In Response to: A Moment in Nassau Hall

I enjoyed Gary Nash ’55 *64’s article, “A Moment in Nassau Hall” (feature, Oct. 3), about a Quaker delegation presenting its anti-slavery petition to the Continental Congress and its president, Elias Boudinot. Nash relates that Boudinot had studied law under Princeton’s Richard Stockton, whom Nash identified as a Quaker himself. As the descendant of early Quakers, I have always paid close attention to all things Quaker, especially in the Princeton area.

While Stockton was, like me, a Quaker descendant, I believe he was actually a Presbyterian, raised to be by his father, John Stockton, who left the Friends to adopt the Presbyterian faith of his wife (and, subsequently, Richard’s mother), Abigail. So records Stockton’s biography from the Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. So also affirms the statue of Stockton in the U.S. Capitol, which is clearly the very image of a proud Presbyterian grandee and not a radically humble religious nonconformist in Quaker gray.

Thomas H. Pyle ’76
Treasurer, Princeton Battlefield Society, Princeton, N.J.