Before Joining USS Constitution
George Hobart was born in Maine in 1794, the grandson of Secretary of War Henry Dearborn.
In 1836, twenty years after leaving the navy, Hobart married Elizabeth Ann Boothe. They had at least one child, a son named Augustus, born in 1839.
Life Aboard USS Constitution
Hobart joined Constitution’s crew on October 5, 1813 as an ordinary seaman. He must have impressed Captain Stewart, because he was promoted to master-at-arms on February 1, 1815.
This taste of authority must have lit the fires of ambition, because by the middle of the year his grandfather Henry Dearborn used his influence to secure George a much-coveted appointment as a Midshipman, an officer in training, with duties of increasing responsibility to the ship and its men. He was a bit old by that point, and had received only a “plain English education,” but the navy was willing to take a gamble. Apparently, it did not pay off because Hobart left the navy for good on October 16, 1816.
As an Ordinary Seaman Hobart would have earned $10 a month. With his promotion to master-at-arms his pay increased to $18 a month. His second promotion to midshipman added another dollar to his monthly pay.
As master-at-arms, Hobart was a sort of chief of security on board ship. Roaming the deck at night, he checked that all fires and candles were extinguished and that there were no “irregularities” in the ship. He saw to the confinement of captured prisoners and placed sentries over them. When a boat from shore or another ship came along side, the master-at-arms stood in the gangway to ensure that no one smuggled liquor or other forbidden items aboard, and that none of the crew attempted to desert. Also, as his title would suggest, the master-at-arms taught the use of the ship’s small arms to both officers and crew, and together with the armorer made sure they were kept in good order.
Battles and Engagements
Soon after his promotion to master-at-arms, Hobart participated in the battle with HMS Cyane and Levant, during which he was stationed in the magazine cross passage to control confusion there.
Even his expeditious rise through the ranks was not enough to keep Hobart at sea. After he left the navy in 1816, he moved west and married. By 1850 Hobart was living in Cuyahoga, Ohio and working as a farrier, shoeing horses and caring for their feet. Within a few years he had moved on to Pavilion, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan, farming the land he had received for his service in the War of 1812. At age 77, living alone, Hobart applied for and received a pension of $8 a month. The date of his death is unknown.