Top of page

Collection Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough Papers


A chronology of key events in the life of naval officer Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877).

Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (1805-1877)

  1. 1805, Feb. 18

    Born, Washington, D.C., the son of Navy Department chief clerk Charles Washington Goldsborough (1779-1843) and Catherine Roberts Goldsborough (died 1851). He was the older brother of John R. Goldsborough (1809-1877), who also had a distinguished naval career, rising to the rank of commodore in the U.S. Navy. Other siblings included Caroline (born 1804), Charles Henry (1806-1851), and Hugh Allen (born 1813).

  2. 1812, June 18

    Received a midshipman’s warrant, United States Navy

  3. 1816, Feb.

    Began service as a midshipman, United States Navy, with his first duty assignment on the USS Independence

  4. 1823-1824

    Acting lieutenant, United States Navy

  5. 1825, Jan. 13

    Commissioned lieutenant

  6. 1825, Aug.-1826, Dec.

    Granted leave to further his education in Paris, France

  7. 1827-1829

    Served in the Mediterranean Squadron

  8. 1827, Sept.

    While serving on the Porpoise, led expedition to rescue the British ship Comet from Mediterranean pirates

  9. 1830-1833

    In charge of the new Depot of Charts and Instruments (of which he was the originator), Washington, D.C. The Depot of Charts and Instruments is now the United States Hydrographic Office.

  10. 1831, Nov. 1

    Married Elizabeth Gamble Wirt (Jan. 25, 1809-Jan. 28, 1885), daughter of former Attorney General William Wirt (1772-1834) and Elizabeth Washington Wirt (1784-1857), in Baltimore, Md. Elizabeth was one of nine children born to William Wirt and his second wife.

  11. 1833, April

    Supervised the settlement of more than one hundred German emigrants on property near Tallahassee, Florida, owned by his father-in-law William Wirt. Goldsborough on leave from the Navy during his time in Florida (1833-1839).

  12. 1833, June 7

    Birth of son William Wirt Goldsborough (died 1838) in Baltimore, Md.

  13. 1838, Nov. 11

    Death of son William Wirt Goldsborough in Wirtland, Fla.

  14. 1839, Apr.

    Left Florida to resume active duty. Reported for duty in Boston in September.

  15. 1839, June 13

    Birth of son Louis M. Goldsborough, Jr. (died Nov. 6, 1863)

  16. 1841, Sept. 8

  17. 1843, Jan.-1846

    Stationed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard near Portsmouth, N.H.

  18. 1843, Apr. 4

    Birth of daughter Elizabeth “Lizzie” Wirt Goldsborough (died May 10, 1866)

  19. 1845

    Published A Reply by L. M. Goldsborough to an Attack Made upon the Navy of the United States by Samuel E. Coures, President of the Peace Society. Portsmouth, N.H.: C. W. Brewster

  20. 1848

    Published, Letter to John Y. Mason, Secretary of the Navy, Concerning the Assignment of Rank to Medical Officers and Pursers. Washington, D.C.

  21. 1849-1850

    Senior naval member of a commission which explored California and Oregon

  22. 1852-1853

    Service in the Mediterranean Station

  23. 1853, Nov. 1-1857, Sept.

  24. 1855, Sept.

  25. 1859-1861

    Commanded Brazil Squadron

  26. 1861, Mar. 14

    Louis M. Goldsborough, Jr., received appointment in United States Marine Corps, with U.S. Senate approval secured by longtime family friend, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase

  27. 1861, Sept.

    Command of Atlantic Blockading Squadron

  28. 1861, Oct.-1862, Sept.

    Command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron

  29. 1862, Feb.

    Cooperated with Union General Ambrose Burnside in capture of Roanoke Island, N.C., for which actions the U.S. Congress tendered its thanks in Public Resolution No. 36, approved July 11, 1862

  30. 1862, May

    Met with President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton when they visited Hampton Roads, Va., following the naval battle of the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (better known as the Merrimack) in April 1862. Lincoln engaged in military planning that led to Union forces retaking Norfolk, Va. during his visit.

  31. 1862, July 16

    Promoted to rear admiral

  32. 1862, Sept. 4

    Replaced by Samuel P. Lee as commander of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron

  33. 1862, Sept.-1865

    Performed administrative duties, Washington, D.C.

  34. 1863, Nov. 6

    Son Lieut. Louis M. Goldsborough, Jr., of the U.S. Marine Corps, died of tuberculosis, Washington, D.C.

  35. 1865, Apr. 12

    Took charge of European Squadron

  36. 1866, May 10

    Daughter Elizabeth “Lizzie” Wirt Goldsborough died of tuberculosis, Washington, D.C.

  37. 1868-1873

    Commanded Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

  38. 1873, Oct. 6

    Retired from United States Navy

  39. 1877, Feb. 20

    Died of typhoid fever and bronchitis, Hamilton House, Washington, D.C. Interred in Wirt family vault at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

  40. 1908, Apr. 9

    Namesake Goldsborough (Torpedo Boat No. 20) commissioned at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., and remained in service from 1908 to 1919

  41. 1920, Jan. 26

    Namesake Goldsborough II (Destroyer No. 188) commissioned at Norfolk, Va., and remained in service from 1920 to 1945

  42. 1963, Nov. 9

    Namesake Goldsborough III (DDG-20) commissioned in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash.