|14th United States Secretary of the Navy|
July 24, 1843 – February 18, 1844
|Preceded by||Abel P. Upshur|
|Succeeded by||Thomas W. Gilmer|
April 2, 1791|
Leicester, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||November 11, 1852
Henshaw was born in Leicester, Massachusetts in 1791 and educated at Leicester Academy. Trained as a druggist, he achieved notable success in that field, then expanded his energies into banking, transportation and politics. He was elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 1826 and served as Collector of the Port of Boston from the late 1820s until 1838. Though he suffered business reverses during the later 1830s, Henshaw regained his political position as a leader of the Massachusetts Democratic Party within a few years.
In July 1843, President John Tyler selected Henshaw as Secretary of the Navy. During his brief term in office, he addressed shipbuilding problems, selected senior officers for important seagoing commands, revised supply arrangements in the Navy Yards and attempted to establish a school for Midshipmen. His recess appointment as Secretary failed to receive Congressional confirmation, requiring that he leave office when his successor was confirmed. Henshaw then returned to Massachusetts politics. He died in 1852.
USS Henshaw (DD-278) was named in his honor.
- Loring, James Spear. The Hundred Boston Orators Appointed by the Municipal Authorities from 1770 to 1852 David Henshaw Biographical Chapter - page 564. published 1852, 694 pages.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command.
Abel P. Upshur
|United States Secretary of the Navy
1843 – 1844
Thomas W. Gilmer