Stephen Crane – Continental Congressman – New Jersey


Stephen Crane (1709 – July 1, 1780) was an American politician from Elizabethtown (Elizabeth, New Jersey) who was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776. He also served in the Provincial Congress of New Jersey, New Jersey General Assembly and New Jersey Legislative Council. Crane was part of the Congressional delegation that opposed separation from Great Britain which caused the state’s provincial congress to replace their entire delegation in June 1776.

Crane was born in Elizabethtown. He served as sheriff of Essex County and was elected as a member of its town committee in 1750. He was also a judge of the court of common pleas. From 1766 to 1773, he was a member of the colony’s general assembly 1766-1773 and served as speaker in 1771. He was also mayor of Elizabethtown before he became a member of the Continental Congress. Until his death in 1780, Crane held several public offices in New Jersey.

Crane was bayoneted by British troops passing through Elizabethtown on their way to Springfield on June 23, 1780, and died of his wounds on July 1, 1780.


* Phoebe Crane, wife (died 1776)
* William Crane, son; born 1748 in Elizabethtown, served as major of an Essex County, New Jersey regiment. Fought with Richard Montgomery in the Battle of Quebec, received a leg wound that required amputation years later. Promoted to brigadier general in the New Jersey militia after the war.
* Ichabod Bennet Crane (July 18, 1787 – October 1857) grandson; was born in Elizabethtown, commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, served aboard the USS United States, with Stephen Decatur, then served in the US Army, fought in the War of 1812 died while still on active duty with the rank of colonel after 48 years of continuous service.
* Charles Henry Crane (19 July 1825 – October 10, 1883) great-grandson; Would rise through the ranks to become a Brigadier General and Surgeon General of the United States (1882–1883).
* Joseph Halsey Crane;grandson
* William Crane; (1778–1830) grandson,
* Jonathan Townley Crane, great grandson, father of author Stephen Crane.
* Stephen Crane; great-great-grandson, author, who is best known for the novel The Red Badge of Courage.
* Bruce Crane; Descendant, American painter (1857–1937)