in Perth Amboy) and Elizabeth Van Cortlandt (daughter of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, the first mayor born in New York). [2] His uncle was Brigadier General Cortlandt Skinner, [1] the last royal attorney general of New Jersey and loyal to the New Jersey volunteers, also known as Skinner's Greens, during the Revolutionary War. [3] [4]

James Parker II was the tenth child in order of birth and one of his sons, James Parker III (1805-1861), was a judge and married Anna Forbes Foster (1808-1891), who was the daughter of Captain Cleaveland Alexander Forbes (1780-1857) and Susanna Foster (1756-1816).

James Parker II married Penelope Butler (1785-1823) on January 5, 1803 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States and together they had 9 children: James Parker (1804-1805), James Parker III (1805-1861), William Parker (1807-1868), Margaret Elizabeth Parker (1809-1886), Gertrude Parker (1811-1828), Penelope Parker (1813-1817) and Cortlandt Parker (1818-1907), Sarah Coats Levy Parker (1816-1842) and John Cortlandt Parker (1818-1907).

After the death of his first wife in 1823, Parker remarried Catherine Morris Ogden on September 20, 1827. Catherine was the daughter of Euphemia (née Morris) Ogden and Samuel Ogden, the founder of Boonton Iron Works. Through her father, she was the niece of Abraham Ogden and, through her mother, she was the niece of Gouverneur Morris, a United States Senator and United States Minister to France.


James Parker moved to Perth Amboy after the Revolution. He graduated from Columbia College in New York City in 1793 and then became a merchant in Manhattan, New York, but returned to Perth Amboy after his father's death. [5]

Parker devoted himself to the management and liquidation of properties left by his father. He was also a surveyor and lawyer, although he was never admitted to the bar association. He was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 1806 to 1810 and from 1812 to 1813, 1815 to 1816, 1818 and 1827. During his legislative career, he originated the law that ended the local slave trade in 1819, which established the school fund, and the provisions of a law that regulated the partition of real estate in New Jersey and the rights of foreigners own it. [6] He was mayor of Perth Amboy, New Jersey in 1815 and again in 1850. He was the New Jersey Harbor Collector at Perth Amboy from 1829 to 1833. [5]

Parker was elected a Jacksonian for Congresses 23 and 24, serving from March 4, 1833 to March 3, 1837. [5]

After leaving Congress, he resumed his previous activities and was secretary to the East Jersey board of owners. He was a member of the different boundary commissions to obtain an agreement on the question of the boundaries between the states of New York and New Jersey, and was a delegate to the New Jersey constitutional convention in 1844. [5]

He was vice president of the New Jersey Historical Society for many years, its president from 1864 until his death, he was actively involved in the cause of education and gave the land to Rutgers College where its buildings now stand. [6]


James Parker died in Perth Amboy, New Jersey on April 1, 1868. He was interred in St. Peter's Episcopal Cemetery. [5]


Through his son Cortlandt, he was the grandfather of James Parker (a major general in the United States Army and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his role in the Philippine-American War during 1899), [8] [9] Richard Wayne Parker (also a United States representative from New Jersey). [10]


  1. Society New Jersey Historical (1920). Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society. New Jersey Historical Society. pp. 100-104. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Burke, John (1838). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, Enjoying Territorial Possessions Or High Official Rank: But Univested with Heritable Honours. H. Colburn. p. 243. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  3. ^ "Biographical Sketch of Brigadier General Cortland Skinner". www.royalprovincial.com. The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Lamb, Martha Joanna (1877). Embracing the period prior to the Revolution, closing in 1774. A.S. Barnes and Company. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e "PARKER, James - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Parker, James" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
  7. ^ Robison, Jeannie Floyd Jones; Bartlett, Henrietta Collins (1917). Genealogical Records: Manuscript Entries of Births, Deaths and Marriages Taken from Family Bibles, 1581-1917. Colonial Dames of the State of New York. p. 47. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Parker, James (2003). The Old Army: Memories, 1872-1918. Stackpole Books. p. 7. ISBN 9780811728973. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  9. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 293. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151.
  10. ^ "PARKER, Richard Wayne - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 11, 2019.