George Edmund Badger

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George Badger
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
November 25, 1846 – March 3, 1855
Preceded by William Haywood
Succeeded by Asa Biggs
12th United States Secretary of the Navy
In office
March 6, 1841 – September 11, 1841
President William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Preceded by James Paulding
Succeeded by Abel Upshur
Personal details
Born (1795-04-17)April 17, 1795
New Bern, North Carolina, British America
Died May 11, 1866(1866-05-11) (aged 71)
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Rebecca Turner (1818–1824)
Mary Polk (1826–1834)
Delia Haywood Williams (1836–1866)
Alma mater Yale University

George Edmund Badger (April 17, 1795 – May 11, 1866) was a Whig U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina.

Badger was born on April 17, 1795 in New Bern, North Carolina. Following a partial college education at Yale University, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1814. 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 when John Tyler succeeded to the Presidency upon Harrison's death. 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 Home Squadron and continued interest in steamships.

Badger resigned in September 1841, during a general cabinet shakeup. He was elected to the Senate in 1846 to fill the unexpired term of William Henry Haywood, Jr. and remained a Senator until 1855. 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 instead got the position. He was a Unionist during the secession crisis but thereafter supported the Confederate war effort. Badger died in Raleigh, North Carolina on May 11, 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.


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Political offices
Preceded by
James Paulding
United States Secretary of the Navy
Succeeded by
Abel Upshur
United States Senate
Preceded by
William Haywood
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from North Carolina
Served alongside: Willie Mangum, David Reid
Succeeded by
Asa Biggs