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Biographies Page 9


Paul Hamilton
1762 - 1816

Furnished by : John Sharp

 

Photo from :
Naval Historical Center, Department of Navy

Portrait of
Paul Hamilton
Secretary of the Navy


Paul Hamilton
was born in Saint Paul's Parish, South Carolina, on 16 October 1762.

During the American War of Independence he served actively in military roles in the southern states.

Following the war, he was a planter and public figure; being elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1787, to the state Senate in 1794 and to the office of state Governor in 1804. The 1790 census for South Carolina reflects that Paul Hamilton owned 47 slaves although as state governor he opposed the legalization of the African slave trade.

In 1809, President James Madison selected Governor Hamilton to become the Nation's third Secretary of the Navy.
His term in office included the first months of the War of 1812, during which time the small United States Navy achieved several remarkable victories over British warships. Hamilton quickly gained the reputation as a hard and demanding boss in private correspondence he expressed his reservations regarding Washington Navy Yard and referred to the Yard as ’the Sink”.

Secretary Hamilton resigned at the end of 1812 and returned to South Carolina, where he died on 30 June 1816.

William Doughty
1773 - 1859
Furnished by : John Sharp

Colonel William Doughty (1773 - 1859)
worked for many years as naval constructor (similar to naval architect) at Washington Navy Yard. He was popular among many Washington Navy Yard mechanics and laborers and was supportive of the 1835 strike. He later came into conflict with Washington Navy Yard Commandant Isaac Hull who appealed to the Board of Naval Commissioners unsuccessfully to have Doughty removed.

William Doughty, while working at Washington Navy Yard designed many naval vessels including the USS Independence and Brandywine, his career as a shipbuilder was long and very successful the 1850 census for the District of Columbia records real estate as valued a $35,000.

William Doughty name is on the 1829 List of Washington Navy Yard employees at the salary of 1900 per annum.

See :1829 List of Washington Navy Yard employees

Commodore John Rodgers
1772 - 1838

Furnished by : John Sharp

 

Photo from :
Naval Historical Center, Department of Navy

Portrait of
Commodore John Rodgers
Secretary of the Navy


Commodore John Rodgers
born Havre de Grace, Md., entered the Navy as Second Lieutenant 1798 and was assigned to Constellation. He helped capture French frigate L'Insurgente 9 February 1799 and took command of her as prize master. He was promoted to Captain 5 March 1799 and 3 months later took command of Maryland. In March 1801 he transported the ratified French-American Peace Treaty to France. Placed in command of John Adams the following year, he sailed for the Mediterranean to attack Barbary forts and gunboats at Tripoli. His brilliant record fighting the corsairs won him appointment as Commodore of the Mediterranean Squadron in May 1805. In the spring of 1811, upon word that a British ship was impressing American seaman off Sandy Hook, N.J., Commodore Rodgers, in President, was ordered to investigate. On 16 May he defeated British corvette Little Belt in a spirited engagement which foreshadowed his brilliant success in the coming war with England. On the sixth day of the War of 1812, still in President, Rodgers drove off British frigate Belvidera and chased her for 8 hours before she escaped. During the remainder of the war he captured 23 prizes and on land rendered valuable service defending Baltimore during the attack on Fort Henry.

Following the war, Rodgers headed the Board of Navy Commissioners until retiring in May 1837.

Commodore Rodgers was a close friend of Thomas Tingey and was appointed by Secretary Smith to chair the enquiry into the conduct of Commodore Tingey and other WNY employees (See letter of 10 December 1808)

Commodore Rodgers died in Philadelphia 1 August 1838.
Commodore Rodgers resided at 4 ½ Potomac Greenleaf's Point.
He is buried in Congressional Cemetery (56/152).

 William Jones
was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1760.

Apprenticed in a shipyard, during the American War of Independence he saw combat in the battles of Trenton and Princeton and later served at sea.

In the decades that followed the war he was a successful merchant in Charleston, South Carolina, and in Philadelphia. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1800 and was offered the office of Secretary of the Navy in 1801, but declined and remained in Congress to the end of his term in 1803.

With the War of 1812 raging, William Jones became Secretary of the Navy in January 1814. His policies contributed greatly to American success on the Great Lakes and to a strategy of coastal defense and commerce raiding on the high seas. In late 1814, near the end of his term, he made recommendations on the reorganization of the Navy Department. These led to the establishment of the Board of Commissioners system which operated from 1815 until 1842. During much of 1813 and into 1814, Jones also served as acting Secretary of the Treasury and in 1816 was appointed President of the Second Bank of the United States. He returned to commercial pursuits in 1819.

