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Adapted from "Rear Admiral Lester A. Beardslee, United States Navy, Deceased" [biography, dated 1947] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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Wars & Conflicts
  • Civil War 1861-1865
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Lester Anthony Beardslee

1 February 1836 - 10 November 1903

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Lester Anthony Beardslee --Born in Little Falls, New York, February 1, 1836.  Appointed Acting Midshipman, March 5, 1850; sloop "Plymouth, "East Indies, May 1851, to January, 1855; participated in one battle and several skirmishes with Chinese Army at Shanghai, during the cruise his ship the "Plymouth," served under Commodore M.C. Perry, and he was thus a member of the party who, with Commodore Perry, made the first landing at Kurihama, Japan, July 14, 1853; Naval Academy, October, 1855, to June, 1856.  Promoted to Passed Midshipman, June 20, 1856; steam frigate "Merrimac," special service 1856-7; sloop "Germantown, "East Indian Squadron, 1857-60.  Promoted to Master, January, 22, 1858.  Promoted to Lieutenant, July 23, 1859; sloop "Saratoga," coast of Africa, 1860-3.  Promoted to Lieutenant Commander, July 16, 1862; monitor "Nantucket," Nothe Atlantic Squadron, January to May 1863; participated in attack of the ironclad fleet o the defences of Charleston, Harbor, April 7, 1863; steam sloop "Waschuett," special service on coast of Brazil, cruising for rebel provateers, October, 1863 to January. 1865; participated in capture of reble steamer "Florida, " at Bahai, by "Wachusett," October, 1864; comanded proze steamer "Florida," from October, 1864, and brought her Hampton Roads, Va.; steam sloop "Connecticut," special service, West Indies, 1865; commanded steam gunboat "Aroostock," 1867-8, taking her East Indian Squadron from Philadelphia; commanded steamer "Saginaw," Pacific Squadron, October, 1868; executive of steam sloop, "Lackawanne," Pacific Squadron, 1868-9.  Commissioned as Commander, June 12, 1869; Hydrographic Office, Navy Department, 1869-70; steam tug "Palos," April 1870, to January, 1871; took her to East Indies; Hydrographic Office, January, 1871-2; Navy Yard, Washington, May, 1872, to April 1, 1875; member of United States Board for testing iron, steel, and other metals, April, 1875, to April 1879; commanding sloop "Jamestown," Alaska, surveys and corrected many errors in charts, making several important discoveries of new land and waters, of these the most important was the discovery in August, 1880, of a large bay on the norther side of Cross Sound, while on a cruise in the chartered steamer "Favorite, " settling various wars and disputes among the Indians.  This bay is situated at a location where according to all charts, there is solid land only.  In the "Favorite," he steamed some thirty miles, up this bay, surveyed, charted and named it Glacier Bay, on account of a great glacier at its head, which had been several times discovered by parties going overland and through inland streams, in canoes; by Lieutenant H. Clay Wood, US army, on return from a goat-hunting expedition in Mt. St. Elias, with Willoughby a pioneer miner, and possibly others.  Promoted to Captain, Novermber, 1880; leave of absecent, 1883-3; commanding receiving ship "Franklin," 1883-4; commanding steam frigate "Powhatan," June, 1884, to June, 1886: Torpedo Station, 1887; waiting orders, 1888; commanding Naval Station, Port Royal, SC, November, 1891 to 1894.  Promoted to Commodore, August 24, 1894; commander-in-chief of Naval Forces on the Pacific from July, 1894, to August, 1897.  Promoted to Rear Admiral, May 21, 1895; president of Examing and Retiring Board, October, 1897, to January 27, 1898.  Retired on account of age limit, February 1, 1898.  After retirement, made a year's visit to Japan and China, starting August, 1900, returning August, 1901; during visit to Japan, was with his wife treated with the utmost consideration, and distinguished attentions and hospitality by all Japanese, from the Emperor down, this being part of the glory of Commodore Perry, reflected upon him as survivor of the original Perry Expedition.  He and his wife were presented to the original Perry Expedition.  He and his wife were presented to the Emperor, who expressed interest, and his approbation of the efforts of Rear Admiral Beardslee, to induce the Japanese to erect a suitable Memorial tablet or monument at Kurihama, the place of Perry's landing in 1853.  He was successful in said efforts, such a monument was erected, and, with elaborate ceremonies, in which the United States Government through its East India Fleet participated, unveiled by Rear Admiral Rodgers, Perry's grandson on July 14, 1901.

[Note:  Page 53, Records of  Living Officer of the US Navy ---7th Edition

Compiled by Lewis R. Hamersly Published 1902.]


Published: Mon Dec 30 06:56:53 EST 2019