4 thoughts on “USCGC Hamilton (WMSL-753) Christened

  1. I would hope that the commissioning of another cutter named for Hamilton would spark some better historical research. The PA who wrote the CGBlog article copied the company line, “Widely known as the founder of the Revenue Marine, precursor to the United States Coast Guard, Alexander Hamilton was our nation’s first secretary of the treasury. It was Hamilton who advised Congress to establish “a few armed vessels” and it was Hamilton who set the stage for the Coast Guard’s core values as he directed his newly-appointed Revenue Marine captains to “always keep in mind that [their] countrymen are freemen.”

    Hamilton did not found the U. S. Revenue Marine. In fact, it never officially existed as a service and the administrative bureau of that name came about over forty years after his death and it was a creation of John C. Spencer.

    Hamilton did put in his report to Congress about the need for a few “boats” but these were to replace those already operated by the different States. In fact, one General Greene, was already in service at Philadelphia in 1789 (yep, 1789).

    What Hamilton did do was to create a dysfunctional organization. He issued no rules or regulations and relied upon the various “masters” to know what they are doing. Hamilton left no administrative or internal regulatory legacy for the future masters of the Service. The first regulations of 1829 were as all those following were cut and paste from Navy Regulations (well, Instructions). The Congress never saw fit to question why the revenue cutters were essentially ten different services. All functioned independently under the whims and wishes of the local Collector of Customs. It was a confused bunch and one highly charged by politics, nepotism, as well as personal and professional back biting among the officers. The legacy of dysfunction in the Service continued until the mid-1890s.

    • Still waiting for a USCGC AARON BURR to be commissioned. Burr was an early proponent of equal rights for women, and unlike Hamilton he didn’t try and cheat in the duel by rigging his own pistol either. Evidently Hamilton found it easier to preach “Core Values” than live by them himself.

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