Charles Boarman

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Charles Boarman

Charles Boarman (December 24, 1795September 13, 1879) was a career officer in the United States Navy. He entered the naval service shortly before the War of 1812 and served until 1876, subsequently retiring as a rear admiral. He held a number of important positions in the Mediterranean, West Indies and Brazil Squadrons, and was commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He was also assigned to special duty during the American Civil War and later appointed to the U.S. Naval Board at Washington, DC.


A Gentlemanly and Honorable Profession: The Creation of the U.S. Naval Officer Corps, 1794-1815 (1991)[edit]

McKee, Christopher. A Gentlemanly and Honorable Profession: The Creation of the U.S. Naval Officer Corps, 1794-1815. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991. (pg. 40-41) ISBN 0-87021-283-4

  • At the repeated solicitations of my son Charley to procure him a berth as a midshipman in the navy, I take the liberty to address you the following lines, requesting you will be pleased to interest yourself in my son's behalf with Mr. Hamilton, so as to procure him the midshipman's berth in some of our frigates. Mr. Hamilton, I am sure, is a gentleman of great merit and of superior discernment in his department; consequently will duly appreciate the merits of a youth stepping forward in defense of his country. Though he is only sixteen years old, as a parent I can with confidence say [that] my son is of an engaging, aspiring disposition by nature, regardless of those little difficulties and trials that generally retard and dishearten those of his age in the pursuit of their favorite object. He has been educated for some years in Georgetown College and, consequently, has studied the languages for a certain space of time and is as well versed in arithmetic as most of his age generally are. - Charles Boarman, Sr. in a letter to Robert Brent, the mayor of Washington, D.C., asking for a letter of recommendation for his son's application to enlist in the United States Navy (1811)
  • The present serves to enclose you the letter of the father in favor of his son from Mr. Charles Boarman, [Sr.], addressed to me, and a letter from the son himself stating his wish to procure the place of midshipman in the navy. The son is not personally known to me. The father has been for a great number of years a preceptor of youth in Maryland and in this district and has sustained the best possible character. He would not, I persuade myself from his character, recommend even a son u[pon?] the terms that he has, unless he Places Much had merit to authorize such recommendation. The son, you will observe by his Sought letter which is somewhat singular, has promised much should he be honored with the situation which he solicits at your hand. - Robert Brent writing to then United States Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton endorsing Charles Boarman's application (August 1811)
  • Robert Brent Esqr.
    Sir: I am happy to find my father has applied to you, as a friend, to procure me a berth as a midshipman in the navy. Should I succeed in my wishes, at your request, my greatest ambition shall at all times be to merit the confidence reposed in me and to prove thereby, Sir, my gratitude to you. Though sixteen years old, I already begin to think myself a man! And why not? Alexander, it is said, was a little man, yet fame gives him the credit and honor of possessing a great soul! May not, Sir, great feats be performed by a little David as well as by a Goliath? Methinks I already hear the roaring of the cannons, and my soul, impatient of delay, impetuously hurries me on to the scene of action! — there — there to prove the innate courage that characterized on the rolls of fame the immortal and intrepid Major Boarman on the first occupying this happy land. With many thanks for your kind offer, I am, dear Sir, your very obedient and greatly obliged humble servant, Charles Boarman. - "Charley" Boarman's personal application sent along with his father's earlier letter

Minutes of Proceedings of the Courts of Inquiry and Court Martial, in relation to Captain David Porter (1825)[edit]

United States Department of the Navy. Minutes of Proceedings of the Courts of Inquiry and Court Martial, in relation to Captain David Porter: Convened at Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the seventh day of July, A.D. 1825. Washington, DC: Davis & Force, 1825. (pg. 80-81)

  • Charles Boarman. a Lieutenant in the Navy of the United States, being duly sworn, according to law, deposes and says:
Q. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and for what period of time?
A. As lieutenant I commanded the schooner Weasel, from the 20th July, 1824, till the return of Commodore Porter.
Q. On what particular service were you engaged during that period of time?
A. From the time of my arrival at St. Barts, on the 15th August, I was employed during the whole time, in convoying and cruising for pirates. Went to Crab Island in pursuit of pirates — captured a boat; the pirates escaped on shore. In September sailed from Havana for the Gulf of Mexico, convoying three American vessels; arrived at Campeachy; sailed to Alvarado, and made my report of the 5th December, (read and annexed;) thence sailed to Tampico, inquiring after pirates, and furnishing protection to our commerce; and having fulfilled my orders, took on board specie for the United States, arrived at the Havana, and made my report of the 21st January, 1825.
Q. During this time, what amount of specie did you carry on freight, from, and to, what ports?
A. I carried about $65,000 from Tampico, shipped for New York: about $20,000 of it was subject to the order of a merchant at Havana, and was there transferred to an English frigate; of this about $14,000 was shipped by an American house, and a part of the money was shipped by Spaniards. At Havana from three to four thousand dollars was put on board, and landed at Norfolk.
Q. What amount of freight was paid for this transportation, and how was it appropriated?
A. About $1,200 was paid; one-third I gave to Commodore Porter, and the residue I retained.
Q. Did this canning of specie interfere in any manner with your attention to the suppression of piracy, and the protection of American commerce?
A. Not in the least. I was offered money at Campeachy to carry to the United States, but would receive none until 1 had completed my cruise, and was on the eve of returning to the United States; and I sailed as soon as I should have done had I carried no specie.
Q. Did the general protection of American property and commerce, and the suppression of piracy, require the presence of an American force in the Gulf of Mexico as frequently as it was sent there, and at the places to which it was sent?
A. I think so. During the period of from two to three months that I was there, there was no other vessel of the squadron there.
Q. Was everything done by the squadron which could be done, for the suppression of piracy?
A. My opinion is, that all was done that could be done to suppress it.
Q. Is there any other matter within your knowledge material to this inquiry?
A. Nothing.
- Testimony of Lieutenant Charles Boarman at the naval court of inquiry and court martial of Captain David Porter (July 7, 1825)

