Gideon Welles

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Gideon Welles was the Secretary of the Navy for the United States when Abraham Lincoln was president and again when Andrew Johnson was president. He was also a well-known politician and journalist who started the “Hartford Times.” When he was the editor of this paper, he used his editorials to say what he thought about politics. As a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, his reformist interpretations of Calvinist beliefs about what it takes to be a witness in court caused a lot of noise. He ran the Hartford post office for a number of years. After he left the Democratic Party because of a disagreement over slavery, he was a key figure in making the Republican Party. At the time, the “Hartford Evening Press” used to print his important political articles. As Secretary of the Navy during Abraham Lincoln’s time in office, he did a good job of making sure the Navy department was free of corruption and political favoritism. He took very careful steps to grow the U.S. Navy. During this time, he did a lot of good things for the Navy, such as giving protection and jobs to African-American naval officers who had escaped slavery. During Andrew Johnson’s presidency, he held the same job and pointed out problems with the way the government was run.

Early years and childhood

Gideon Welles was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, to Samuel Welles, a shipping merchant, and Ann Hale. His father liked Thomas Jefferson and did what he said.

Gideon went to school in Cheshire, Connecticut, at the Episcopal Academy. Later, he went to Norwich, Vermont, to study at the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy. Then he went to Hartford University to study law with William W. Ellsworth.

Gideon Welles’s Career

Instead of being a lawyer, he became a journalist. In 1826, he started putting out the “Hartford Times,” where he was the editor. As a strong supporter of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, his political views used to show up in the editorials he wrote for this paper.

When he won a seat in the Connecticut General Assembly in 1827, he was the youngest person to serve there. During his time in the Assembly, he worked hard to get different measures to change things.
He tried to get a bill passed so that the rules for becoming a witness in court could be fixed. He also took the initiative to change the requirements for running for political office.

After getting a lot of bad feedback for his changes, he left the Assembly in 1835. The next year, President Andrew Jackson put him in charge of the post office in Hartford. He was in charge of this job until 1841.
In 1845, President James K. Polk chose him to be the head of the Navy Department’s Bureau of Provisions and Clothing. This job gave him a rare chance to learn about the Navy in a hands-on way.

At the same time, articles he wrote about politics were published in a number of major newspapers. He left the Democratic Party because of disagreements with the party over slavery.
He was one of the people who started the Republican Party in 1856. In the same year, he started putting out a newspaper called “Hartford Evening Press” that spread his political ideas.

He was a member of the national committee from 1856 to 1864. He was in charge of the Connecticut delegation at the Republican National Convention in 1860. There, he backed Salmon P. Chase as the Republican candidate for president very strongly.

In 1961, when Abraham Lincoln became president of the United States, he put Gideon in charge of the Navy. He ran the Navy department well by coming up with new ways to measure things.

With his help, the U.S. Navy got ships made of iron. Because of what he did, the Navy had a better version of steam technology. He fought for African-American naval officers who had run away to avoid slavery to be given protection and a chance to work.

He also stressed that these black naval officers should be paid the same as their white counterparts. In this situation, he agreed with the President’s plans to free slaves.
His successful use of the Anaconda Plan cut down on the Confederacy’s cotton trade. This made it harder for the Confederacy to pay for the American Civil War.

After Lincoln was killed, he kept his job as Secretary of the Navy under the next president, Andrew Johnson. He helped start the National Union Party with Seward in 1966.
During this time, he spoke out against Congressional reconstruction, saying that it was against the Constitution. At the same time, he criticized Johnson for not being able to do a good job of carrying out Lincoln’s policies.

On March 3, 1869, he quit the Cabinet and went back to the Democratic Party. Between 1869 and 1878, he worked hard on his writing. He wrote a number of articles about politics and history during this time.
Even though he was a Democrat, in 1872 he still voted for Horace Greeley, who was a Republican. His book “Lincoln and Seward” came out in 1874.

Personal History and Legacies

On June 16, 1835, he married Mary Jane Hale Welles. Edgar Thaddeus Welles, Thomas Glastonbury Welles, John Arthur Welles, Herbert Welles, Samuel Welles, Edward Gideon Welles, Anna Jane Welles, and Mary Juanita Welles were their eight children.

Since 1877, he was in pain because of his bad health. He died at the age of seventy-five because he had a streptococcal infection of the throat. He was laid to rest in Connecticut’s Cedar Hill Cemetery.

After he died, his book “Diary of Gideon Welles” came out in 1911. From 1861 to 1869, this three-volume diary gives a detailed account of the President’s War Cabinet.

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During Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, when he was Secretary of the Navy, this powerful politician didn’t always agree with Lincoln. There were several reasons for this. Still, they were close to each other.