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The early success of the United States Naval Academy and the constant effort to attain higher standards, that has continued to this date, are in a large measure due to the first Academic Staff and the precedents set under the very effective leadership of Commander Franklin Buchanan, U. S. Navy, who became Superintendent with the founding of the Naval Academy on October 10, 1845. Assisting him was a very able and enthusiastic group — the first Academic Staff:
Commander Franklin Buchanan, U. S. Navy, Superintendent.
Lieutenant J. H. Ward, U. S. Navy, Executive and Instructor in Gunnery and Steam.
Professor W. Chauvenet, Instructor in Mathematics and Navigation.
Professor H. H. Lockwood, Instructor in Natural Philosophy.
Professor A. N. Girault, Instructor in French.
Chaplain G. Jones, U. S. Navy, Instructor in English.
Surgeon J. A. Lockwood, U. S. Navy, Instructor in Chemistry.
Passed Midshipman S. Marcy, U. S. Navy, Assistant Instructor in Mathematics.
No description of the Naval Academy would be complete without an account of the lives of these men who have so definitely left their stamp on the Naval Academy.
Commander Franklin Buchanan, U. S. Navy
Superintendent, U. S. Naval School
Franklin Buchanan was born September 17, 1800 in Baltimore, Maryland, at "Auchentorlie," the home of his father, Dr. George Buchanan, the son of a distinguished Scottish physician who had come to Maryland in 1723. Young Franklin Buchanan's mother was Laetitia McKean, daughter of the Pennsylvania "Signer," Thomas McKean, of Scottish-Irish ancestry. On January 28, 1815, Franklin became a midshipman at the age of fourteen, and saw service first on the Java, under command of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. He spent the first 5 years of his naval career cruising in various ships, chiefly in the Mediterranean. He then secured a furlough of 18 months and went as second officer on a merchant vessel on a voyage to China. Back home again in active naval service, he spent several years in the Caribbean in Commodore David Porter's squadron and in the Natchez, under command of Master Commandant George Budd in their successful operations against the pirates of the West Indies, where the hurricanes and the yellow fever were even more dangerous enemies than the sea rovers. Again on leave in the summer of 1825, Buchanan, though only a young lieutenant 25 years old, sailed the frigate Baltimore of 64 guns, recently built in the city of Baltimore for the Brazilian Navy, safely through a severe storm and delivered the ships into the hands of representatives of Emperor Dom Pedro.
Then came more cruising in the Mediterranean, first in the Constellation, commanded by Captain A. S. Wadsworth, uncle of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and a little later in the ship of the line Delaware, a crack ship commanded by Captain Henry E. Ballard. While attached to the latter vessel, Buchanan in company with the other officers was entertained p1390 at dinner in Paris by King Louis Philippe. Among these other officers were Charles S. Stewart, the famous chaplain, Andrew H. Foote, and Sidney Smith Lee, brother to Robert E. Lee. Returning home in the old frigate United States, Buchanan was married on February 19, 1835, to Anne Catherine Lloyd, daughter of Governor Edward Lloyd, of Wye House, and niece of Francis Scott Key. After a tour of shore duty during which he tested ordnance at Philadelphia and commanded the receiving ship at Baltimore, he went to sea as flag lieutenant on the Constitution, flagship of the Pacific Squadron based at Callao, Peru, under the command of Commodore Alexander Claxton. After returning home on the sloop of war Falmouth, he was ordered as second in command to Captain William D. Salter to the steam frigate Mississippi, one of the new show vessels of that day. On December 17, 1842, Buchanan, having been promoted to the rank of commander the year previous, September 8, 1841, was given his first independent command in the Navy, the sloop Vincennes. In her he patrolled the Caribbean for two years on the lookout for pirates and slavers, at the same time helping to keep his government in touch with affairs in Mexico and in the new Republic of Texas. In Galveston Harbor, he assisted two British merchantmen in danger of shipwreck, and for this service received the official thanks of Great Britain.
When Secretary of the Navy Bancroft began to take steps towards establishing a naval school, Buchanan among other officers was asked to assist in the selection of a site, and after Annapolis was chosen the Secretary appointed him, on August 14, 1845, to be the first superintendent of the new school. At the request of Bancroft, he submitted a detailed plan for the organization of the Naval School, as it was first called, and this plan with some slight changes by the Secretary was approved on August 28 following. For this new duty, Buchanan was admirably suited, as he was known throughout the Navy as a most able disciplinarian and a cultured gentleman, and both he and his wife were well known and most highly esteemed in Annapolis. With the formal opening of the school on October 10, 1845, he began to establish the high standards of discipline and efficiency for which the Naval Academy has become famous. In his annual report for the year 1845, Bancroft commended Buchanan's "precision and sound judgment" and "his wise adaptation of simple and modern moderate means to a great and noble end." Buchanan served as Superintendent until his detachment on March 2, 1847, after renewed applications for active service in the War with Mexico. Edward Chauncey Marshall wrote,
All parties of that day, the Secretary of the Navy, the public journalists, and others bear testimony to the skill, ability, and success with which he discharged the difficult duties of his office.
