Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 2076 General Hazard Stevens House

Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 2076

General Hazard Stevens House known as Crest Lawn, 8 Bowdoin Avenue

the following biographical sketch is fromĀ

Hazard Stevens (1842-1918) was born June 9, 1842, in Newport, RI, to Isaac I. Stevens (1818-1862) and Margaret Hazard Stevens. The Stevens, Lyman and Hazard families had deep roots in New England, and a family home built in 1670, the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, is the oldest surviving house in Newport and a historical landmark. In 1853 Isaac Stevens was named first governor of the Washington Territory and given authority over the tribes as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, an authority he exercised with a heavy hand. Hazard traveled with him through the Northwest, attended meetings with tribal leaders, and served as a volunteer during the 1855-1856 conflicts. Isaac Stevens served in Congress for Washington in 1857 and 1858.

Hazard Stevens entered Harvard in 1860 but joined his father’s regiment, the 70th Highlanders of the New York Volunteers, when the Civil War erupted. Hazard rose to captain in 1861, while his father became a general. At the battle of Chantilly, Isaac was killed and Hazard twice wounded. On recovery, he was assigned to the Third Division of the 9th Corps under Getty, as inspector-general. Hazard Stevens was instrumental in the capture of Fort Huger, Virginia, on Apr. 19, 1863, for which he received the Congressional Medal of Honor. He transferred to the Second Division and received a third brevet, as brigadier general, at Petersburg on Apr. 2, 1865. Stevens mustered out Sept. 30, 1865.

He returned to Washington and began work for John C. Ainsworth as an agent for Oregon Steam Navigation Company at Wallula. In May 1868 he became collector of inland revenue for the territory, and moved to Olympia. During his three years as tax officer he also read law with Elwood Evans, and was admitted to the bar. His chief client was the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, where he actively suppressed rampant theft of public lumber, and successfully led a local campaign to extend the railroad to Olympia. In 1874 President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Stevens to investigate British claims on the San Juan Archipelago.

With Philemon B. Van Trump, Stevens made the first successful documented ascent of Mt. Rainier (then known as Mt. Tacoma) on Aug. 17, 1870. Caught by bad weather, they sheltered in a thermal vent and survived to descend.

In 1874 Stevens followed his mother and three sisters back to Boston, residing at Crest Lawn house in Dorchester, and entered the Massachusetts state legislature in 1885 as a reformer. He was a founder of the Massachusetts Tariff Reform League and secretary for several years. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress. In 1907-1908, he was instrumental in preserving Boston’s Old State House and legislated its protection as an historic structure. Stevens retained property at Cloverfields farm in Olympia, visiting each year to oversee management; the house is now on the National Historic Register. Hazard Stevens wrote a noted biography of his father and many papers on the Civil War. He never married. Hazard Stevens died in 1918.


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