William Jones died in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on 6 September 1831.

Commodore Stephen Decatur
1779 - 1820

Furnished by : John Sharp

 

Photo from :
Naval Historical Center, Department of Navy

Portrait of
Commodore Stephen Decatur


Commodore Stephen Decatur,
born in Maryland first saw service during the Quasi War with France in 1798, later served with great distinction against the Barbary pirates. He was made the youngest Captain in the U.S. Navy after his successful burning of the Philadelphia in Tripoli harbor.

During the War of 1812 Decatur achieved fame for commanding the United States to a decisive victory against the British frigate HMS Macedonian.

For his exploits he was promoted to Commodore where he again served against the Barbary pirates with distinction.

Captain Decatur had very pronounced views on how his ship should be rigged and complained to the Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton about what he perceived as Commodore Tingey's interference (See letter of 11 December 1809).

He died in 1820 as the result of a duel.
Commodore Tingey and Captain John Cassin would act as pallbearers at Decatur's funeral.
Stephen Decatur lived one block north of the White House on the corner of H Street and Jackson place.
Today his home is a museum run by the National Park Service.
For more information see Decatur House web page:
http://www.decaturhouse.org/about/location.htm#


Captain James Lawrence
1781 - 1813

Furnished by : John Sharp

Captain James Lawrence,
was born in Burlington, New Jersey, Though educated in the field of law; he joined the United States Navy in September 1798 as a Midshipman and served in the ship Ganges and frigate Adams during the undeclared war with France. Commissioned in the rank of Lieutenant in 1802, he served in the schooner Enterprise during the War with Tripoli, taking part in a successful attack on enemy craft on 2 June 1803. In February 1804 he was second in command during the daring expedition to destroy the captured frigate Philadelphia. Later in the conflict he commanded the Enterprise and a gunboat in battles with the Tripolitans. He was also First Lieutenant of the frigate John Adams and, in 1805, commanded the small Gunboat Number 6 during a voyage across the Atlantic to Italy. He died in 1813 while in command of the frigate USS Chesapeake in battle against the HMS Shannon. As he died he attempted unsuccessfully to rally his men by exclaiming ’Don't give up the Ship” despite heroic resistance the USS Chesapeake fell to the Shannon. Although defeated Captain Lawrence's action was held up as model for naval officers and he was award public honors (See Letter of 29, June 1813 from Secretary of the Navy Jones to Commodore Thomas Tingey) and quickly joined the nation's pantheon of naval hero's.

Thomas Frances Pendel III  
May 29, 1824 - March 10, 1909
Was born on Analostan Island, near Aqueduct Bridge, at Georgetown, D. C, May 29, 1824. The grandson of  Thomas Pendel who came from Ireland prior to the Revolutionary War. Thomas Pendel's maternal grandparents were from Pennsylvania, of old Dutch stock. Thomas Pendel Sr. was in business in Alexandria in the Hudson Bay Fur Company, and accumulated $100,000, which he spent in aiding the Revolutionary cause, in which he took an active part. His remains lie in the churchyard of Christ Church, Alexandria, where General Washington used to worship. Thomas Pendel Jr. was in the Indian Wars, previous to the War of 1812, and also took part in this war. He was an artilleryman, and at the call for volunteers on Lake Erie, reported for duty on an American brig to fight an English frigate. He was in the battle of Black Rock, which site is now the city of Buffalo, and lost an arm by a passing ball from the British. For this he received a pension of ninety dollars a year. Thomas Pendel the third, enlisted in the Marine Corps on March 5, 1846, at Philadelphia; and on February 5, 1847, sailed from Boston on the battleship Ohio, bound for Vera Cruz. Thomas Pendel was living in California while a Marine in 1850. In 1860 Thomas Pendel was a  a bricklayer, with three children and his wife Sarah living in the District of Columbia. In 1861, or 1862, the Metropolitan Police was established by Congress at the Capital, and Thomas Pendel applied and was selected to the force. It was Thomas who made the first arrest along with fellow officer, Buck Essex. On November 3, 1864, Sergeant John Cronin, Alfonso Dunn, Andrew Smith, and Thomas Pendel were assigned to duties at the President House. Thomas would become a door Keeper to the White House for thiry six years. Starting with the presidency of Lincoln, through President Roosevelt, Thomas Pendel was door keeper and witness to thirty six years of Presidential history. Thomas Pendel passed away at the age of eighty six. [Submitted by Janie Rice]
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