Hamilton, Paul

Hamilton, Paul (1762-1816) Secretary of the Navy: Paul Hamilton was born in St. Paul's Parish, South Carolina, on October 16, 1762. He served in the Revolutionary War, and was comptroller of South Carolina from 1799 to 1804. As comptroller, Hamilton succeeded in improving the state's financial system; and was elected Governor in 1804. He served as Governor until 1806. President Madison appointed him Secretary of the Navy in 1809, and he served until 1813. Hamilton's policy was to keep American frigates in port, to prevent their being captured in the War of 1812. Nevertheless, the first great American victory in the war, achieved by Capt. Isaac Hull with the "Constitution," occurred because Hull disobeyed Hamilton's command to "remain in Boston until further orders." Hamilton died in Beaufort, South Carolina, on June 30, 1816.