George Edmund Badger
|United States Senator|
from North Carolina
November 25, 1846 – March 3, 1855
|Preceded by||William Haywood|
|Succeeded by||Asa Biggs|
|12th United States Secretary of the Navy|
March 6, 1841 – September 11, 1841
|President||William Henry Harrison|
|Preceded by||James Paulding|
|Succeeded by||Abel Upshur|
|Born||April 17, 1795|
New Bern, North Carolina, U.S.
|Died||May 11, 1866 (aged 71)|
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Badger practiced law in North Carolina, was active in state politics, and served as a state superior court judge. A supporter of Andrew Jackson from the 1820s, he separated with him in the mid-1830s, became a leader of the Whig party and helped carry the Whigs to victory in the 1840 Presidential election.
Upon taking office, President William Henry Harrison appointed Badger as his Secretary of the Navy, and he continued in that post for a few months (until September 1841, when he resigned to resume private practice) when John Tyler succeeded to the Presidency upon Harrison's death (April 1841). Badger's brief term as Secretary was marked by efforts to strengthen the Navy in the face of tension with Great Britain, the establishment of the U.S. Home Squadron, and growing interest in steamships.
Badger resigned in September 1841, during a general cabinet shakeup. The resignation of several cabinet members, including Badger, resulted from Tyler's vetoing of two bills to create a new national bank, which the Whig party, led by Henry Clay, supported. Badger was elected to the Senate in 1846 to fill the unexpired term of William Henry Haywood, Jr. and remained a Senator until 1855, after choosing not to run for re-election. He was nominated by President Millard Fillmore as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1853, but was not confirmed by the Senate (John Archibald Campbell got the position). He was a Unionist during the secession crisis but thereafter supported the Confederate war effort.
Death and legacy
Badger died in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1866.
Two Navy ships have been named in honor of Senator Badger: USS George E. Badger (DD-196), and USS Badger (FF-1071). A Liberty ship, the SS George E. Badger, also was named in his honor. Badger was a cousin of naval officers Oscar C. Badger, Charles J. Badger and Oscar C. Badger II.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History and Heritage Command.