Norman von Heldreich Farquhar

For other uses of Farquhar, see Farquhar (disambiguation).
Norman von Heldreich Farquhar

Captain Farquhar
Born (1840-04-11)April 11, 1840
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Died July 3, 1907(1907-07-03) (aged 67)
Jamestown, Rhode Island
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1859–1902
Rank Rear Admiral
Commands held USS Kansas
USS Portsmouth
USS Quinnebaug
USS Wyoming
USS Trenton
USS Newark
North Atlantic Squadron
Battles/wars American Civil War

Rear Admiral Norman von Heldreich Farquhar (11 April 1840 – 3 July 1907) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He is best known for commanding a naval squadron which was wrecked with three German warships at Apia, Samoa in 1889.


After graduating from the Naval Academy in June 1859,[1] he served with the Africa Squadron until September 1861 when he sailed a prize slaver home to the United States.

Lieutenant Farquhar spent most of the Civil War off the U.S. Atlantic coast and in the West Indies, serving in the gunboats Mystic, Sonoma and Mahaska, and the cruiser Rhode Island. At the close of the war, he was executive officer of the gunboat Santiago de Cuba. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in August 1865, a few months after the fighting ended, and was on duty at the U.S. Naval Academy from then until September 1868. For the rest of the 1860s and into the next decade, Farquhar served in the screw sloop Swatara, was Executive Officer of the sloop Severn and the frigate Powhatan, and Commanding Officer of the gunboat Kansas. He also had two tours at the Boston Navy Yard on ordnance duty and as Executive Officer.

Advanced in rank to Commander in December 1872, Farquhar spent nearly five years at the Naval Academy. He commanded the training ship Portsmouth in 1877-78, and the steam sloops Quinnebaug and Wyoming in European waters in 1878-1881. Five more years of Naval Academy duty were followed by torpedo instruction at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1886. From May 1887 until her loss in the March 1889 Samoan hurricane, Captain Farquhar commanded the steam frigate Trenton. Farquhar was commended for his fine handling of his ship during that disastrous 1889 hurricane at Apia, Samoa, in which she and a number of other American and foreign naval vessels were lost.

He then served on several of the Navy's boards and, in March 1890 became the Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks. During 1894-97, he was Commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Commanding Officer of the cruiser Newark, and President of the Naval Examining Board.

While holding the ranks of Commodore and Rear Admiral, Farquhar was Commandant of the Norfolk Navy Yard in 1897-99, commanded the North Atlantic Squadron during 1899-1901 and was Chairman of the Lighthouse Board in 1901-02.

Admiral Farquhar was a companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (insignia number 9937) and a member of the Naval Order of the United States.

Rear Admiral Farquhar retired on 11 April 1902, and died at Jamestown, Rhode Island on 3 July 1907. Farquhar was buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Addie Whelan Pope Farquhar (1845–1909), is buried with him.[2]


Two ships have been named USS Farquhar for him.

See also


  1. "US Navy Officers: 1775-1900". Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  2. " : Norman Von Heldreich Farquhar, Rear Admiral, USN". Retrieved 12 August 2010.


Military offices
Preceded by
William T. Sampson
Commander-in-Chief, North Atlantic Squadron
October 18991 May 1901
Succeeded by
Francis J. Higginson
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