Although the sloop of war Germantown, which was placed under Buchanan's command, arrived in Mexican waters too late to participate in the capture of Vera Cruz, she was able to join Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry's squadron in the successful expeditions against Tuxpan and Tabasco, and Buchanan remained on duty on the Mexican coast until peace was signed on February 2, 1848. After a period of shore duty, most of which was spent in command of the Baltimore Rendezvous, he was appointed in 1852 to the command of the steam frigate Susquehanna, the flagship of Commodore Perry's squadron in the famous expedition to Japan. When, after patient negotiations with the Japanese, the President's letter was at last, on July 14, 1853, ceremoniously presented at Uraga to the personal representatives of the Emperor, Buchanan, who was in charge of the landing of the American p1391 naval escort, had the unique distinction of being the first to set foot on Japanese soil.b He later took a prominent part in the negotiations which led to the opening of Japanese ports to American commerce. During the expedition, the Susquehanna, on special service in Chinese waters, carried the American commissioner up the Yangtze-kiang to look after American interests during the Taiping Rebellion. And returning to the United States by way of Honolulu, San Francisco, and Cape Horn, this vessel, still under Buchanan's command, was the first steam warship to cross the Pacific Ocean.
After serving as a member of the Board of Officers to Promote the Efficiency of the Navy, Buchanan was placed in command of the Washington Navy Yard, meanwhile having been promoted to captain on September 14, 1855. Under the impression that Maryland would secede from the Union, he resigned from the Navy on April 22, 1861; but soon thereafter, becoming convinced that there would be a reconciliation between the North and the South, he wrote to the Navy Department requesting to withdraw his resignation. On May 14, 1861, however, he was "dismissed" from the Service. Making his way then to Richmond, Virginia, he joined the Confederate States Navy, in which he received the rank of captain on September 5, 1861. He served as Chief of the Bureau of Orders and Detail until February 24 of the following year, when he was placed in command of the Chesapeake Bay squadron with his flag on the reconstructed U. S. S. Merrimac, renamed the C. S. S. Virginia. On March 8, Buchanan surprised the Union squadron in Hampton Roads, and destroyed the frigate Congress, on which his brother McKean was purser, the sloop of war Cumberland, and three small steamers. Having received a wound in the right thigh, inflicted by a Minie ball from the shore batteries during the engagement, he was prevented from commanding his ironclad in the renowned Monitor-Merrimac engagement on the following day. On August 26, 1862, he was promoted for gallant and meritorious conduct to admiral, thus becoming the ranking officer in the Confederate States Navy.
His next, and last, command was that of the naval forces at Mobile. In the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, his flagship being the ram Tennessee. His smaller ships having been captured or driven to cover, "Old Buck" made a heroic single-handed attack against Farragut's entire fleet. In the furious engagement, the jamming of the Tennessee's rudder chain rendered the vessel unmanageable, and this together with other injuries forced her to surrender. Her commander, seriously wounded again in the right leg, remained a prisoner of war until exchanged in February, 1865.
Returning to his home, "The Rest," in Talbot County, Maryland, he became President of the Maryland Agricultural College from September, 1868 to June, 1869. Then, after spending about a year in Mobile where he was Secretary of the Alabama Branch of the Life Insurance Company of America, he returned to his Maryland home and family, where he died on May 11, 1874. He was buried in the cemetery of the Lloyd family at Wye House, •about 4 miles distant from "The Rest." Of his nine children, eight daughters and one son, only one daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Tayloe Sullivan, of Baltimore, now survives.
Lieutenant James Harmon Ward, U. S. Navy
Executive and Instructor in Gunnery and Steam
"Sir, You are hereby notified that your service will be required at Annapolis, Md. in October next in connection with the Naval School about to be established at that place. I am, Respectfully yours, Geo. Bancroft." This terse note written on August 14, 1845, was the first intimation to Lieutenant James Harmon Ward that he had been chosen as an instructor at the projected Naval School at Annapolis. That the Secretary should select him from among the 327 officers of his grade is not difficult to understand. Park Benjamin, the historian of the Naval Academy, says that Ward "had an accomplished reputation as one of the best-educated officers in the Navy."c When only 17 years old, he was graduated from the Military Academy at Norwich, Vermont, but before graduation he was given an appointment as a midshipman in the Navy, and sailed to the Mediterranean aboard the Constitution where he spent 4 years. The scientific achievement of his day and the possibilities for human progress through the increased use of steam fascinated him and on his return to the United States, he applied for and was given a year's leave of absence from the Navy which he spent at Washington, now Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in scientific study.
