Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DONALDSON, Edward, naval officer, born in Baltimore, Maryland, 17 November 1816. He entered the U. S. navy as cadet midshipman on 21 July 1835, and served on the "Falmouth," the " Warren," and the "Vandalia" in the West India squadron. In 1838 he went to the East Indies in the "Columbus," and in 1839 participated in the attack on the forts on the coast of Sumatra. He was promoted passed midshipman in June 1841, and attached to the Mosquito fleet in Florida during 1841'2, after which he served on various vessels until 1846, when he was appointed on the coast survey. He received his commission as lieutenant in October 1847. and was connected with the "Dolphin," the " Waterwitch," the "Merrimac," and the "San Jacinto," and was on special shore duty until 1861. During 1861 he commanded the gunboat "Sciota," attached to the Western gulf squadron, and took part in the bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and the subsequent capture of New Orleans.
He participated in the passage of the Vicksburg batteries, and was made commander in July 1862. After a year in command of the receiving ship at Philadelphia, he was transferred to the " Keystone State " as executive officer during her trip to the West Indies in search of the Confederate cruiser "Sumter," and was her commander in 1863'4. During the battle of Mobile bay, 5 August 1864, he commanded the "Seminole," and rendered efficient service by his coolness and judgment in piloting his vessel while passing Fort Morgan, the regular pilot being ill. In 1865 he was on ordnance duty in Baltimore. He was made captain in July 1866, and subsequently had command of the receiving ship at Philadelphia until 1868, when he was assigned to the Brooklyn navy yard. In September 1871, he became commodore, and for a time had charge of the naval station in Mound City, Ill. He was promoted to rear admiral on 21 September 1876, and placed on the retired list a few days later. His brother, Frank, physician, born in Baltimore, Md.. 23 July 1823, was educated in the University of Maryland, and studied medicine under Drs. Samuel Chew and Thomas H. Buckler, receiving his medical degree in 1846. For two years he was a resident student in the almshouse hospital, Baltimore, and subsequent to his graduation studied in the hospitals in Paris, settling in Baltimore in 1851. He has held the offices of attending physician to the Baltimore Mmshouse hospital, physician to the general dispensary, attending physician of University hospital, and resident physician to the marine hospital. From 1863 till 1866 he was professor of materia mediea in the Maryland College of pharmacy, and in 1866 became professor of physiology and hygiene, and clinical professor of diseases of the throat and chest in the University of Maryland. He has served as president of the medical mid surgical faculty of the state of Maryland, and of the American climatological association. Mr. Donaldson has published papers in the medical journals, principally upon diseases of the heart, lungs, and throat, and is the author of "The Influence of City Life and Occupations in Developing Consumption" (Cambridge, 1876).
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