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John Elliott Pillsbury
Rear Admiral, United States Navy
Massachusetts State Flag
John E. Pillsbury, born in Lowell, Massachusetts, 15 December 1848, was appointed Midshipman in 1862 and commissioned an Ensign in 1868.

After serving on various stations afloat and ashore, he commanded the Coast Steamer Blake from 1884 to 1891 and did excellent scientific work, using in some of his research instruments of his own invention.

In the Spanish-American War he commanded the dynamite cruiser Vesuvius, operating around the island of Cuba and in the vicinity of Morro Castle.

In 1905 he served as Chief of Staff of the North Atlantic Fleet and in 1908-09, was Chief of the Bureau of Navigation.

Although Rear Admiral Pillsbury's attainments as a sailor and a fighting man were noteworthy, he is perhaps best known for having been one of the world's foremost geographers and as an authority of the Gulf stream. Actively identified with the National Geographic Society for many years, he was president of the society at the time of his death, 30 December 1919.

On his death, he was buried with full military honors in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.  His wife, Florence Greenwood Aitchinson Pillsbury (16 May 1847-21 February 1925) is buried with him.

JE Pillsbury PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress And Bill Gonyo


Posted: 15 December 2003 Updated: 8 January 2010

JE Pillsbury Gravesite PHOTO
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003