James C. Dobbin

James Cochran Dobbin ( born January 17, 1814 Fayetteville, North Carolina; † August 4, 1857 ibid ) was an American politician (Democratic Party), who belonged to the cabinet of President Franklin Pierce as Secretary of the Navy.


Dobbin was named after his grandfather James Cochran, who belonged to the U.S. House of Representatives 1809-1813. He attended the schools of his home town, before he moved to the University of North Carolina and graduated there in 1832. After successfully studying law he was admitted to the bar in 1835 and commenced practice in Fayetteville.


His political career began with the election to the U.S. House of Representatives, which he was a member from 1845 to 1847. In the years 1848, 1850 and 1852, he sat afterwards in the House of Representatives from North Carolina, where he served in 1850 as its Speaker.

1852 Dobbin was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore. There he helped the previously largely unknown candidates Franklin Pierce to get the nomination for election as U.S. president. After Pierce had decided the presidential election, he rewarded Dobbin with his appointment as Secretary of the Navy in his cabinet.

James Dobbin took office on March 8, 1853. He was convinced that a strong Navy a guarantee of lasting peace posed and sought to various reforms. During his tenure, the expedition of Matthew Perry to Japan was successfully completed by a contract with the Asian country. He gave Isaac Strain the order to a Kartografierungsexpedition the Darien Gap to estimate the chances of a canal between the Atlantic and the Pacific can.


After the end of his tenure, James C. Dobbin died in the same year in his hometown of Fayetteville tuberculosis. In commemoration of the former Secretary of the Navy warship USS Dobbin was named after him.