Historian and statesman, born Worcester, Massachusetts; died Washington, DC.
As secretary of the navy, 1845, he built the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and as temporary secretary of war, 1846, he issued the order to General Taylor that precipitated the Mexican War.
He was U.S. Minister to Great Britain, 1846-1849, and to Berlin, 1867-1874.
His most celebrated work is the monumental history of the American colonies (1834-1874).
His revised edition (1883-1885) is inferior in scholarship to the original.
New Catholic Dictionary