Though his sea service for the next 15 years was almost continuous and often of the most arduous character, he applied every possible moment to the study of gunnery, naval tactics, the history of his chosen profession, and what was known of the pure science of his day. He expressed his aim in these words,
If we would be fit for place, and in time to succeed those officers who have built up a glorious reputation for the Navy, we must have the knowledge, and have it too with familiarity, get it how we will.
In the winter of 1844, he gave a series of popular lectures at the old Naval School in Philadelphia, that attracted wide attention. These lectures he published later as an Elementary Course of Instruction on Ordnance and Gunnery for Midshipmen. In them he urged midshipmen to adopt for themselves a systematic course in self-culture, and advocated vigorously a better system of naval education for young naval officers.
He was greatly pleased with his appointment as an instructor at the new Naval School. He moved at once to Annapolis with his wife and children and entered upon his duties with enthusiasm. A month before the opening of the School, he had p1393 planned for a Library and had submitted to Commander Buchanan a list of books on ordnance and gunnery. That list was in turn sent to Secretary Bancroft who approved their purchase, "Provided that the whole cost does not exceed one hundred dollars."
When the School opened in October, 1845, he was appointed Executive Officer, a post not designated as Commander of Midshipmen until July 1, 1850, three years after his departure from the School. He was also made instructor in gunnery and the use of steam, subjects which he was eminently fitted to teach. In addition he was made President of the Academic Board, where he and Girault, both sincere men of most positive opinions, soon clashed. To keep the peace, the Superintendent was drown into the work of the Board, finally becoming its presiding officer. Ward's forceful, energetic character, his devotion to the Service, as well as his high professional attainments, made a lasting impression on the School.
Ward's career, after he left the School, was most distinguished. In 1847, while the Mexican War was in progress, he was detached and given command of the Cumberland, Commodore Perry's flagship. While attempting to land on Tuxpan Reef, his boat was overturned, and he narrowly escaped drowning. Later, while in command of the Jamestown on the coast of Africa, he wrote his Manual of Naval Tactics, the demand for which was so great that the fourth edition had to be published and was used as a textbook at the Naval Academy. He also wrote a popular treatise on steam, called Steam for the Million, which enjoyed great popularity and ran into three editions.
Early in 1861 when Fort Sumter was fired on, Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, called Ward to Washington to assist in preparing plans for the relief of the fort. He volunteered to command a rescue expedition, but General Scott convinced him that the undertaking would be futile and it was abandoned. He was then given charge of the water communications of the Capital and organized a small fleet, known as the Potomac Flotilla, to keep open a line of communication on the Potomac and to prevent the Confederates from crossing the river. In an attempt to dislodge a Confederate battery at Matthias Point on June 27, 1861, he, while in the act of pointing a gun, was killed by a sharpshooter. Commander Ward was the first Union naval officer to be killed in the Civil War.
Professor William Chauvenet
Instructor in Mathematics and Navigation
William Chauvenet was the son of William Marc Chauvenet, a native of Narbonne, France, who came to Boston after the fall of Napoleon under whom he had served. There he married Mary B. Kerr and then moved to Milford, Pennsylvania, where his son and only child was born on May 24, 1820. Young William attended Doctor Samuel Jones's private school in Philadelphia where the family had again moved. The lad showed such marked ability in his studies that Jones strongly advised his father to send him to Yale College. He entered that college at the age of 16 and was graduated in 1840 with high honors in the classics and mathematics. He had been a frequent contributor to the college paper and had been the pianist of the Beethoven Society, having inherited great musical talent from his father. After graduation he assisted Professor Alexander Dallas Bache, President of Girard College in Philadelphia, in observations on magnetism.
In 1841, he was married to Catherine Hemple of Philadelphia, and the same year was appointed a professor of mathematics in the United States Navy, serving first on the U. S. S. Mississippi. The following year he was placed in charge of the p1394 school organized for midshipmen who were preparing for examinations for promotion, which had been established at the Naval Asylum, an institution in Philadelphia for veteran seamen. Chauvenet attempted in vain to convert this "cram school" into a real naval school; on August 14, 1845, however, he was appointed to an instructorship in mathematics and navigation in the newly established Naval School at Annapolis, to the organization of which he made particularly valuable contributions. He was largely instrumental in the extension of the course of study from two to four years when the school was completely reorganized in 1850. In his department he offered inducement to postgraduate study by equipping an astronomical observatory, and in 1853, a separate Department of Astronomy and Navigation was established with him at its head. He probably did more than anyone to establish the Naval Academy on a firm scientific basis.
