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This dataset contains records of the careers of officers of the line in the United States Navy who became midshipmen between 1798 and 1849. It lists the dates at which officers were promoted to the ranks of midshipment, lieutenant, master commandament, and captain.




A data frame with 5,705 observations of 4 variables.


  • id: A unique numeric identifier for each officer.

  • name: Name of the officer.

  • generation: A numeric value to represent a judgment about the generations within the officer corp of the U.S. Navy. First generation officers entered the service before 1801, as a rank higher than midshipman. Second generation officers entered the service before the Peace Establishment Act (or by the end of 1801), but as midshipman. Thus, they essentially became adults in the service, and they learned their craft from the first generation. Third generation officers entered the service as midshipmen after the Peace Establishment Act but before the end of the War of 1812. Those officers in this generation who became captain rose to that rank in the 1830s and '40s. Fourth generation officers entered the service after the War of 1812 had ended. These officers saw almost no wartime service, and many of the ones who achieved captain found themselves having to decide whether to serve in the Union or the Confederacy during the Civil War.

  • rank: The ranks which officers obtained, including midshipman, lieutenant, master_commandant, and captain. Also included are the dates some officers left_service.

  • date: The date as a character string on which an officer attained the associated rank.


This data was compiled by Abby Mullen from Edward W. Callahan, Officers of the Continental and U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, 1775-1900 (New York: L. R. Hamersly, 1901), made available via the Naval Historical Center, See Mullen's blog post about compiling the data, "Database of Officers of the Line,", January 5, 2013.


Abby Mullen, Northeastern University

Edward W. Callahan


#> # A tibble: 6 × 5
#>      id name               generation rank       date      
#>   <int> <chr>                   <int> <fct>      <chr>     
#> 1     1 Abbot, Joel                 3 midshipman 1812-06-18
#> 2     2 Abbot, Trevett              4 midshipman 1848-10-13
#> 3     3 Abbott, Isaac               4 midshipman 1820-05-10
#> 4     4 Abbott, J. Francis          4 midshipman 1837-12-27
#> 5     5 Abbott, James W.            4 midshipman 1822-05-01
#> 6     6 Abbott, Thomas C.           3 midshipman 1814-12-06