Norman Von Heldreich Farquhar – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

Born at Pottsville, Pennsylvania, on April 11, 1840, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1859. He married Addie W. Pope, April 26, 1862.


He served with a squadron off the coast of Africa, suppresing the slave trade, and was a Midshipman and Acting Master, 1859-61. He brought to the United States the captured slaver The Triton, with a crew of ten men and no other officer to assist him. He was commissioned Lieutenant, USN, August 31, 1861, serving on the North Atlantic Blockading Station, being promoted to Lieutenant Commander, August 5, 1865, Commander, December 12, 1872, Commodore, 1897.

He served throughout the Civil War and was present on both attacks on Fort Fisher.

He was promoted to Rear Admiral, December 25, 1898, and appointed Commander, North Atlantic Station, October 14, 1899, in command of the frigate Trenton, he was transferred to the Pacific Squadron, with the Trenton as flagship in 1889, which was suddenly ordered to Samoa. On March 16, 1889, a terrible hurricane swept over the harbor of Apia, where warships of the United States, England and Germany were at anchor. Serveral U.S. and German ships were wrecked at the begining of the storm. The British Corvette Calliope succeeded in steaming out of danger. As he Calliope passed the Trenton, a great shout went up from over 400 men aboard the U.S. flagship, and three cheers were given for Calliope. Immediately, three cheers for the Trenton and U.S. flag were wafted across the angry waters from the Calliope. A few moments later, the Trenton herself was wrecked but Captain Farquhar succeeded in saving all of his crew of 450 men and officers, excepting one.

He later served as a member of the Lighthouse Board, Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department, Commandant of the Norfolk Navy Yard and Commander-in-Chief of the North Atlantic Station. He was retired due to age in 1902. Was an honorary member and prize essayist, U.S. Naval Institute. He died on July 3, 1907 and was buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.

His wife, Addie Whelan Pope Farquhar (May 25, 1845-July 12, 1909), is buried with him.

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.

After graduation from the Naval Academy, 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 Santiago de Cuba. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in mid-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 warship Swatara, was Executive Officer of Severn and Powhatan and Commanding Officer of 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 Station during 1899-1901 and was Chairman of the Lighthouse Board in 1901-02.

Rear Admiral Farquhar retired 11 April 1902, and died at Jamestown, Rhode Island, 3 July 1907.

Two ships have been named USS Farquhar for him.


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