On this day in Alabama history: Hilary Herbert born in South Carolina

On this day in Alabama history: Hilary Herbert born in South Carolina
Hilary A. Herbert (1834-1919) was a U.S. congressman from Alabama and served as Secretary of the Navy after the Reconstruction era. He was an advocate for increased U.S. sea power. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama)

March 12, 1834

Secretary of the Navy Hilary Abner Herbert was born in South Carolina. A Confederate veteran and attorney from Greenville, Alabama, Herbert became a powerful Bourbon Democrat in the period following Reconstruction and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1877 to 1893. As chairman of the Naval Affairs Committee, he played a leading role in advocating for the expansion of the nation’s Navy, which had languished since the Civil War. He was appointed to the position of Secretary of the Navy by President Grover Cleveland in 1893 and led efforts to modernize the country’s fleet, advancing the Navy from the 19th to the seventh most powerful in the world. Herbert was the first Alabamian to hold a cabinet position.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

 

Related Stories