Skip to main content Skip to search results Skip to Facets & Filters

Wells, Gideon, 1802-1878



  • Existence: 1802 - 1878


Gideon Welles (July 1, 1802 – February 11, 1878), nicknamed "Father Neptune", was the United States Secretary of the Navy from 1861 to 1869, a cabinet post he was awarded after supporting Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 election. Although opposed to the Union blockade of Southern ports, he duly carried out his part of the Anaconda Plan, largely sealing off the Confederate coastline and preventing the exchange of cotton for war supplies. This is viewed as a major cause of Union victory in the Civil War, and his achievement in expanding the Navy almost tenfold was widely praised. Welles was also instrumental in the Navy's creation of the Medal of Honor.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

James Willis Patterson letter

Identifier: Mss 865178
Mss 865178
Date(s): 1865-02-28
Scope and Contents

Three-page letter from James Willis Patterson in Washington, DC to Gideon Welles,recommending John R. Eastman as a professor in the Navy to serve at the Georgetown Observatory.

Oliver Payson Hubbard letter

Identifier: Mss 862124
Mss 862124
Date(s): 1862-01-24
Scope and Contents

Letter from Oliver Payson Hubbard to the Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, acknowledging receipt of letter to Congress and approval of it.

Back to top