Carter from the official 1882 Navy football team portrait
|Born||August 14, 1863[Note 1]
Davidson County, Tennessee
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
Vaulx Carter (August 14, 1863 – before 1930) was an American college football player and engineer who is best remembered as the first coach of the Navy Midshipmen football program. He was born in Tennessee and raised there for part of his childhood, until he was orphaned and adopted by family members in Pennsylvania. Starting in 1880, Carter attended the United States Naval Academy; he struggled academically at the school, only excelling in his art classes. Carter failed his final examinations in his final two years at the academy and was recommended for removal following the second failure. This did not happen, as he was forced to voluntarily resign from the school in 1883 due to permanent injuries received from an accident.
Carter's time at the Naval Academy was not without success; in his second year, he singlehandedly managed to restart the school's football program after a two-year hiatus. Carter guided his team as a player-coach for the season, leading them to a victory over students from Johns Hopkins University, the first win in school history.
Information about Carter following his resignation from the academy is scarce. One Navy football historian described him as having "disappeared from the historical record". He attended some classes at Swarthmore College in 1883, but he did not complete a course. During the late 1880s, Carter was an instructor at the Hebrew Technical Institute and also worked as an engineer; he designed a parachute and a model of a plan for the Nicaragua Canal, both of which attracted media attention. During the 1890s, he was an assignee for several corporations in New York City. Carter served as a lieutenant in the New York State Militia from 1902 to 1910. Later, during the 1920s, he lived with his sister on a farm in New York, occasionally writing articles for a magazine she edited. According to census records, Carter died by at least 1930.
Biography and career
Vaulx Carter was born in August 14, 1863,[Note 1] in western Tennessee, the sixteenth of seventeen children to Samuel Jefferson Carter. His mother was Anne Vaulx, the elder Carter's second wife. He was raised there for the early part of his life, but was orphaned along with two of his siblings following his father's death in March 1873 and his mother's the next year. The siblings remained without a guardian until February 1875, when they were adopted by a family member and spent the rest of their childhood in Pennsylvania. In September 1880, Carter passed the entrance examinations for the United States Naval Academy and on the twenty-second of that month, he was admitted into the school, one of four people selected to represent Pennsylvania at the academy in that year's class. In his second year at the school, Carter excelled in English and drawing, but had poor discipline and received 109 demerits; using a point evaluation system, the Naval Academy gave Carter fifty-three out of a possible seventy-six points for his conduct during the year. Between his second and third years, Cater sailed on the U.S.S. Constitution as a part of the Academy's summer cruise. His conduct worsened that year, and he only excelled in drawing. At the end of the year, Carter received ninety-nine of a possible one-hundred fifty-two points.
1882 football season
In 1879, football began as a sport at the Academy. Student William John Maxwell organized a team made up of fellow students, without any support of faculty. He organized a game with the Baltimore Athletic Club, which ended in a scoreless tie. Maxwell graduated in 1880, and the football program ended in his absence. In 1882, Carter re-initiated and organized a new football team. He took a position as the team coach, the first in school history; he also functioned as a back when playing. He scheduled a single game for the season, which was played on Thanksgiving Day against the Baltimore-based Clifton Football Club. The Clifton team was made up of players from Johns Hopkins University, who were unable to play for their school due to the administrator's negative views towards the sport. Carter designed a maroon and white uniform for the squad and a strip of leather which was nailed to the bottom of their shoes to prevent slipping.
It snowed heavily before the game, to the point where players for both teams had to clear layers of snow off of the field, making large piles of snow along the sides of the playing ground.The first half of the game went scoreless; the Baltimore American reported that "the visitors pushed Navy every place but over the goal line in the first half". During play, the ball was kicked over the seawall a number of times, once going so far out it had to be retrieved by boat before play could continue. The American described the second half in detail:
- After ten minutes interval the ball was again put in play, this time being kicked off by the Cliftons. The rest period had apparently stiffened the Cliftons, for the Academy making a vigorous spurt got the ball thru them, and Street, following it up well, scored a touchdown for the Academy.
- The try at goal failed, but the ball, instead of going to the Cliftons behind the line, fell into the field and into the hands of one of the Academy team. By a quick decisive run, he again got the ball over the Cliftons goal line and scored a touchdown.
The Naval Academy won the contest 8-0, which made it the Academy's first ever football victory, and was the first match in which they recorded points. It would remain the school's only victory until the 1884 season, and would remain as the last shutout for the school until 1886, when a squad defeated Johns Hopkins 6-0. Carter's single win gives him the second fewest in Navy football history, behind interim coach Rick Lantz. However, his undefeated record and perfect win percentage remain the highest ever for the academy.
