|Birth: ||Feb. 1, 1776|
New Jersey, USA
|Death: ||Mar. 18, 1846|
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Date of birth from The American Almanac And Repository Of Useful Knowledge For The Year 1847, published by James Munroe & Co, Boston, 1846.
Thursday, March 19, 1846
Distressing Suicide Of Com. William M. Crane
Yesterday afternoon, some half hour of more after the usual hour of closing the public departments, Commodore William M. Crane, of the Navy Commissioners and head of a bureau in the Navy Department, was discovered to have committed suicide in his room in that office. It appears that not having returned to his home at his regular hour in the afternoon, some of his friends, from causes which will be understood by the credit, became alarmed and repaired to the office in search of him, when it was found that both doors of his room were fast and no answer could be obtained from within. Commodore Warrington and other friends of the deceased, accordingly deemed it advisable to force the door, when the distressing realization of their fears was presented to them, in the lifeless corpse of Commodore Crane, with his throat dreadfully cut – almost ear to ear. There appeared to be several deep gashes, as if the strokes had been more than once repeated.
Commodore Crane was 62 years of age and leaves a distressed widow and numerous distinguished friends and others to mourn his deplorable death.
The following copy of the verdict of the jury of inquest sufficiently explains the only supposed cause which led him to the act:
The said William M. Crane came to his death by cutting his throat with a razor in his room in the Navy Department, during a temporary aberration of mind, supposed to be the result of impaired health; it appearing to the Jury from the evidence before them, that for the last five or six weeks he had suffered great depression of spirits.
Albany Argus Tuesday, March 24, 1846
Albany, New York
Character Of Commodore Crane And Manner Of This Death
[From the Newark Advertiser]
The facts in this melancholy case, as they have been revealed to the public in other quarters, are that he was found late in the afternoon of Wednesday in his office, dead, from a ghastly wound in his neck, supposed to have been inflicted by his own hands, in a moment of mental aberration. At noon some of the clerks went to the door and found it locked and supposed that he had gone to sleep. One of them looked through the keyhole an saw him in his rocking chair. As he continued, however, in his office till about 4 o’clock, suspicions were aroused and the door was forced open. He was found in the same position in his rocking chair, dead. As may be supposed, the intelligence produced in the city and will be received thro’out the country with sorrow and lamentation.
Commodore Crane was a Jerseyman by birth and feeling – a son of gallant General William Crane of Elizabethtown, a Colonel in the Revolutionary Army, who distinguished himself at the siege of Quebec, where he received a wound from the effects of which he died many years after. Commodore Crane entered the navy as a midshipman, May 23d, 1799 and distinguished himself on several trial occasions, both before and during the War of 1812, richly earning the promotion and honors which his country has subsequently conferred upon him. After passing through several grades, he was promoted to a Captaincy in November 1814 and at his death had attained the highest rank in the service. He was sixth on the list – Commodores Barron, Stewart, Jones, Morriss and Warrington alone standing before him in seniority. Magnanimous, chivalrous and brave, accomplished in the arts of peace as of war, a gentleman and a scholar, no less a seaman, he leaves few equals and no superior in the service which he illustrated and adorned. To a numerous circle of attached personal friends his unseasonable death will be a source of living grief. He leaves a wife, a lady of Norfolk, Virginia, of rare personal merit, but no children and two brothers – the gallant Colonel Crane, of the United States Artillery and Judge Crane, of Dayton, Ohio, formerly a member of Congress. The Commodore was, we believe, the eldest and must have been about 62 years of age. At the last meeting of the New Jersey Historical Society he was proposed as an honorary member, in consideration of his rare personal and professional worth.
We learn since the above has been in type that Commodore C., whose temperament has been morbid some time, has supposed for some days past that he was going to died and that in this melancholy state of mind he resigned his office some five or six days since. Colonel Jacob Jones has been appointed to his post as Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography of the Navy Department, salary $3,500.
[From the New York Express]
Commodore Crane’s suicide was cool and premeditated. On Monday, he made his will, appointed his wife and Commodore Warrington, his brother-in-law, his executors. He gave directions as to his burial and left a check for a thousand dollars in favor of his wife, among his papers. His pecuniary circumstances were good and the business of his bureau was left in excellent condition.
Mr. Bancroft, Secretary of the Navy, has issued his order for the observance of the usual solemnities at the various naval stations &c., as a mark of respect to the memory of Commodore Crane.
Officers of the Continental and United States Navy and Marine Corps, 1775-1900
Rank Information: Appointed Midshipman, Lieutenant, Master Commandant, Captain
Service Dates: May 23, 1799, July 20 1803, March 4, 1813.
Commodore William Montgomery Crane (1776 – March 18, 1846) was an officer in the United States Navy during the First Barbary War and the War of 1812. He was the son of General William Crane who was wounded at the Battle of Quebec while serving under Richard Montgomery in honor of whom he was given the middle name of Montgomery. His brother was Colonel Ichabod Crane who also fought in the War of 1812.
Crane was born in 1776 at Elizabethtown, New Jersey and appointed midshipman in 1799. Serving as a Lieutenant on the USS Vixen he won honors for his gallant fighting in the attacks on Tripoli in 1804.
He was in command of the brigantine USS Nautilis on July 29,1812, when it was captured by a British squadron according to the then Lieut. Crane:
the chaseing ship put her helm up hoisted a broad pendant and English colours and ranged under my lee quarter - unable to resist I was compelled to strike the Flag of the United States.
Promoted to Captain in 1814 Crane was assigned command of the Mediterranean Squadron in 1827 and acted as one of the commissioners in the negotiations with the Ottoman Empire. He was on the Board of Navy Commissioners and the first Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography from 1842 until his death by suicide at the age of 70 years on March 18, 1846.
William Henry Crane (1747 - 1814)
Abigail Miller Crane (1754 - 1825)
Elizabeth King Crane (1788 - 1861)*
Phebe M. Crane (____ - 1820)*
Joanna M. Crane Mage (____ - 1820)*
Maria Crane (____ - 1785)*
William Montgomery Crane (1776 - 1846)
Joseph Halsey Crane (1782 - 1851)*
Ichabod Bennett Crane (1787 - 1857)*
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Plot: Range 37, Sites 97-98.
GPS (lat/lon): 38.88193, -76.97798
Created by: SLGMSD
Record added: May 25, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37483603