Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Captain William Augustus Weaver

Daily Union (Washington, DC) – September 23, 1846

DIED, Suddenly, at his residence, near Dumfries, Prince William county, Virginia, on the 14th instant, William A. Weaver, in the fifty-fifth year of his age. The deceased, a native of Dumfries, near which he breathed his last, was prepared for his useful and active life, at Georgetown College, in this District. He entered the navy when quite young, was twice a prisoner during the late war with Great Britain, and was wounded in the action between the Shannon and the Chesapeake, when the latter vessel was captured. After the war, he continued several years in the service, where among other evidences of his merit, he was appointed flag lieutenant to the squadron in the Mediterranean, under the command of Commodore Stewart. After he left the navy, much of his life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, though he was occasionally called from them for other services. In 1832 he was selected by Mr. Livingston to edit the Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States from the treaty of peace in 1783, to the commencement of the present government under the federal constitution, in 1789; and in 1840 he was appointed by Mr. Forsyth, superintendent of the Sixth Census; for the manner in which he executed these trusts, he received from Mr. Livingston and Mr. Forsyth, the fullest approbation.

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Alexandria Gazette – February 25, 1850

MARRIED, At Claverack, Coumbia county, New York on the 14th instant, by the Rev. Ira C. Boise, Lewis Skinkle, esq., of Peru, Illinois, to Cornelia, daughter of the late Capt. William A. Weaver of Dumfries, Virginia.

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[Captain William Augustus Weaver was born May 17, 1792 and died September 14, 1846.  He was the first "superintending clerk" of the U.S. Census, where he was "responsible for the design of the enumeration schedule, which crammed 80 columns on two-sided questionnaires.  The poor design of the schedules led to enumeration error, including significant instances of healthy free blacks being misclassified as insane."*  Captain Weaver is buried in Bath Springs Cemetery, PWCo.]


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