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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Admiral Franklin Buchanan

Charles Lee Lewis

published by
The Norman, Remington Company

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 1
This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p. ix  Preface

In writing the biography of Admiral Franklin Buchanan, I have made no attempt to embellish the facts of his life in a manner which more rightly belongs to historical and biographical fiction. Such embellishment, in the case of Buchanan, is needless; for the plain recital of the story of his life, which was filled with action, romance, and adventure, is quite enough to arouse an interest in his career. This career, extending from the year 1800 to the year 1874, was one of notable achievements, and its story is, to a great extent, a cross section of American naval history almost from its beginning down to the close of the Civil War.

In the preparation of the biography, I have relied upon three principal sources of information; namely, the official records in the Naval Records and Library of the Navy Department in Washington; Buchanan's letter books, ships' journals, and other manuscripts at the United States Naval Academy; and miscellaneous material, consisting of Buchanan's letters, journals, and letter books, legal papers, scrapbooks, etc., which were generously made accessible to me by different members of the Buchanan Family. In addition to these sources, an extensive survey has been made of the American naval history of Buchanan's time and of the biographies of his contemporaries with whom he came in contact, as well as many newspapers and historical journals. The  p. x bibliography of these sources will appear, to a large extent, in the various footnotes and other similar citations.

A large number of persons have cheerfully and generously assisted me in the preparation of this biography, and I regret that the list is too long for me to mention them all by name in making an acknowledgment of my indebtedness to them. I am particularly appreciative of the courteous patronage of Rear Admiral S. S. Robison, U. S. Navy, Superintendent of the U. S. Naval Academy, who has written the Foreword to this biography of the first Superintendent of the U. S. Naval Academy. To Mr. Franklin Buchanan Owen of Cleveland, Ohio, a grandson of Admiral Buchanan, I am greatly indebted; without his untiring efforts in securing illustrative and source material from the members of his family, the biography could hardly have been written. He has also read my manuscript and given me many helpful suggestions for its improvement. I have also been aided by other members of the Buchanan Family, as follows: Admiral Buchanan's daughters, Mrs. Nannie Buchanan Meiere, Mrs. Elizabeth Buchanan Sullivan, and Mrs. Mary Buchanan Owen, all of Baltimore, Maryland; and the Admiral's grandchildren, Mrs. William W. Gordon of Savannah, Georgia, Mrs. J. G. Basinger of New York City, Mr. Kennedy R. Owen of Detroit, Michigan, and Miss Nannie B. Owen, Miss Ellen B. Meiere, Miss Mary Sullivan, Mr. Felix R. Sullivan, Jr., and Miss Nannie Lloyd Sullivan, all of Baltimore, Mr. Frank Buchanan Sullivan of Philadelphia, and Mr. Murray Lloyd Screven of Mobile; and other relatives and friends of the family, Mrs. Francis T. Redwood of Baltimore, C. Howard Lloyd, Esquire of "Wye House," near Easton, Maryland,  p. xi Commodore Edward Lloyd, U. S. Navy (Retired) of Annapolis, and Colonel Henry Hollyday and Colonel Oswald Tilghman of Easton, Maryland.

Others to whom I am pleased to make acknowledgments for help are the following: Captain R. C. MacFall, U. S. Navy, Editor, U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings; Captain Dudley W. Knox, U. S. Navy (Retired), Officer-in‑Charge, Naval Records and Library, Navy Department, Washington; Miss Nannie Dornin Barney, Archivist, Naval Records and Library, Navy Department; Miss E. P. Pope, Editor, Confederate Veteran, Nashville, Tennessee; Mr. W. S. Mabry, Selma, Alabama; Mr. Garland Greever, Los Angeles, California; Miss Susan B. Harrison, House Regent, Confederate Museum, Richmond, Virginia; Dr. William G. Stanard, Corresponding Secretary and Library, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond; Miss Marie B. Owen, Director, Archives and History, State Library, Montgomery, Alabama; Landon C. Bell, Esquire, Columbus, Ohio; Mr. Matthew Page Andrews, Baltimore; Mr. S. E. Shannahan, Editor and Manager, Easton Star Democrat, Easton, Maryland; Mr. Charles Fickus, Acting Librarian, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Gladdin, "The Rest," near Easton; Mr. B. L. Parkinson, Director, Bureau of Publications, University Extension Division, University of South Carolina, Columbia; Charles E. Morris, Esquire, Editor, Easton Journal, Easton; Miss Marion Salley, Historian General, United Daughters of the Confederacy; Mrs. D. P. Roberts, Junction City, Kansas; Mr. P. H. Magruder, Secretary, U. S. Naval Academy; President William I. Norris, Board of Park Commissioners, Baltimore; Mr.  p. xii A. H. Geiselman, Baltimore; Miss Mary Elizabeth Shearn, Librarian, Maryland State Library, Annapolis, and Miss Francisº Wells, Assistant, Maryland State Library; Judge Watkins M. Vaughan; Assistant Professor Richard Johnson Duval, Librarian, Mr. Louis H. Bolander, Assistant Librarian, and Mr. James M. Saunders, Cataloguer, United States Naval Academy Library.

C. L. L.

Annapolis, Maryland.

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Page updated: 28 Sep 21