In 1859, Chauvenet was offered the position of Professor of Astronomy and Natural Philosophy at Yale and a similar position at Washington University, recently established at St. Louis. He accepted the latter offer, and in 1862 he was elected Chancellor of the university. The institution grew and prospered under his administration which ended in 1869 when he was compelled to resign on account of ill health. He died the following year on December 13, at St. Paul, Minnesota, and was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis. In religion, he was a believer in the doctrines of Swedenborg.
In addition to numerous articles on astronomical and mathematical subjects, Chauvenet published several textbooks. His first was a small volume of 92 pages on the Binomial Theorem and Logarithms for the Use of the Midshipmen at the Naval School, Philadelphia (1843). His Treatise on Plane and Spherical Trigonometry appeared in 1850, and in 1863 his greatest work, entitled A Manual of Spherical and Practical Astronomy, which had a great reputation in Europe as well as in the United States. His last work, A Treatise on Elementary Geometry with Appendices Containing a Collection of Exercises for Students and an Introduction to Modern Geometry was published in the year 1870.
Chauvenet was a member of the American Philosophical Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was one of incorporators of the National Academy of Sciences, of which he became vice president in 1868. He was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the time p1395 of his death. On July 31, 1916, a memorial tablet in Chauvenet's honor was placed in Mahan Hall, United States Naval Academy, and in 1925 the Mathematical Association of America honored his memory by establishing "The Chauvenet Prize for Mathematical Exposition," which is awarded every five years.
Professor Henry Hayes Lockwood
Instructor in Natural Philosophy
Among the foundational builders of the Naval Academy, Henry Hayes Lockwood stands out conspicuously. His initiative, his keen perception of the midshipmen's needs for military organization, training, and discipline, and his previous training and experience made him especially well-fitted for the task to which he also brought the necessary traits of character and intellect. He was pre‑eminently a teacher.
Born on a farm in Kent County, Delaware, on August 17, in the last year of the War of 1812, the son of William Kirkley and Mary Hayes Lockwood, he was brought up under Quaker influences. He received his early education in a boy's school, in Dover, where he said all the boys were thrashed, as a matter of discipline, the first thing every morning. He attended Dickinson College and entered West Point, from which he graduated in 1836, being commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the Second Artillery. It was this military training and discipline that he received at West Point as a cadet, as well as his active military experience in the field during the 1836‑37 campaign of the Second Seminole War in Florida, that helped to make him one of the outstanding leaders in the first Naval Academy faculty.
Finding life in the Army, with its slow promotion, not to his taste, he resigned his commission in September, 1837, and returned to Delaware, where, for the next four years, he actively pursued the occupation of farming. These four years, with his boyhood days spent on the farm, instilled in him a love for the country, which in later years found expression in his fondness for walking and driving, and in his hobby for gardening, his advice often being sought on horticultural problems. During his long tour of duty at the Academy, he even acquired a farm on the outskirts of Annapolis, along the shores of Back Creek. This early country influence was shown not only in his well-built frame and vigorous constitution but also in that typically rural characteristic, "unfailing hospitality," for his "latch-string was always out." His early surroundings p1396 with their Quaker atmosphere undoubtedly helped to develop in him such of his outstanding traits, as tenderness, kindness, and generosity, both to friends and to foes, so well exemplified in his execution of orders during his Civil War service. Though of rather stern countenance, he possessed extreme simplicity and an unassuming manner, often insisting in his later years upon wearing his wide-brimmed garden hat while driving down town in Washington.
Urged by his brother, John A. Lockwood, then a surgeon in the Navy and later assigned to the Naval Academy as its first surgeon, not to waste his brains and talents on the farm, he became a professor of mathematics in the Navy in 1841. He was sent to sea in the frigate United States for her famous cruise to the west coast, in the squadron under command of Commodore Thomas Catesby Jones.d Not only did he show, through his success in instructing the midshipmen aboard ship, that his genius lay in teaching but he also gave effective proof of his diversity of accomplishments through his service as adjutant of the landing forces from the United States in the premature capture of Monterey in 1842. About a year before the founding of the Naval Academy, he was assigned to the Naval Asylum school where he assisted Professor Chauvenet in mathematics and navigation, and Lieutenant Ward in gunnery, thus early showing the "multiplicity of his attainments," as noted by Park Benjamin, "and the thoroughness with which he mastered all of them." From there he was transferred in 1845 to assist in the establishment and organization of the Naval School at Annapolis.
