Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Parker, James

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PARKER, James, legislator, b. in Bethlehem, Hunterdon co., N. J., 3 March, 1776; d. in Perth Amboy, N. J., 1 April, 1868. His father, James, was one of the provincial council before the Revolution, an active member of the board of proprietors of the colony, and the owner of large landed property. James was graduated at Columbia in 1791, and became a merchant in New York city, but on the death of his father returned to Perth Amboy, N. J. He was in the legislature in 1806-'28, commissioner to fix the boundary-line between New Jersey and New York in 1827-'9, and collector of the port of Perth Amboy in 1829-'30. He was elected to congress as a Federalist in 1832, served two terms, and was in the State constitutional convention in 1844. He was a vice-president of the New Jersey historical society for many years, its president from 1864 till his death, was active in the cause of education, and gave the land to Rutgers college on which its buildings now stand. During his legislative career he originated the law that put an end to the local slave-trade in 1819, the one that established the school fund, and the provisions of the present law that regulates the partition of real estate in New Jersey and the rights of aliens to possess it. — His son, Cortlandt, lawyer, b. in Perth Amboy, N. J., 27 June, 1818, was graduated at Rutgers in 1836, admitted to the bar, and attained to eminence in that profession. He was one of the revisers of the laws of New Jersey in 1875, and a commissioner to settle the boundaries between that state and Delaware. He was successively offered the judgeship of the court of Alabama claims by President Grant, the mission to Russia by President Hayes, and that to Austria by President Arthur, but declined them all. He was several times an unsuccessful candidate for attorney-general of New Jersey and for the U. S. senate. Rutgers and Princeton gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1866.