Charles Wilkes

Charles Wilkes (1798 - abt. 1877)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Charles Wilkes
Born in New York, New York, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Died about in Washington, District of Columbia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 10 Aug 2018
This page has been accessed 84 times.

Categories: Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia | Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.


Biography

Charles was born in 1798. He is the son of John Deponthieu Wilkes.

He was [allegedly] the great nephew of the former Lord Mayor of London John Wilkes. His mother was Mary Seton, who died in 1802 when Charles was just three years old. As a result, Charles was raised by his aunt, Elizabeth Ann Seton, [1] who would later convert to Roman Catholicism and become the first American-born woman canonized a saint by the Catholic Church. Wilkes was an American naval officer, ship's captain, and explorer. He led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 and commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the American Civil War (1861–1865), where he attacked a Royal Mail Ship, almost leading to war between the US and the UK. His behavior led to two convictions by court-martial, one stemming from the massacre of almost 80 Fijians on Malolo in 1840.

Wilkes was promoted to the rank of commander in 1843 and that of captain in 1855. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, he was assigned to the command of USS San Jacinto to search for the Confederate commerce destroyer CSS Sumter. On July 25, 1866, he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral on the retired list.

Some historians speculate that Wilkes' obsessive behavior and harsh code of shipboard discipline shaped Herman Melville's characterization of Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick.

Sources

  1. Biography of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


More Genealogy Tools



Sponsored Search




Search
Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

DNA
No known carriers of Charles's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.



Images: 1
Charles Wilkes Image 1
Charles Wilkes Image 1

Collaboration

Charles is 29 degrees from Rosa Parks, 24 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

W  >  Wilkes  >  Charles Wilkes