Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James Kirke Paulding
Born in the state of New York, the son of William Paulding , Paulding was chiefly self-educated. He became a friend of Washington Irving and was part author with him of Salmagundi --a continuation of which by himself proved a failure. Among his other writings are John Bull and Brother Jonathan (1812), a satire, The Dutchman's Fireside (1831), a romance which attained popularity, a Life of Washington (1835), and some poems.
Among Paulding's Government positions were those of secretary to the Board of Navy Commissioners in 1815-23 and Naval Agent in New York in 1824-38. President Martin Van Buren appointed him Secretary of the Navy in June 1838. As Secretary, he was a conservative figure, whose extensive knowledge of naval affairs was balanced by notable lack of enthusiasm for new technology. He opposed the introduction of steam propelled warships declaring that he would "never consent to let our old ships perish, and transform our Navy into a fleet of (steam) sea monsters." Nevertheless, his tenure was marked by advances in steam engineering, wide-ranging exploration efforts, enlargement of the fleet and an expansion of the Navy's apprenticeship program.
Paulding left office with the change of administrations in March 1841, returned to literary pursuits and took up agriculture. He died at his farm near Hyde Park, New York.
USS James K. Paulding (DD-238) was named in honor of Secretary of the Navy Paulding.
| Preceded by:|
| Secretary of the Navy|
| Succeeded by:|
George E. Badger
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