Men of Mark in America/Volume 1/Charles J. Bonaparte

CHARLES JOSEPH BONAPARTE

 

CHARLES JOSEPH BONAPARTE, who assumed the port- folio of secretary of the navy in the cabinet of President Roosevelt, July 1, 1905, was born at Baltimore, Maryland, June 9, 1851. His father was Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, son of Jerome, the brother of Napoleon I. of France, and Elizabeth (Patterson) Bonaparte. His mother was Miss Susan May Williams of Baltimore, who married Jerome Napoleon, at Baltimore in 1829.

Charles Joseph Bonaparte, the younger of the two sons of his parents, was graduated from Harvard college in 1871, and from the Harvard law school in 1874. Returning to Baltimore, he began at once the practice of law in his native city, where he has continued to reside. His chosen profession, and a deep and constant interest in civil service reform and in practical efforts to further good government and to secure needed political reforms in his own state and city and in the country-at-large, have occupied him for the thirty years since he began the practice of law.

He was for many years chairman of the Council of the National Civil Service Reform League, resigning that position July 22, 1905; he was appointed a member of the United States Board of Indian Commissioners in 1902, resigning in 1904 in order to act as one of the presidential electors for the state of Maryland, on the Roosevelt ticket. He is a member of the executive committee of the Civic Federation. He was named by Secretary Hitchcock, with the approval of President Roosevelt, in 1904, special inspector to investigate affairs in the Indian Territory. He received, in 1903, the Laetare medal given by the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Bonaparte married Miss Ellen Channing Day, of Newport, Rhode Island, September 1, 1875.

Always a member of the Republican party, Mr. Bonaparte has maintained his personal independence in party matters; and his leading influence in the party affairs of his city and of his state is due to his acknowledged character, and to his fearless independence.
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