Naturally, the only one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence who recanted – who, later on, swore allegiance to the British – hailed from New Jersey.
A well-known New Jersey college is named after this gentleman. So is a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.
But there were powerfully extenuating circumstances in the case of Richard Stockton (1730-1781).
He had suffered horribly in a British prison before recanting. He was ill. His home had been destroyed. And at the time, it seemed that our country was clearly losing its fight for independence. Stockton was a desperate man.
After he was freed, he once again swore loyalty to the United States.