He was head of the Department of Natural Philosophy from 1845 to 1850 and, in addition, was put in charge of the Department of Gunnery from 1848 to 1850. He was head of the Department of Gunnery and Infantry Tactics from 1850 to 1855, and of Field Artillery and Infantry Tactics from 1856 to 1861. He conducted the first drill in the manual at arms and in infantry tactics as well as introducing field artillery drill. For these drills he wrote an official manual, adapting for naval purposes the Army exercises. When the Naval School was reorganized as the Naval Academy in 1850 he was put in charge of all formations. In 1846, besides the work of his own Department, he was assigned to teach astronomy and mathematics. In 1848, he was commissioned as a member of the Corps of Professors of Mathematics, which he and Chauvenet helped to have instituted. He was sent on the first practice cruise as the gunnery officer, his midshipmen gun crews making a notable record. In addition to his "multiplicity of attainments," he also possessed a high sense of duty and service. In August, 1845, he wrote from Annapolis to his betrothed, Miss Anna Booth, the daughter of Judge Booth, of Delaware, in regard to a planned honeymoon in Kent County, Delaware, and Philadelphia after their wedding on October second:
I must spend the month of October here. My course of Lectures will commence at once, and duty to Govt. demands of me my attention and most strenuous efforts.
When the Civil War broke out, he felt that he could better serve the country by rejoining the Army. So he accepted in 1861 the appointment from his native state as the colonel of the First Regiment of Delaware Volunteers, being given special leave by the Navy Department. Promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in August, 1861, he served "with high distinction." He was at the head of an expedition to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. He was stationed at Point Lookout and Harper's Ferry, and commanded a brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was then put in charge of the Middle Department, with headquarters at Baltimore, and in the spring and early summer of 1864, p1397 he took part in the Virginia campaigns.
Refusing a permanent commission in the Army, he was mustered out and returned to the Naval Academy, as Head of the Department of Natural and Experimental Philosophy from 1866 to 1869. He made constructive improvements in the courses, but, in 1869, he was displaced by Lieutenant Commander W. T. Sampson.e For a few weeks in 1870 he was in charge of the Department of Mathematics and was then ordered to the Naval Observatory in Washington. It was most unfortunate that the Naval Academy should have been deprived of that invaluable services of such a proved and experienced teacher, so eminently fitted for the special character of teaching needed at Annapolis and with years of effective intellectual power still ahead of him. He had rendered unique and constructive service to his country and had strikingly illustrated the effectiveness of character in leadership. His ideals were of the highest, both spiritual and mundane, with strong religious convictions, devoid of any desire for mere wealth. He wrote to Miss Booth in June, 1845:
Wealth I never expect or particularly desire. A comfortable maintenance I intend to have — cheerful content I possess as the goal of life.
And again he wrote during the same period:
I hope I am not ungrateful to our Heavenly Father for such blessings I am unworthy to give language to my sentiments towards the Giver of every good & perfect gift.
He was retired from active duty in 1876 with the relative rank of commodore but was always known as General Lockwood. Until two years before his death, on December 7, 1899, at the age of 85, he still exercised actively, taking long daily walks. His spirit of faithful and constructive service, though unmarked by any memorial at the Academy, still lives as an inspiration for those of to‑day and of the future in the service of God and the nation.
Professor Arsene N. Girault
Instructor in French
His full name was . Of the entire faculty of the Naval School that assembled at Annapolis in October, 1845, he was the only man of foreign birth, for he was born in Troyes, France, a year after the turn of the century. His father had been an army contractor under the régime of Napoleon, had amassed a considerable fortune, and was able to give his son a good classical education. However, under Louis XVIII he lost nearly everything, due to the cancellation of his contracts by the government and the failure of his banker in Paris. He died in 1819 leaving his wife and children in straitened circumstances.
Estranged from his unsympathetic mother and disliking the business in which she had apprenticed him, the son at the age of 24 sailed for the United States, seeking to better his fortunes. He landed in America on June 10, 1826, and within three weeks had secured a position in Philadelphia as a teacher of Latin and French in a private school. A year later he joined the staff of the Mantua Classical and Military Academy near Philadelphia. On August 15, 1829, he left Mantua to return to Philadelphia where he gave private lessons in French and Latin. To assist his pupils in their studies, he published a number of works on the study and teaching of French that brought him wide recognition. His Colloquial and Grammatical Exercises in French, later known as the French Students' Manual, ran into eight editions and was adopted as a textbook at the Naval School, as was his Vie de Washington, a publication that ran into twenty-four editions.f He also wrote a French Guide; Recreations, Instructive and Amusing; and Recueil Dramatique, or Select Dramatic Pieces.
In 1836, three years after becoming a p1398 naturalized American citizen, he founded the Spring-Villa Seminary for young ladies at Bordentown, New Jersey. The land and buildings for his seminary were purchased from his friend, Count Survilliers, better known as Joseph Bonaparte, the elder brother of Napoleon and one‑time King of Spain.g He conducted this school with considerable success until November, 1842, when he was obliged, for financial reasons, to close its doors. The next spring he moved to Washington where he gave lessons in Spanish and French.
