After my post about Daniel P. Upton’s letters a few weeks back, I got an inquiry or two request to learn more about him. We definitely will be diving deeper into different aspects of his life in coming newsletters, but I think the short biography (thanks to Yale University) below provides a good overview of his life.
Daniel Putnam Upton was born on August 19, 1833, on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, the son of George B. and Ann Coffin Hussey Upton. He was a master mariner and ship captain who sailed on clipper ships commissioned by his father George B. Upton, and on other vessels that he chartered and purchased. From November 1861 through September 1863 he served as an acting lieutenant for the United States Navy. It was during this period that Upton served as the Captain of the Arizona. He commanded the ship from the March 1863 until September 1863 when he dismissed from the Navy upon a guilty verdict in his second court martial. Despite being in command for this small period of time, Captain Upton is at the center of many of the most intrigued narratives of the Arizona’s history. We will explore these stories later in the year and get a chance to ask many questions about the true nature of both of his court martials.
Upon concluding his maritime career he became a farmer in Framingham, Massachusetts, and died there by suicide on March 27, 1867. I have a few interesting theories about what pushed him to take his own life some of which I already touched upon in my previous post. However, I will save them for another day and another research note.
Until then, thanks for reading