Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Stephen Russell Mallory

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 9
Stephen Russell Mallory

by Thomas Francis Meehan

An American statesman; born in the Island of Trinidad, W. I., 1813; died at Pensacola, Florida, United States, 9 Nov., 1873. He was educated at the Jesuit College at Springhill, Mobile, Alabama, then studied law, and was admitted to the Bar of the State of Florida in or about the year 1839. In the Seminole War (1835-42) he served as a volunteer through many arduous campaigns. After serving the State of Florida as probate judge and the United States as collector of customs at Key West, he was elected to the United States Senate from Florida in 1851, and re-elected in 1857. At the breaking out of the Civil War he followed the fortunes of his own state, resigning his seat in the Senate in 1861, and entering actively into the organization of the Southern Confederacy. President Jefferson Davis appointed him Secretary of the Navy of the Southern Confederacy (7 Feb., 1861), and Mallory found himself in the most responsible post of the naval department at the very moment when one of the most bloody wars in history was on the point of breaking out, without any naval stores or even a solitary vessel of war. He was obliged to create his navy literally out of the raw material. History records the success with which this desperate situation was handled (see also SEMMES, RAPHAEL). When the end came, in April, 1865, he accompanied Jefferson Davis in his flight from Richmond. He then went to La Grange, Georgia, where his family were residing, was arrested there (20 May, 1865), and was kept a prisoner for ten months in Fort Lafayette, on a small island in New York harbour. Released on parole in 1866, he returned to Pensacola, Florida, where he practised law until his death.

SEMMES, Memoirs of Service Afloat during the War between the States (Baltimore, 1689); Rebellion Records (Washington, D. C.); The Freeman's Journal (New York, Nov., 1873) files; Encycl. Nat. Biog. s. v.; Appleton's Cyclop. of American Biography, s. v.

THOMAS F. MEEHAN.