In 1866, the court martial of Captain Richard W. Meade was being held in Philadelphia for the loss of the United States steamer “San Jacinto” January 1, 1865 on the Bahama Banks. He was being defended by John Wayne Ashmead, who as a district attorney 15 years earlier, had been in charge of the case that was referred to as “the opening struggle of the Civil War”.

Within just two pages in a rich 1904 historical and genealogical reference source (Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Chester and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania) can be found some interesting family ties, through both birth and marriage, of attorney and author John Wayne Ashmead.

They include Dr. Benjamin Rush (a signer of the Declaration of Independence), General “Mad Anthony” Wayne, Major-General Thomas Mifflin (the first governor of Pennsylvania), President William McKinley, and George Graham (the inventor of the chronometer).

The source did not say how the “San Jacinto” was lost, but I wonder if the chronometer could have played a part?

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