Military Wiki
Paul Hamilton
3rd United States Secretary of the Navy

In office
May 15, 1809 – January 1, 1813
Preceded by Robert Smith
Succeeded by William Jones
Personal details
Born (1762-10-16)October 16, 1762
Saint Paul's Parish, South Carolina, U.S.
Died June 30, 1816(1816-06-30) (aged 53)
Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Wilkinson
Profession Politician, Farmer
Military service
Service/branch Continental Army
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War

Paul Hamilton (October 16, 1762 – June 30, 1816) was the 3rd United States Secretary of the Navy, from 1809 to 1813.

Paul Hamilton was born in Saint Paul's Parish, South Carolina, on October 16, 1762. He left school at the age of sixteen due to financial problems. During the American War of Independence he served actively in military roles in the southern states, fighting under General Francis Marion. He participated with Colonel William Harden in the capture of Fort Balfour.

Following the war, he was a planter and public figure. Hamilton served South Carolina in many public offices including state Representative (1787), State Senator (1794), Comptroller (1800), and the 42nd Governor (1804).

In 1809, President James Madison selected Hamilton to become the 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 was a proponent of military preparedness, especially sea fortifications. Although he wanted to strengthen the Navy, he found the Congress hostile and the President indifferent to his ideas. However, he was responsible for the Naval Hospitals Act of 1811. Secretary Hamilton resigned at the end of 1812 and returned to South Carolina, where he died in Beaufort on June 30, 1816.

Three Navy destroyers have been named USS Paul Hamilton in his honor along with the USS Hamilton and one Liberty ship named SS Paul Hamilton.


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
James Burchill Richardson
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Charles Pinckney
Government offices
Preceded by
Robert Smith
United States Secretary of the Navy
Succeeded by
William Jones

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