Carter was scheduled to graduate from the Naval Academy in 1884, but was forced to resign in 1883. While performing his duties as a naval cadet, Carter became caught in a gale and fell. He received permanent injuries from the accident, which caused his resignation on June 14, 1883. Carter entered the United States navy as an officer the same year. He served from then until September 25, 1886, when he officially resigned from the Navy. Sometime between 1890 and 1893, Carter was hired as the treasurer and assignee for the Cowles Engineering Company. The organization was created in 1890 under official laws of the state of New Jersey, under the leadership of William Cowles. It served branches of the U.S. Government and the city of New York. The company went into bankruptcy and failed three years later, owing its creditors over $30,000 (equivalent to $817,100 respectively in 2018). The year of Carter's death is unknown.
Head coaching record
|Navy Midshipmen (Independent) (1882)|
- Sources disagree on Carter's birth date. Family records, including a genealogy compiled by his brother William Harding Carter, list the date as August 14, 1861. However, the American Genealogy Research Institute's History of the Carter Family records Carter's birth being two years later, on August 14, 1863. This date is supported by government records like those from the United States Naval Academy's Annual Register, which states that Carter was 17 years and one month old at his date of admittance, September 22, 1880, which would place his date of birth in July or August of 1863.
- Clary (1997), p. 11
- Carter (1909), pp. 111–112
- American Genealogical Research Institute (1972), pp. 299–301
- Government Printing Office (1880), p. 26
- Nashville Union and American (February 14, 1875), p. 4
- The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (September 26, 1880), p. 2
- Government Printing Office (1881), pp. 20, 48
- Government Printing Office (1882), p. 41
- Government Printing Office (1882), pp. 24, 54
- Navy Yearly Results 1879
- Patterson (2000), p. 21
- Patterson (2000), pp. 21–22
- Kroll (2002), p. 14
- Bealle (1951), p. 9
- Patterson (2000), p. 22
- Bealle (1951), p. 10
- Baltimore American (1882)
- Naval Academy Athletic Association (2005), p. 154
- Navy Coaching Records
- Naval Academy Athletic Association (2005), p. 169
- The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1888), p. 14
- Government Printing Office (1884), p. 35
- Egbert (1893), p. 72
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- New-York Daily Tribune (1893), p. 3
- Books and reports
- American Genealogy Research Institute (1972). "Giles Carter of Henrico County, Virginia". History of the Carter Family. Washington, D.C.: American Genealogy Research Institute. pp. 286–301. OCLC 298517.
- Clary, Jack (1997). "The Tradition Begins: 1879–1899". Navy Football: Gridiron Legends and Fighting Heroes. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. pp. 7–18. ISBN 978-1-55750-106-6. OCLC 36713133.
- Carter, William Giles Harding (1909). "Genealogy: The Direct Line". Giles Carter of Virginia: Genealogical Memoir. Baltimore: The Lord Baltimore Press. pp. 108–123. OCLC 866522597.
- Naval Academy Athletic Association (2005). "Navy: Football History" (PDF). 2005 Navy Football. United States Naval Academy. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Patterson, Ted (2000). Football in Baltimore: History and Memorabilia. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6424-0.
- United States Naval Academy (1880). Annual Register of the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland: Thirty-First Academic Year (1880–1881 ed.). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. OCLC 4844083.
- Newspaper and journal articles
- Egbert, Walter P. (September 16, 1893). "Trade Notes–The Cowles Engineering Company". The Engineer: Devoted to Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mechanics, and the Allied Arts. Walter P. Egbert & Sons. XXVI (6): 72. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
- Staff writer (September 26, 1880). "About Brooklyn People–Holloway". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York City. p. 2. OCLC 53121892. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
- Staff writer (February 14, 1875). "The Courts: Decisions By the Supreme Bench". Nashville Union & American. Nashville, TN. p. 4. ISSN 2166-6105. OCLC 12190398. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- Staff writer (November 29, 1882). "(untitled)". Baltimore American. Charles C. Fulton & Co. OCLC 9244279.
- Staff writer (October 11, 1893). "Cowles Engineering Company Fails". New-York Daily Tribune. Horace Greely. p. 3. ISSN 2158-2661. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- Staff (2013). "Navy Coaching Records". Navy Midshipmen–History. College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Staff (2013). "Navy Yearly Results–1879: 0–0–1". Navy History–Yearly Results. College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Staff (2013). "Navy Yearly Results–1880–1884". Navy History–Yearly Results. College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Staff (2013). "Vauix Carter Records by Year". All-Time Coaching Records. College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved July 29, 2013.