From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

George Hare '47

Date of birth: October 20, 1822

Date of death: July 24, 1857

Age: 34


George Harrison Hare's died in Philadelphia on July 24, 1857 of "a protracted illness."

From his obituary:

Died, July 24th, at the residence of his father, Dr. Robert Hare, of Philadelphia, Lieut. GEORGE HARRISON HARE, United States Navy.

The final illness of this gallant officer was painful and protracted, and his removal from among us should not pass unnoticed. As a son, brother, and friend he was devotedly affectionate, disinterested, and faithful. In all social relations he was manly, courteous, and kindly; in association with his brother officers he was generous, true, and honorable; towards his commanding officers rigidly observant of the rules of the service, both in the letter and the spirit of their interpretation. On active duty he was unfaltering in danger, prompt in peril, and steady in action. His comrades mourn him as a brother beloved; his officers deplore his early loss. Conscious of the fatal tendency of his malady, he timely made all final arrangements of his temporal affairs and his spiritual concerns, and died with a prayer on his lips, confessing the Christian faith, his sure support and trust. He rests in peace!

He was born in, and appointed to the Naval Academy from, Pennsylvania.

He was survived by his wife, Elizabeth; both were from prominent families in Philadelphia. They had no children. He is buried in Philadelphia.

George was one of six children. His father was a well-known scientist; his father-in-law was a lawyer, judge, and politician.


From researcher Kathy Franz:

In 1849 George was in New Rochelle and wrote that he had a rheumatic affliction from being in the Gulf Services and requested that he be stationed in Philadelphia to seek medical treatment there. He also enclosed a recommendation letter from Commander Perry. The next year, George was in the New York Naval Hospital. In 1851 he requested to be detached from the mail steamer Arctic because he refused to stand watch or sign the articles of the ship. He felt that “the position of an officer on this ship is such as to expose him to all sorts of malicious and unfounded charges calculated to affect his reputation and honor.” The surgeon B. Pickman agreed that injuries on his former passage rendered him incapable of sea service, and George was sent to the receiving ship in Philadelphia. In 1854 he was detached from the Cumberland at the Bay of Spezia, Italy, to accompany a group of sick sailors on the Commonwealth to New York City. Once there, he requested the receiving ship in Philadelphia so he could be near his parents who “have passed 3 score and 10 years.” In 1855 he was on the Union, and in 1856 he requested leave as his brother was ill. In March 1857, he wrote that he was ill and feeble and had a medical survey done.

On June 11 that year, a Philadelphia newspaper wrote that at the last meeting of the Historical Society, George presented “the lock and key of the money vault of the ancient bank of St. George, at Genoa. The lock, several hundred years old, exhibits remarkable ingenuity in the efforts of its maker to render it secure against the possibility of being opened, except by the key made for it. The key was at one time plated with fine gold. When Lieut. Hare was in Genoa, some years ago, the vault was blown up with gunpowder, being too substantially built to be torn to pieces in the ordinary manner, and believing that such a relic of the natal city of Columbus would be of interest in America, he procured it, and now places it in a public institution.” On June 22, he wrote that per his physician’s advice, he was going to Cape May, New Jersey, for his health, and he died a month later at home.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Midshipman, 19 October, 1841. Passed Midshipman, 10 August, 1847. Master, 14 September, 1855. Lieutenant, 15 September, 1855. Died 24 July, 1857.


In 1922, his wife's portrait was in the "Catalogue of the memorial exhibition of portraits" of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

September 1842

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command:

January 1843

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command:

October 1843

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command:

January 1844

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command:

January 1846

Midshipman, Schooner Flirt

January 1847

Midshipman, on leave

Others at this command:

January 1848

Midshipman, Schooner Flirt

January 1849

Midshipman, Naval School

Others at this command:

January 1850

Passed Midshipman, Schooner Taney

January 1851

Passed Midshipman, Mail Steamer Arctic

January 1853

Passed Midshipman, Frigate Cumberland

Others at this command:

January 1854

Passed Midshipman, Frigate Cumberland

Others at this command:

January 1855

Passed Midshipman, Receiving ship, Philadelphia

January 1856

Lieutenant, Receiving ship, Philadelphia

Others at this command:

January 1857

Lieutenant, waiting orders

Class of 1847

George is one of 32 members of the Class of 1847 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.