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Col. Jonathan Drake Stevenson

Col. Jonathan Drake Stevenson (1800–1894) Jonathan D. Stevenson was born in Richmond, Staten Island, New York. While on a visit to Washington in 1846, President Polk offered Stevenson the command of a regiment of volunteers to be raised for military service in California. He accepted the command and returned to New York. Within three days after the rolls opened, the Regiment was recruited. Stevenson sailed for California with his Regiment of New York Volunteers and arrived at San Francisco March 7, 1847. After his arrival in San Francisco, Stevenson joined General Stephen Watts Kearny at Monterey and was made commander of the post. In May, 1847, he became the military commander of the southern district of California with headquarters in Los Angeles. While there, Stevenson did much to gain the goodwill of the native Californians and became known for his justice and kindness.

When his Regiment was mustered out of service in 1848, Stevenson went to the mining community of Mokelumne Hill. He was appointed alcalde of the settlement, and drew up a code of mining laws and regulations. He remained in the “diggings” long enough to amass the respectable fortune of ten thousand dollars.

He returned to San Francisco to enter the real estate business and was appointed Shipping Commissioner for the Port of San Francisco in 1872. He held this position for many years. Even after his term as Shipping Commissioner expired, he continued to engage in his law practice and to manage real estate transactions. He died in San Francisco on February 14, 1894. (http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu/xtf/view?docId=stevenson-j-d-jonathan-drake-1800-1894-cr.xml)

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