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SMN William Balls
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Birth: 1780, England
Death: Jan. 9, 1863
Pennsylvania, USA

William Balls Seaman, Dropsy, January 9, 1863, Naval Asylum, Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 about William Balls
Name: William Balls
Birth Date: abt 1780
Birth Place: England
Death Date: 9 Jan 1863
Death Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Age at Death: 83
Burial Date: 11 Jan 1863
Gender: Male
Race: White
Occupation: Seaman
Street Address: 2 Ward, No 222 Federal St
Cemetery: Union
FHL Film Number: 1977920

Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903 about William Balls
Name: William Balls
State of Cemetery: Pennsylvania
Date of Death: 9 Jan 1863


The Naval Asylum

While the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis was not established until 1845, it had been recognized early in the Navy's history that the training of officers needed to be addressed formally. In 1802 the education of midshipmen was resolved by instructing them aboard ships at sea with chaplains as schoolmasters. The need to provide instructions in mathematics and navigation led to the authorization in 1813 of civilian schoolmasters, and teachers of these areas, eventually appointed as professors of mathematics. By the early 1830s cram schools were operating in three states and beginning in 1838 midshipmen approaching examinations for promotion, were assigned to a naval school in Philadelphia for 8 months of study. For an understanding of what the life of a midshipman at-sea might have been like, read the novels of C.S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian.

First planned in 1799, the Philadelphia Naval Asylum was built in 1833. From 1839 to 1845 it had three naval functions, an asylum for retired sailors, a naval hospital, and a naval academy for midshipmen. At left is the main hall in 1838. The classic Greek-revival building still stands today, though in woeful condition. The central building was named Biddle Hall, after the naval hero. The midshipman program was informal and poorly equipped. In 1842 William Chauvenet was placed in charge of the school and immediately took steps to improve the program. A tougher course of study was enacted and new instruments were obtained for students to work with. His proposal for expanding the school to a two-year program provided George Bancroft, then Secretary of the Navy, with a workable plan for a permanent academy and the ultimate establishment of the new Naval School at Annapolis, Maryland. Bancroft opted to move the Naval School to the healthy and secluded location of Annapolis in an effort to rescue midshipmen from the temptations and distractions that necessarily connected with a large and populous city. For more information about the Naval Asylum, see 'Beautifully situated on the River Schuylkill'.

Click Link to see all The Lost Sailors I've Found

Mount Moriah Cemetery
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Naval Plot row 10 Grave 15
Created by: Rubbings
Record added: Feb 11, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84801498
SMN William Balls
Added by: Rubbings
SMN William Balls
Added by: Rubbings
SMN William Balls
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Russ Dodge
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Rubbings
 Added: Feb. 11, 2012

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