Friday, June 13, 2008

The Naming of the Dolphin


An old story, but not a bad one, was told the other day by an officer of the navy who heard the argument repeated in it. While General Arthur was president, and during one of the summers of his administration, he was on board of the Dispatch at Newport, and Secretary of the Navy Chandler was pestering him to consent to naming the new dispatch boat, afterward the Dolphin, the Concord, after the first battle of the Revolution. General Arthur was disposed to quiz Chandler about his proposed name. He preferred the name Dolphin as being more suggestive of speed at sea. When Chandler argued the importance of keeping in mind the heroic resistance of the colonial militia and the brilliant opposition offered to Pitcairn's men, General Arthur asked him:

"What is it that you propose to call this ship?"

"The Concord," answered Chandler, giving the approved New Hampshire pronunciation.

"There," retorted Arthur, inviting the attention of Captain Reeder. "Do you hear that? Conquered. Do you think that a good name to give a ship-of-war? Then suppose you change the pronunciation and call it Concord, just as spelled. Does it not strike you, Chandler, that there is a degree of Concord in the presence of a vessel of war?"

The new ship was called the Dolphin, but the Concord appeared after General Arthur had ceased to have influence in naming the ships of the navy. — New York Times.

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