John Bartow Prevost

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John Bartow Prevost
Recorder of New York City
In office
1801–1804
Preceded by Richard Harison
Succeeded by Maturin Livingston
Judge of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans
In office
1804–1808
Preceded by N/A
Succeeded by Joshua Lewis
American Consul at Lima, Peru
In office
1818 – March 5, 1825
Personal details
Born March 6, 1766
Paramus, New Jersey
Died March 5, 1825(1825-03-05) (aged 58)
Lima, Peru
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Frances Anna Smith
Occupation attorney, businessman

John Bartow Prevost (March 6, 1766 – March 5, 1825) was an American attorney, judge, politician, businessman and diplomat. He became the first judge of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans from 1804–1808, and was American consul at Lima, Peru from 1818 until his death.

Early life and family

Prevost was born on March 6, 1766 in Paramus, New Jersey. His father Col. Jacques Marcus Prevost had emigrated from Geneva, Switzerland to Britain with his brother General Augustine Prevost, and rose in the British Army to command British forces in New Jersey and was briefly governor of Georgia during the American Revolutionary War before moving to the British West Indies to recover from his wounds and dying in Jamaica in 1779. His widow (and J.B. Prevost's mother), Theodosia Bartow, was a New Jersey native (only daughter of Theodore Bartow of Shrewsbury) and patriot during that war. In 1782, the widow married Aaron Burr.[1] Burr (who would become Vice President of the United States under Thomas Jefferson) raised Theodosia's sons John and Frederick as his own.

John B. Prevost married Frances Anna Smith, daughter of Rev. Samuel Smith, of Princeton College on February 5, 1799. They had four children: Theodosia Ann Prevost (1801–1864), James Marcus Prevost (1803–1829), Stanhope Prevost (1804–1868) and Frances Prevost Breckinridge (1806–1870).[2]

Public service

Prevost was Recorder of New York City from 1801 to 1804, when President Thomas Jefferson appointed him as one of the first three judges of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans.[1] Arriving in New Orleans on October 29, 1804, Prevost opened the Superior Court with a charge to the grand jury on Monday, November 5, 1804.[1] Prevost served alone on that bench from November 5, 1804, for about two years, due to the death and refusal to take office of his fellow judges. In 1808, Prevost resigned from the bench and was replaced by Joshua Lewis of Kentucky. Prevost remained in New Orleans and practiced law for several years.

In 1818, President James Monroe appointed Prevost as American Commissioner to examine the state of Spanish colonies in South America. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams tasked Prevost to secure the Oregon Territory as reparations from the British government for the War of 1812 as spelled out in the Treaty of Ghent.

Prevost moved his family to Peru, where he worked until his death on March 5, 1825, although his formal nomination as Chargé d'affaires was withdrawn before the Senate could approve it.[3] His son Stanhope Prevost became a prominent merchant in Lima with Edward McCall (American consul at Lima 1843–1851), married a Peruvian woman and had children, becoming like his father the American consul in Lima (1851–1853) and dying there in 1868. His son Henry S. Prevost (J.B. Prevost's grandson) then liquidated the firm.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c Celebration of the Centenary of the Supreme Court of Louisiana (March 1, 1913), in John Wymond, Henry Plauché Dart, eds., The Louisiana Historical Quarterly (1922), p. 113.
  2. ^ Rev. Evelyn Bartow, "The Prevost Family in America" in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volumes 11–13 (Jan. 1882 p. ), available at https://books.google.com/books?id=EtMUAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA2-PA28&lp
  3. ^ https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/people/prevost-john-b
  4. ^ The Alsop Claim: The Counter Case of the United States of America for and in Behalf of the Original American Claimants in this Case, Their Heirs, Assigns, Representatives, and Devisees Versus the Republic of Chile Before His Majesty George V (U.S. Govt. Printing Office 1910) pp. 15–16 available at https://books.google.com/books?id=yVysAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA15
Legal offices
Preceded by
Richard Harison
Recorder of New York City
1801–1804
Succeeded by
Maturin Livingston
Preceded by
new office
Judge of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans
1804–1808
Succeeded by
Joshua Lewis
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