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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Stewart

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 28 July 1778

Date of Death: 06 November 1869

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Charles Stewart

•  Quasi-War (Franco-American War) (1798 - 1800)
•  1st Barbary War (1801 - 1805)
•  War of 1812
•  2nd Barbary War (1815)


Charles Stewart
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Charles Stewart was born on 28 July 1778 in Philadelphia, PA.

Stewart went to sea at the age of thirteen as a cabin boy and rose through the grades to become master of a merchantman. He grew up with Captain Stephen Decatur and Richard Sommers. During the Quasi-War with France, Stewart was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy on 9 March 1798 and joined the frigate USS United States for a cruise in the West Indies. He took command of the schooner USS Experiment on 16 July 1800 and soon captured two armed French vessels and freed several captured American ships.

After brief command of USS Chesapeake in 1801 and service in USS Constellation in 1802, Stewart sailed to the Mediterranean in command of the brig USS Syren. There, he participated in the destruction of USS Philadelphia after her capture by Tripoli, helped to maintain the blockade of Tripoli, and distinguished himself in assaults on the enemy in August and September 1804. After the First Barbary War, he participated in a show of force at Tunis and returned home as Captain in 1806. On the outbreak of the War of 1812, Stewart commanded, successively, USS Argus, USS Hornet, and USS Constellation.

Since Constellation was closely blockaded in Norfolk by the British, he took command of USS Constitution at Boston in 1813. He made two brilliant cruises in her between 1813 and 1815. The frigate captured HMS Cyane and HMS Levant on 20 February 1815.

Stewart's service included command of the American Mediterranean Squadron from 1816-20 and of one in the Pacific from 1820-24. He served as a Naval Commissioner from 1830-32 and commanded the Philadelphia Navy Yard from 1838-41, in 1846, and again from 1854-61. By a bill passed on 2 March 1859, Congress made Stewart "senior flag officer," an office created for him in recognition of his distinguished and meritorious service.

He became Rear Admiral on the retired list on 16 July 1862.


In the late 19th century, his estate became the site of the Bordentown School, a residential high school academic and vocational training program.

The USS Stewart was named in his honor.


Several of his nephews served in the Navy, including Commodore Charles Stewart McCauley.

His grandson, Charles Stewart Parnell, was a prominent Irish political leader who fought for Irish home rule until his death in 1891.

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Charles Stewart died on 6 November 1869 in Bordentown, NJ. He is buried at Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.

Honoree ID: 3115   Created by: MHOH




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