Rear Adm. Thomas Tingey Craven

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Rear Adm. Thomas Tingey Craven

Also Known As: "Tingy"
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Death: August 23, 1887 (78)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Tunis Quick Craven and Hannah Craven
Husband of Virginia Craven and Emily Truxtun Craven
Father of Anna Truxton Barnard; Ida Marie Forrest Hackett; Charles Henderson Craven; Henry Smith Craven; MacDonough Craven and 3 others
Brother of Alfred Wingate Craven; Margaret Tingey Sanderson; Tunis Augustus Macdonough "T.A.M." Craven; Ann Maria Craven and Charles Edmiston Craven

Occupation: Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, US Navy Officer
Managed by: Dan Cornett
Last Updated:

About Rear Adm. Thomas Tingey Craven

Thomas Tingey Craven (1808–1887) was a 19th century United States Navy officer who rose to prominence during the Civil War. He was son of Tunis Craven, a navy purser, and Hannah (Tingey) Craven, the daughter of Commodore Thomas Tingey, a longtime commandant of the Washington Navy Yard. His brother Tunis Craven also joined the navy, and perished with the USS Tecumseh at the Battle of Mobile Bay. Another brother, Alfred Wingate, was a noted civil engineer. He, like his brothers, was a graduate of the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy, the forerunner of Norwich University, entering in 1822 and graduating in December 1823.

Naval career

In 1838 he commanded the "Vincennes," Captain Wilkes's flagship in the Antarctic exploring expedition.

T.T. Craven served as commandant of the United States Naval Academy in 1858-1860. At the outbreak of the Civil War he commanded the Potomac flotilla and then took command of the USS Brooklyn.

He married Virginia Wingate, and later Emily Henderson. He had eight children, and four of his sons attended the naval academy or were connected with the U.S. Navy: Charles Henderson (1843–1898), Henry Smith (1845–1889), Alfred (1846-?) and Macdonough (1858-?) His grandson (Henry's son) Thomas Tingey Craven served in the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century and played a prominent role in the development of naval aviation. His daughter Ida married Frank W. Hackett, who would go on to become Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Thomas Tingey Craven was born at Washington, D.C., 20 December 1808, the son of Tunis and Hannah (Tingey) Craven. His father was a Navy purser and storekeeper while his maternal grandfather, Commodore Thomas Tingey (1750-1829) was long commandant of the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard.

He married Virginia Wingate, then married Emily Truxton. He had eight children and three of his sons grad from the United States Naval Academy; one daughter, Ida, married future Assistant Secretary of the Navy Frank W. Hackett. His brother was Commander Tunius Augustus Macdonough Craven, killed commanding the USS Tecumseh at the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864.

Admiral Craven died at the Boston Navy Yard, 23 August 1887 and was originally buried in Geneva, New York. In 1929, the bodies of he and his wife were reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery.

He received appointment from New Hampshire, 1 May 1822. He was promoted to Captain, 7 June 1861; to Commodore, 10 July 1862; Rear Admiral, 10 October 1866; and transferred to the retired list, 30 December 1869. He was twice commandant of midshipmen at the Naval Academy.

He captured the Confederate Raider Georgia off the coast of Portugal in August 1864. In March 1865, he tried unsuccessfully to blockade the CSS Stonewall at El Ferrol, Spain. He was subsequently court-martialed in December 1865, receiving a two-year suspension of duty. The verdict overruled a year later by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.


Young Craven attended school until 1822, when he entered the navy, and from 1823 till 1828 served in the Pacific squadron on the "United States" and on the "Peacock." In 1828 he joined the "Erie," of the West India squadron, as Sailing Master, and took part in the capture of the pirate "Federal." After being commissioned Lieutenant in 1830, he spent three years in cruising on the "Boxer," and in 1835-'6 was attached to the receiving-ship at New York, after which he joined the "John Adams."

In 1838 he commanded the "Vincennes," Captain Wilkes's flagship in the Antarctic exploring expedition.

He then served on the "Boxer," "Fulton," "Monroe," "Macedonia," and "Porpoise," principally in the African squadron, after which, during 1846, he was attached to the naval rendezvous in New York. He then served on the "Ohio," in the Pacific squadron, and on the "Independence," in the Mediterranean squadron, returning home in January 1850.

In the following July he was made commandant of midshipmen in the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, becoming Commander in December 1852, and remaining at the academy until June 1855. After commanding the "Congress," of the Mediterranean squadron, for several years, he was ordered to resume his post at Annapolis. In October 1860, he was detached from this place, and, after a short time spent in recruiting-service in Portland, Maine, was commissioned Captain in June 1861, and assigned to the command of the Potomac flotilla. In the autumn of 1861 he was placed in command of the "Brooklyn," participating in the capture of New Orleans and subsequent operations on the Mississippi. He was made Commodore in July 1862, and during the subsequent years of the Civil War commanded the "Niagara," on the coast of England and France.

In September 1866, he was placed in command of the navy yard at Mare island, California, where he received, in October of the same year, his commission as Rear Admiral, and continued there until August 1868, when he assumed command of the Pacific squadron. In December 1869, he was retired, but continued on duty in San Francisco until that office was dispensed with. He afterward resided at Kittery Point, Maine.

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Rear Adm. Thomas Tingey Craven's Timeline

December 30, 1808
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
February 19, 1841
New York, Kings County, New York, United States
November 30, 1843
South Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, United States
October 14, 1845
Bound Brook, Somerset County, New Jersey, United States
December 16, 1846
Somerset County, New Jersey, United States
January 4, 1849
Bound Brook, Somerset County, New Jersey, United States
August 12, 1852
New London, New London County, Connecticut, United States
July 14, 1855
Staunton, Virginia, United States
November 9, 1859
Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States
August 23, 1887
Age 78
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States