Algernon Sidney Badger

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Algernon Sidney Badger
Algernon Sidney Badger of LA.jpg

Born October 28, 1839
Boston, Massachusetts
Died May 9, 1905 (aged 65)
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Resting place:
Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans

Political Party Republican
Spouse (1) Elizabeth Florence Parmele Badger (married 1872–1880, her death)

(2) Blanche Blineau Badger (married 1882-1905, his death)
From first marriage:
Frank Sidney Badger, Sr. (1873-1925)
Frederick Parmele Badger
John Algernon Badger
Harry Sprague Badger (1877-1940)
From second marriage:
George Chester Badger
Marion Badger Wells

Religion Episcopalian

Military Service
Service/branch United States Army

Infantry and Cavalry

Rank Colonel
Battles/wars Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama, in the American Civil War

Algernon Sidney Badger (October 28, 1839 – May 9, 1905) was a colonel[1][2] in the Union Army during th American Civil War and an administrator in local and federal government positions. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, he had served in action in Louisiana and decided to live in New Orleans after the war.[3]

Badger was appointed to numerous Republican governmental positions in New Orleans, including as the police superintendent, U.S. Postmaster, and a deputy in the Customs Service. He filled local and federal positions during and after Reconstruction.[3]


Named for Algernon Sidney (1623-1683), an English politician who is admired for his republican principles, considered a "Whig patriot and martyr," and highly influential by America's Founding Fathers, including Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.[4] Badger was born to John Breighton Badger (1811-1904), a native of New Hampshire and the former Sarah Payne Sprague. He was educated at Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts.[5]

Badger volunteered for service in the Civil War with the 6th Massachusetts Infantry, later the 26th Infantry. He was sent to New Orleans as a lieutenant. In 1863, he enlisted in the Union cavalry, and was given command of Company D. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and then colonel for "faithful and meritorious service" in the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama. Earlier that year, he was wounded in battle at False River in southern Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, as part of the Red River campaign.[5]

Political offices

After the war, Badger settled in New Orleans, where he was appointed as a clerk inthe 4th District Recorders Court. About 1868, he joined the New Orleans Police Department and was promoted in 1879 to superintendent of the force. On September 14, 1874, Badger was seriously wounded in the Battle of Liberty Place] an insurrection by five thousand members of the paramilitary White League, whose members fought against the police and took over state buildings in an attempt to seat John McEnery, the Democrat gubernatorial nominee in the disputed 1872 election. The White League outnumbered and outgunned the Metropolitans, holding the buildings for three days, and retreating before the arrival of federal forces. Nearly 60 people were killed in the fighting. No charges were filed against any insurgents.[6]

Badger left the police force in 1875 to serve as state tax collector in New Orleans. In 1878, during the administration of Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, Badger was named U.S. Postmaster at New Orleans. After a year, he took another patronage position, as special deputy in the New Orleans Customs House, where he worked until 1885. That year, the Democratic administration of President Grover Cleveland of New York replaced him with their own appointee.

In 1889, with the return of a Republican administration under President Benjamin Harrison of Indiana, Badger was appointed as special deputy of the US Customs Service. In 1890,he was appointed as the US Appraiser of merchandise in the Customs Service at New Orleans; his post ended in 1893 with the installation of President Cleveland's administrations. Badger returned to the appraiser position about 1900, under the Republican William McKinley administration, and held that final position until his death in 1905 at the age of sixty-five.[5]

Family and civic life

On April 30, 1872, Badger married Elizabeth Florence Parmele, daughter of Frederick F. and Jane Parmele. The couple had four children, Frank Sidney 1873-1925), Frederick Parmele (born c. 1874), John Algernon (born 1876), and Harry Sprague (1877-1940). Elizabeth died in 1880.[5]

On September 9, 1882, Badger married Blanche B. Blineau (c. 1860-1939), the daughter of John Blineau and the former Amelia Dechamps, who were both of French descent. She died at the age of seventy-nine in Berkeley, California.[7] From the second marriage, Badger had two children: George Chester Badger (born 1883) and Marion (born 1885; later Mrs. C. E. Benton Wells).[5]

Badger on more than one occasion led the New Orleans Mardi Gras procession of the Krewe of Rex in his capacity as police superintendent. In one appearance, some in the crowd lampooned him as a "sleuthing bloodhound with a large protruding nose."[8]

Like many men of his time, Badger joined many fraternal organizations: he was a member and officer of the Grand Army of the Republic Union veterans organization. He was a grand commander of Knights Templar and a member of the Masonic lodge. He was an Episcopalian. Badger died in New Orleans and is interred there at Metairie Cemetery.[5]


  1. "General Algernon S. Badger Is Dead," ' The New York Times,May 10, 1905.
  2. The New York Times refers to Badger as a "general" in his obituary, but other sources document his rank as colonel.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Algernon Sidney Badger (1839-1905) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed April 12, 2021.
  4. Popular Sovereignty: A Biography of Algernon Sidney: Algernon Sidney was a 17th century English politician and philosopher who defied monarchism and was ultimately executed for his criticism of the English crown. (July 4, 2000). Retrieved on April 12, 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Badger, Algernon Sidney. Louisiana Historical Association: A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Retrieved on April 12, 2021.
  6. Adolph Reed, Jr., "The battle of Liberty Monument - New Orleans, Louisiana white supremacist statue," The Progressive, June 1993, accessed May 18, 2010.
  7. The Washington Evening Star, September 09, 1939, p. A-3.
  8. Justin A. Nystrom (2010). New Orleans after the Civil War: Race, Politics, and a New Birth of Freedom. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 135–136. ISBN 978-0-8018-9434-3. 

Further reading

  • National Cyclopedia of American Biography (1900).
  • Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (1892).
  • Records of volunteer Union soldiers in Louisiana; New Orleans city directories, 1867–1905.
  • U.S. Census for Louisiana, 1880, 1900.
  • New Orleans Times-Democrat, May 17, 1890, obituary, May 9 and 10, 1905.
  • New Orleans Item," May 9, 1905.