John Broome and Rebecca Lloyd: Their Descendants and Related Families, 18th to 21st Centuries (2009)[edit]

Semans, Barbara Broome and Letitia Broome Schwarz. John Broome and Rebecca Lloyd: Their Descendants and Related Families, 18th to 21st Centuries. Vol. 1. New York: Xlibris Corporation, 2009. (pg. 194-196) ISBN 1-4363-2383-5

  • My dear Father, Charley wrote you in his letter to his Aunt Laura thanking you for your kindness in sending us a nice Christmas present. You must not think because I have not written you myself before this that I appreciated your kindness less. I have been so troubled with pains and weakness in my arm and hand as to be almost useless at times. I think it was nursing so much when the children were sick. I was so relieved when Anna's note to Charly arrived yesterday telling Frankie was better. It would have been dreadful for Mother to have gone out west at this miserable season of the year. I was wretchedly uneasy. I do hope poor Franky will get along nicely now. It will make him much more careful about exposing himself having had this severe attack. Charley received the enclosed letters Anna sent from Sister Eliza and Toad[?]. I was very glad to get them. It is quite refreshing to read Sister Eliza's letters. They are so cheerful and happy. I had a letter from her on Friday. This Custom House investigating committee is attracting a great deal of attention and time here. It holds its sessions at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Mr. Broome was up on Tuesday evening until ten o'clock but was not called upon. It is very slow. He has been for three weeks passed preparing the statement for those summoned from the Public Stores. Mr. Broome sends Laura a paper to look at—The Fisk tragedy. What is Nora doing with herself this winter. She might write to me sometimes. Give much love to Mother. Ask her for her receipt for getting fat. I would like to gain some myself. It is so much nicer to grow fleshy as you advance in life than to shrivel and dry up. The children are all well and growing very fast. Lloyd has to study very hard this year. His studies are quite difficult. I suppose Charley Harris is working hard too. Mr. Broome sent you a paper with the Navy Register in this week. I received your papers and often Richard calls and gets them. I must close. Mr. Broome and children join me in love to you, Mother, Laura, Anna, Nora, Charly & all.
    With much love,
    Your devoted child, Mary Jane
    I enclose Nancy letter which was written some time ago. - Mary Jane Boarman in a Sunday letter to her father (January 21, 1872)
    • The people mentioned in Mary Jane's letter were her children Lloyd, Charley, and Nancy; her husband, William Henry Broome; her sisters Eliza, Anna, Laura, and Nora; her brother Frankie; and her nephew frontier physician Dr. Charles "Charley" Harris, son of her sister Susan.

Historical Records and Studies, Vol. VI (1911)[edit]

Furey, John. "Some Catholic Names In U.S. Navy List". Historical Records and Studies. Vol. VI, No. 1. New York: United States Catholic Historical Society, 1911. (pg. 181-184)

  • Navy Department, Washington, Sept. 16, 1879.
    General Order: The Acting Secretary of the Navy announces, with regret, to the Navy and Marine Corps, the death of Rear-Admiral Charles Boarman, on the 13th instant, at his home in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, and after an honorable service of over sixty-eight years. Rear-Admiral Boarman entered the Navy, June 9, 1811, and at the time of his death had been longer in the service than any other Officer borne on the Navy Register. He was a participant in the War of 1812, and during his long career in the Navy had many important commands. On March 4, 1879, he was promoted from a Commodore to a Rear-Admiral on the retired list, from August 15, 1876, under the law authorizing such promotion, where an officer, being at the outbreak of the Rebellion, a citizen of a State engaged in such rebellion, exhibited marked fidelity to the Union in adhering to the flag of the United States. In respect to his memory it is hereby ordered, that, on the day after the receipt hereof, the flags of the Navy Yards and Stations, and vessels in commission, be displayed at half mast, from sunrise to sunset, and thirteen minute guns be fired at noon from the Navy Yards and Stations, flagships, and vessels acting singly. - William N. Jeffers, Acting Secretary of the Navy 1879

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