When Secretary George Bancroft was planning his Naval School, Girault was teaching in Baltimore. He was recommended to Commander Buchanan by "learned gentlemen in whom I have great confidence," as a suitable person to become a "Professor of the French Language at the Naval School." Buchanan in turn on September 3, 1845, recommended him to the Secretary. The following day Girault called on Bancroft and was offered the position of instructor in French at the Naval School to be opened the next month at Annapolis. This offer he accepted at once. He received his orders, dated September 27, to report to Commander Buchanan on October 1, "as temporary Agent of the Navy for teaching French." His salary was to be $1,200 per year.
On November 4, three weeks after the opening of the School, the Superintendent wrote Mr. Bancroft that the
Importance of his services has been felt and appreciated by the students; his energy, zeal, and talent for teaching the French language, combined with his gentlemanly deportment, have gained for him the respect of all attached to the institution.
He soon had occasion to reprimand a midshipman in his classroom for insolent conduct. The matter was reported to Bancroft with Commander Buchanan fully supporting Girault. The midshipman was severely rebuked by the Secretary.
As a member of the Academic Board, he took an active part in its work and, two years after the opening of the School, recommended the adoption of a system of daily prayers, a practice that has continued to this day. Eleven days after the founding of the Corps of Mathematics, he received his commission as a "Professor of Mathematics," dated August 14, 1848. Though he was ever after listed as a "Professor of Mathematics," he never taught mathematics but continued to teach his native tongue.
In 1850, the Department of Modern Languages was founded, and included French and Spanish. In November, 1851, the two languages were separated and Professor E. A. Roget became Head of the Department of Spanish. Girault remained p1399 in charge of the French Department until February, 1866, when he left the institution, after an unbroken service of over 20 years. He was placed on the retired list with the rank of commander on December 25, 1863, having reached the age of 62, but continued as Head of his Department for more than two years, when he was succeeded by Professor L. V. Dovilliers.
Professor Girault took an active part in the life of Annapolis. Almost immediately after coming to the city to live, he became interested in the founding of the Presbyterian Church, which was organized May 2, 1846. Girault was elected its first Elder and Clerk of Session, offices that he held for 13 years. He was of a deeply religious nature and was devoted to the success of the new Academy. His long service with it made a lasting impression on the Institution. His son, Joseph Bonaparte, was connected with the Midshipmen's Commissary for more than 42 years.
After giving up active work, Professor Girault removed to New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he died May 2, 1874.
Chaplain George Jones, U. S. Navy
Instructor in English
George Jones, the youngest son of Robert and Elizabeth (Dunnman) Jones, was born on a farm near York, Pennsylvania, on July 30, 1830. He was graduated from Yale College in 1823, and three years later was awarded the A. M. degree. After teaching two years in Washington where he organized a school, he became secretary to Commodore Charles Morris, in command of the Brandywine, and also a teacher of navigation to the midshipmen attached to that ship, among whom was Matthew Fontaine Maury. After the Brandywine bore Lafayette back to France following his historic visit to the United States, she sailed to the Mediterranean where Jones was transferred to the Constitution, then under the command of Captain D. T. Patterson. An interesting account of the cruise of this famous frigate to important Mediterranean ports was written by Jones in the form of 67 letters, published under the title of Sketches of Naval Life (1829).
Upon his return to the United States in 1828, Jones became a tutor at Yale for two years and then, after being ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church by Bishop Brownell at Hartford, Connecticut, on January 16, 1831, he served as pastor of the Episcopal Church at Middletown, Connecticut. After a year, however, he was p1400 forced to give up this position on account of poor health and to seek employment in the open air in Indiana. He then decided to re‑enter the Naval Service, and in 1832 he was able to accept Commodore Patterson's invitation to become acting chaplain on the frigate United States, then flagship of the Mediterranean Squadron. In that vessel and in the Delaware, to which Commodore Patterson and he were transferred in March, 1834, he made another extensive cruise in the Mediterranean, account of which he wrote under the title of Excursions to Cairo, Jerusalem, Damascus, and Balbec. This was published in 1836, the same year he returned to the United States, having previously been commissioned chaplain on April 20, 1833.
He served for four years at the Norfolk Navy Yard, and for five years on the frigates Macedonian, Columbus, Constitution, and Brandywine in turn, doing effective temperance work among the crews. He also became interested in the establishment of a naval school and wrote an appeal for such an institution which was published in the Naval Magazine, corresponded with various naval officers, and had an interview with the Secretary of the Navy Upshur in Washington on this subject. This was probably the chief reason why, on his return from a cruise to China in September, 1845, he was ordered to the Naval School, then only recently established at Annapolis. The Department of English Studies, of which he was in a real sense given full charge, being the only member thereof, comprised also history and geography as well as English. Jones successfully discharged the duties of this position until 1850 when, a chaplaincy having been established at the Naval School at its reorganization in November of that year, he was appointed the first Chaplain of the renamed United States Naval Academy.
