Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BLAKE, George Smith, naval officer, born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1803; died in Longwood, Massachusetts, 24 June 1871. His father, Francis Blake, was a prominent lawyer in Worcester. On 1 January 1818, he was appointed to the navy as midshipman. On 5 November 1821, the schooner " Alligator," on which he was serving, was attacked near the Cape Verde islands by a Portuguese ship, which was captured and sent to the United States, with Blake as her executive officer. Commissioned lieutenant, 31 March 1827, he cruised in the "Grampus," on the West India station, for the suppression of piracy. He was employed on a survey of Narragansett bay in 1832, was attached to the navy yard at Philadelphia in 1833, and from 1837 till 1848 was connected with the coast survey. The secretary of the treasury, in a letter to the navy department, speaks highly of Lieut. Blake's zeal and fidelity in this service. In 1846, while commanding the brig " Perry" in the gulf of Mexico, he was wrecked on the Florida coast in the great hurricane, but succeeded in getting his vessel off, and brought her to Philadelphia under jurymasts. The secretary of the navy, in a letter to Lieut. Blake, commended his conduct on this occasion. He was made commander 27 February 1847, and attached to the bureau of construction. From 1849 till 1852 he was fleet captain in the Mediterranean. On 14 September 1855, he was made captain, and assigned to special duty at Hoboken, New Jersey, in connection with the building of the Stevens battery there. In 1858 he became superintendent of the naval academy at Annapolis. At the beginning of the war his prompt measures saved the government property at the academy from capture, and he superintended the removal of the school to Newport, Rhode Island lie was commissioned commodore on 16 July 1862, left the naval academy in 1865, and from 1866 till 1869 he was light-house inspector of the second district, residing at Boston.
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