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John Cox Stevens

John Cox Stevens (September 24, 1785 - June 13, 1857) is best known for founding and serving as the first Commodore of the New York Yacht Club as well as being a member of the America syndicate which won the first America's Cup trophy in 1851.

Stevens graduated from Columbia University in 1803. He married Maria C. Livingston on December 27, 1809. The sporting son in the family, he built a series of yachts. In 1844, on board his yacht, Gimcrack, he was named Commodore of the New York Yacht Club which he and nine others had just proposed forming.[1][2]

Stevens once served as president of The Jockey Club and setup the 1823 Great North-South Match. The race stoked sectional tensions when the Northern horse, "American Eclipse," defeated the southern colt, "Sir Henry". The northern victory encouraged a northern enthusiasm for horse racing but embarrassed southerners with their pretensions of superiority in breeding, training, and racing horses. He was also a founding member of New York's oldest gentlemen's society, the Union Club. He introduced Cricket to the United States[3]

He ran the company which had the first steam ferry between Hoboken, New Jersey and New York City.

His father, Col. John Stevens was a revolutionary war veteran, pioneer in steamboats, and purchaser of what is now Hoboken. His mother was Rachel Cox from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was the eldest son. His brother Robert L. Stevens was a businessman and inventor. Another brother Edwin Augustus Stevens founded Stevens Institute of Technology, and later was also a Commodore at the NYCC.

Stevens was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1994.


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