In 1852, Commodore Matthew C. Perry applied for Jones's services, declaring that he "could be useful to him" in his Expedition to Japan. After the cruise came to a successful close, Jones was ordered by Perry to remain in New York to assist in preparing the official report of the expedition, his particular contribution being the "Observations of the Zodiacal Light," to be found in Vol. III of the report. Then, obtaining leave of absence for a year, he went to Quito, Ecuador, where he spent 7 months making observations to confirm his theory that this astronomical phenomenon is caused by a nebulous ring around the earth.
Upon his return home in the spring of 1857, he again was appointed to be Chaplain of the Naval Academy. After this service of 4 years and a short tour of duty on the Minnesota during the Civil War he was retired for age in July, 1862. Afterwards during the war he volunteered his services as chaplain and nurse in the Army hospitals in Washington and at Gettysburg. After retirement he also published two other books, Life-Scenes from the Four Gospels (1865) and Life-Scenes from the Old Testament (1868), pioneer attempts to make vividly real and life-like the scenes of the Bible. Jones died at the United States Naval Asylum in Philadelphia on January 22, 1870, about 5 years after the death of his wife, Mary Amelia, who was the oldest daughter of Gold S. Silliman, of Brooklyn, New York.
Surgeon John Alexander Lockwood, U. S. Navy
Instructor in Chemistry
John Alexander Lockwood, elder brother of Professor Henry Hayes Lockwood, was graduated from the Medical School of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and in 1832 was commissioned as an assistant surgeon in the United States Navy. Though a native of Delaware, being born there in 1811, he was descended from one of the earliest Massachusetts settlers, Richard Lockwood, who came from England and landed at Watertown in 1632. His wife, Julia McLane, was also from Delaware. No doubt Surgeon Lockwood's attraction to the Navy was due, in part, to his father's service in the Navy as a midshipman, in 1809 and 1810. He was not Secretary Bancroft's first choice but was only ordered to Annapolis to be the surgeon and the professor of chemistry at the Naval School, after Surgeon Du Barry had declined that post. He was considered to have been an able doctor. He had a good mind, with a literary bent.
Soon after the Naval School opened, he fitted up a room as a dispensary and later converted an adjoining room as a sick bay, with a woman nurse. Her time was so taken up, however, with nursing Acting Midshipman Grundy during his protracted illness, that Surgeon Lockwood requested that a hospital steward be assigned to the School to look after the midshipmen in sick bay. Though, besides the illness of Grundy, one midshipman had to be sent to Philadelphia to a hospital and another one home to be nursed, the Superintendent reported to the Secretary that the health of those at the School was good. The need for a small hospital became so apparent by the end of the first year that one was included in Buchanan's building program. Surgeon Lockwood was sent to Baltimore in December, 1846, to obtain the necessary furniture for this new hospital, which was then nearing completion.h
Besides his medical care of those stationed at the Naval School, he taught chemistry, being head of that Department. After Lieutenant Ward's detachment, steam was assigned to him as well; later he also lectured in international law. He gave Commander Buchanan effective co‑operation in the disciplinary policy at the School and was apparently quick to note the effects of dissipation upon the health of the midshipmen. It is said that he, himself, considered "his most valuable service to the Navy" to have been the publication of his book Flogging in the Navy.
p1402 He remained at the Naval School until December, 1849, when he was detached and shortly after sent out for service in the East India and Mediterranean squadrons. After those tours of duty, ending in July, 1858, he was put in charge of the Naval Hospital at the New York Navy Yard, in Brooklyn. After serving, during the Civil War, as Fleet Surgeon of the Pacific Squadron, he resigned from the Navy. He went to California to live, and after remaining there awhile he moved to England until his death in 1900.
Passed Midshipman Samuel Marcy, U. S. Navy
Assistant Instructor in Mathematics
Passed Midshipman Samuel Marcy was a representative of the highest type of young officer in the Navy in 1845. He was the ideal type to have in contact with the youngsters just entering the Service and was also a stimulating example for those midshipmen who, having been in the Service for the requisite five years, were now preparing themselves for promotion. His educational groundwork before entering the Service as a midshipman, at the age of 18, was very sound, and his home background gave him that necessary refinement of character so essential for the real leader in any profession. His father was the American statesman and patriot William Larned Marcy, who served in the War of 1812, and who held the public offices of Senator from New York, Governor of New York, and of both Secretary of War and Secretary of State of the United States. The transfer of Fort Severn from the jurisdiction of the Army to that of the Navy was undoubtedly brought about, in part at least, by young Marcy whose year's duty at the Naval Asylum must have conclusively shown to him the need for a regularly organized naval school. The fact that his father at that time was the Secretary of War gave him an unusual opportunity to promote the transfer. Not only that but it also enabled him to go to West Point under the most favorable conditions to study its system of organization, administration, and studies.
