William H. Hunt
|William Henry Hunt|
|29th United States Secretary of the Navy|
March 7, 1888 – April 16, 1882
|Preceded by||Nathan Goff, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||William E. Chandler|
June 12, 1823|
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
|Died||February 27, 1884
Saint Petersburg, Russia
|Alma mater||Yale College|
|Allegiance||Confederate States of America|
|Service/branch||Confederate States Army|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Hunt studied law at Yale. He finished his professional training in his brothers' office in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was admitted to the bar in 1844. Hunt opposed secession and favored the Union cause. He was nevertheless drafted into the Confederate Army and commissioned lieutenant colonel. However, he managed to avoid involvement in military operations until Admiral David Farragut captured New Orleans.
In March 1876, Hunt was appointed Attorney-General of Louisiana, and in July of that year he was the Republican candidate for this office. Both parties claimed victory in the election, but Hunt lost the position when President Rutherford B. Hayes recognized the Democratic government of the State. As compensation, the President appointed him Associate Judge of the United States Court of Claims, May 15, 1878. He served in this capacity until he became President Garfield's Secretary of the Navy in 1881.
Secretary Hunt rendered invaluable service by reporting that the Navy, grossly neglected after the Civil War, was no longer able to protect Americans abroad. He appointed the first Naval Advisory Board which undertook the work of rebuilding the Navy, emasculated by public apathy and lack of funds. After Vice President Arthur succeeded Garfield in the presidency, he retired Hunt from the cabinet by appointing him Minister to Russia on April 7, 1882.
- The United States Court of Claims : a history / pt. 1. The judges, 1855-1976 / by Marion T. Bennett / pt. 2. Origin, development, jurisdiction, 1855-1978 / W. Cowen, P. Nichols, M.T. Bennett. Washington, D.C.: Committee on the Bicentennial of Independence and the Constitution of the Judicial Conference of the United States. 1976.
Nathan Goff, Jr.
|United States Secretary of the Navy
March 7, 1881 – April 16, 1882
William E. Chandler
John W. Foster
|United States Ambassador to Russia
August 23, 1882 – February 27, 1884
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