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Stephen Russell Mallory

Mallory, Stephen Russell, c.1813–73, U.S. Senator, secretary of the navy in the Confederacy, b. Trinidad, West Indies. He was raised in Key West, Fla., where he practiced law and was a customs official. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1851 and reelected in 1857, Mallory served until Florida seceded. Long chairman of the Senate committee on naval affairs, he became (Feb., 1861) secretary of the navy in the Confederacy. Mallory ardently advocated ironclad warships for the navy. However, efforts to secure ironclads from England and France proved futile, and of the few constructed in the Confederacy the most outstanding, the Virginia (see Monitor and Merrimack) and the Mississippi, had to be destroyed to prevent their falling into Union hands. Mallory was captured in flight with Jefferson Davis in 1865 and was imprisoned. On his release in 1866, he resumed the practice of law in Florida.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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