Though entering the Navy in 1838, before there was in existence any system of education for the midshipmen, he took advantage of his opportunities for self-development. His notes show a thoroughness of detail and a desire for mastery. This is especially true in his study of seamanship which afterwards enabled him to assist Stephen B. Luce very materially, in p1403 that subject and to contribute most effectively in laying the foundation of the course in seamanship, when it was introduced in the reorganization of the School in 1850‑51. His studies and interest in naval tactics and in gunnery, with his well-executed sketches and notes on naval construction, gave him a breadth of view and a well-rounded professional education that made him ideally suited as an instructor for midshipmen at the Academy.
This especially desirable fitness was apparently appreciated by the authorities, for, in the first 16 years of the Naval Academy's existence, he was sent there for three separate tours of duty. The first two of these tours were in the very critical stages of the Academy's development. The first was at the very beginning of the year 1845‑46, when he was assigned as assistant instructor in mathematics, under Professor Chauvenet. The second was at the time of reorganization in 1850‑51, when he was again assistant in mathematics and also assistant to the Commandant, a newly created post. At this period he was kept at the Academy for about 4 years and must have been an invaluable officer for the organization of the just-begun summer practice cruises. The third, which concluded his work at the Academy, found him again as assistant to the Commandant, for the period of about 3 years, just preceding the outbreak of the Civil War. His work at the Academy was rendered much more effective by his keeping constantly abreast of the times and in touch with the contemporary professional developments both at home and abroad. This broadening of his horizon was greatly augmented by his linguistic ability, which gave him the great advantage of being able to follow the ideas in the naval profession abroad.
Whether or not his studious habits and inclinations made the environment of St. John's College especially attractive may never be known, but it seems very suitable that he should have married Miss Eliza Humphreys, the daughter of Dr. Hector Humphreys, the President of St. John's and a cousin of the famous naval constructor, Joshua Humphreys. Professor Lockwood, perhaps, has left us the most accurate contemporary picture of young Marcy as a passed midshipman in 1845: "He is a young man, passed midshipman, modest, studious and very gentlemanly."
It seems most unfortunate that such an outstanding officer should have been killed in the prime of life, just when his positions of command would have enabled him to indoctrinate others with the spirit of sound constructive leadership. This seems especially so as his death, which occurred at the Southeast Pass of the Mississippi, in January, 1862, was brought about by the carelessness of workmanship in ordnance construction. For if there was one phase of professional efficiency that marked Lieutenant Commander Marcy's career it was that of thoroughness. It was on blockade duty at the Southeast Pass, while in command of the U. S. ship Vincennes, that he was mortally wounded by the recoil of a boat howitzer, which he was personally firing in an attempt to destroy an abandoned barkentine which had been trying to run out the Pass. The "bolt securing the pivot clamp to the bows of the launch drew out, in consequence of being insufficiently riveted at the navy yard."
His death, however, in the active discharge of his duty on the first line of defense of his country should be an effective example to the midshipman of to‑day that intellectual development can only give greater and more effective power of leadership in times of national need.
1 Editor's Note. — Biographies of Buchanan, Jones, and Chauvenet, prepared by Professor Charles Lee Lewis of the Department of English and History; biographies of H. H. Lockwood, J. A. Lockwood, and Marcy furnished by Professor Henry Francis Sturdy of the Department of English and History; biographies of Ward and Girault furnished by Mr. Louis Harrison Bolander, Assistant Librarian.
a Lewis wrote a full-length biography of the man; the book, Admiral Franklin Buchanan, is onsite in its entirety.
b Details of Perry's negotiations with the Japanese, Buchanan's involvement, and the ceremonial presentation of the letters are given in Clark et al., A Short History of the United States Navy, pp227 ff.; and in C. L. Lewis' biography, Admiral Franklin Buchanan, pp133‑150.
d Jones' "famous cruise" in the United States was the one in which he . . . captured Monterey (California) . . . while under the impression the United States was at war with Mexico: an embarrassing mistake corrected the next day: as much as it could be. The episode was chronicled by the ship's Assistant Surgeon in his innocuously-titled "Visit to Monterey in 1842" (in which Lockwood is mentioned, p13 and more interestingly p25); and, with less immediacy but greater historical perspective, an account of it leads off Chapter 5 of R. E. Johnson's Thence Round Cape Horn, "The Flying Welshman".
g Bordentown had become a pole of attraction for French Bonapartists since the purchase of a house in the town in 1816‑1817 by Joseph Bonaparte, who lived there until 1839 when he sold his remaining property. The land and buildings of Girault's short-lived seminary had been an early parcel of the king's Bordentown estate to be sold. Macartney and Dorrance, The Bonapartes in America, "Joseph Bonaparte at Bordentown", pp79‑110.
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