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Caspar F. Goodrich

Navy Admiral

Centurion, 1890–1925

Full Name Caspar Frederick Goodrich

Born 7 January 1847 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died 26 December 1925 in Princeton, New Jersey

Buried United States Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, Maryland

Proposed by Henry Codman Potter, William C. Whitney, and Henry G. Marquand

Elected 6 December 1890 at age forty-three

Century Memorial

With a changed epoch in history sharply demarcated by the Great European War, our Spanish War has faded far into the historical background. The present generation recalls it only as the people of 1872, seven years after the end of the Civil War, talked of the equally-distant and equally-obscured exploits of the Mexican War of 1846; with which, indeed, the Cuban campaign of 1898 had its points of military resemblance. The notable achievements of the United States in that conflict occurred on the water; the series of surprising sidelights on the fitness and efficiency of our navy are very distinct in memory with most of us. Admiral Caspar Frederick Goodrich had in charge the difficult naval operation of landing the expeditionary troops on the Southern shore of Cuba, at a time when he had no lighters to effect the debarcation and when no certainty existed as to whether the enemy’s forces might not be shifted to oppose the undertaking. Under such circumstances he landed 16,000 men in five days, a remarkable achievement which greatly facilitated the later occupation of Santiago. As a whole, the Admiral’s career was notable for the stretch of American naval history which it covered. In the last year of the Civil War, he saw action with the old Macedonian. He studied the naval problems of the day as naval attaché at the London embassy in the eighties, and his Spanish War experience was supplemented, many years later, by re-entry into the service during 1917 at the age of 71 as commandant of the Princeton naval unit. To have participated even to that extent in three successive wars of American history was to taste an experience such as used to seem almost legendary, when we read as boys the story of General Winfield Scott.

Admiral Goodrich was a man of varied avocations. Engrossed as his mind always was in the technicalities of the navy, he nevertheless found time to interest himself in the language and literature of many foreign countries. The annotated copy of Dante which James Russell Lowell gave him at the London embassy was as highly prized by him as his distinguished honors in the service or his honorary degrees at Yale and Princeton. It was one of the signs of better things which attended the termination of the War of 1898 that when that fine old Spanish seaman, Admiral Cervera, was placed in charge of Goodrich after the surrender, a cordial personal friendship grew up between the two.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1926 Century Association Yearbook