Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CROWNINSHIELD, Jacob, congressman, born in Salem, Massachusetts, 31 March 1770; died in Washington, D. C., 14 April 1808. He was educated for a merchant, and at one time he and three of his brothers were in command of vessels in the India trade. He was a member of the Massachusetts legislature in 1801, and elected to congress, serving from 1803 till 1805. He was appointed secretary of the navy by President Jefferson on 3 March 1805, but never entered upon his duties, owing to his rapid decline and death, the result of consumption.
--Jacob's brother, Benjamin Williams Crowninshield, secretary of the navy, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 27 December 1772; died there, 3 February 1851. Received an English education, and engaged in business in Salem, Massachusetts. He was a state senator in 1811, and on 17 December 1814, appointed secretary of the navy by President Madison. He held the same office in Monroe's cabinet, and resigned in November 1818. He was a presidential elector in 1820, again a state senator in 1822-'3, and then elected to congress as a democrat from the Salem district, serving from 1 December 1823, till 3 March 1831. He was a candidate for re-election in 1830, but defeated by Rufus Choate.--His grandson, Arrant Schuyler, naval officer, born in New York state, 14 March 1843, was graduated at the U. S. naval academy in 1863. He was attached to the steam sloop " Ticonderoga," and participated in both attacks on Fort Fisher, being commended for his efficiency by Captain Charles Steedman. He was made lieutenant, 10 November 1866, lieutenant commander, 10 March 1868, and commander, 25 March 1880. He is a member of the naval advisory board in New York City.
--Benjamin Williams's grandson, Frederic Crowninshield, artist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 27 November 1845, was graduated at Harvard in 1866, and began the study of water-color drawing in London in 1867 under Rowbotham, devoting himself to landscape-painting in water-colors and in oil. He passed eleven consecutive years in Europe, most of the time in Italy, and studied his profession chiefly under Couture, though he was for one term in the Paris ecole des beaux arts, under Cabanel. At this time he took up figure painting. His first work exhibited in public was an allegorical portrait group sent to the Paris salon of 1878. His watercolors are much admired. After his return to this country he became, in 1879, instructor in the art school connected with the Museum of fine arts in Boston, and remained there till 1885. He has lately devoted the greater part of his time to mural painting, and to stained glass.
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