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Capt William A. Arthur
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Birth: May 5, 1822
Epsom and Ewell Borough
Surrey, England
Death: May 13, 1892
Barnstable County
Massachusetts, USA


Born in England in 1822. He went to sea in early life, as sailor and mate, in ships in foreign trade. He served as a boy on the USS Independence from 1 April 1837 through 8 April 1840.

Independence recommissioned on 26 March 1837 and sailed from Boston on 20 May 1837 as flagship of Commodore John B. Nicholson. On board for her record passage across the Atlantic to England was the Honorable George Dallas, Minister to Russia. She arrived at Portsmouth, England, 13 June, called at Copenhagen; then proceeded into Kronstadt 29 July 1837 to receive a visit from the Emperor Nicholas I of Russia. Two days later a steam boat arrived to transport Mr. Dallas and his family to St. Petersburg. Having received marked social courtesies from the Russian government, Independence departed Kronstadt on 13 August 1837 for Rio de Janeiro, where she became flagship of the Brazil Squadron to guard American commerce along the eastern seaboard of South America. This duty continued into the spring of 1839 when Commodore Nicholson attempted mediation to end the war between France and Argentina. He reported 22 April 1839 that: "I volunteered, as I conceived it a duty I owed to my Country, as well as to all Neutrals, to endeavor to get peace restored that commerce should be allowed to take its usual course. In accordance of the feelings of humanity at least, I hope my endeavors will be approved by the Department . . . I see no probable termination of this War and Blockade which is so injurious to the Commerce of all Neutrals ... " Independence returned north to New York on 30 March 1840

He volunteered and served as master's mate in the navy during the civil war. After the close of the war he was master of the ship "Kentuckian," making several voyages in the Atlantic trade. He retired from the sea in 1878. He always made Brewster his home and died there in May, 1892.

Wm Arthur served a acting master on the Potomac Flotilla on numerous ships including the following: Beauregard captured ten blockade runners while serving with the East Gulf Blockading Squadron along the Florida coast (April 1862-June 1865). She also took part in attacks on Tampa (2 April 1863) and New Smyrna (28 July 1863), Fla. The schooner was sold at Key West Fla., 28 June 1865; Two Sisters—a schooner built in 1856 at Baltimore— was captured on 21 September 1862 by Union steamer Albatross off the mouth of the Rio Grande River while attempting to slip through the Federal blockade to Brownsville, Tex., with a cargo of 87 bales of gunny cloth needed by the Confederacy for baling cotton. Subsequently purchased by the Navy from the Prize Court at Key West, Fla., Two Sisters was commissioned on 30 January 1863 at Key West, Acting Master William A. Arthur in command; Assigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron, Two Sisters took her first prize on 1 February—seizing sloop Richards off Boca Grande, Mexico. On 30 April, the Union schooner captured cotton-carrying blockade runner Agnes off the Tortugas, before taking schooner Oliver S. Breese off Anclote Keys, Fla. Two Sisters continued her patrols on the blockade through the spring, summer, and early fall, keeping a wary eye on the route between Bayport, Fla., and Havana, Cuba. On 15 October, she, Sea Bird, and Fox assisted Honduras in the capture of the Havana-bound British steamer Mail, which had attempted to run the blockade laden with cotton and turpentine. Bayport proved to be a good hunting ground. Two Sisters also captured schooner Maria Alberta there on 27 November. USS Thomas Freeborn was part of the Potomac Flotilla for the rest of the Civil War. She captured or destroyed several would-be blockade runners and took part in a number of combat actions. Among the latter were a 21 February 1863 fight with a shore battery near Fort Lowry, Virginia, in which she was hit by enemy gunfire, and a raid up the Rappahannock River on 29 April 1864. 24 September 1864 - Under command of Acting Master William T. Street, wooden steamer U.S.S. Fuchsia, and side-wheelers Thomas Freeborn and Mercury proceeded to Milford Haven, Virginia, near which Con-federates were believed to be preparing a number of boats to attack the blockading force at the mouth of the Piankatank River. Leaving Fuchsia and Thomas Freeborn at Milford Haven, Street took armed boats in tow of Mercury and proceeded up Stutt's Creek. Some three miles upstream a force of 40 sailors was landed, under Acting Master William A. Arthur and Acting Ensign Philip Sheridan. Four Confederate boats were destroyed, five were captured, and a fishery demolished. Though the Rappahannock River area was dominated by the Northern forces, Union ships had to be continually on the alert to prevent audacious Southern raids. In April 1865 she participated in the search for John Wilkes Booth, who had murdered President Abraham Lincoln on the 14th. USS Thomas Freeborn was decommissioned at Washington, D.C., in mid-June 1865 and sold in July. Subsequently operating as the merchant steamer Philip, she was removed from shipping registers in 1887. 
Family links: 
  Mercy C. Myrick Arthur (1820 - 1904)*
  Willie H. Arthur (____ - 1865)*
  Mary A. Arthur (____ - 1865)*
  Samuel M. Arthur (1852 - 1925)*
  Mary Isabella Arthur (1854 - 1854)*
  Freddie A. Arthur (1858 - 1865)*
*Calculated relationship
Brewster Cemetery
Barnstable County
Massachusetts, USA
Created by: pinesva
Record added: Mar 31, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50481849
Capt William A. Arthur
Added by: Rubbings
Capt William A. Arthur
Added by: Rubbings
Capt William A. Arthur
Added by: Caryn
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- Rubbings
 Added: Jun. 21, 2012

- Sarah Quinn
 Added: Mar. 31, 2010

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