; born in Charlestown, Mass.
, March 4, 1839; graduated at the Boston High School, and became a shipwright apprentice in the Boston
After five years service there he took a two years course in ship construction, design, and calculation under the direction of the Navy Department.
In 1860 he was assigned to duty in the navy-yard at Mare Island, Cal.
, and in 1862-69 was master shipwright there.
In the latter year he was made an assistant naval constructor, with the relative rank of lieutenant.
In 1875, after a competitive examination, he was commissioned a naval constructor.
He was selected by the Secretary of the Navy
for special duty in Europe
in 1884, and later
published the results of his investigations in a work on European
This work attracted much attention, and for a time foreign powers were greatly exercised over its appearance, as nothing so exhaustive had been published before.
On July 13, 1893, he was appointed chief constructor of the navy with the relative rank of commodore, and on Sept. 7, 1897, was reappointed.
On his sixtieth birthday, March 4, 1899, through the provisions of the naval personnel bill he became a rear-admiral; and on March 4, 1901, he was retired under the law fixing the age limit of active service.
The recognition of his long and faithful service, covering the remarkable increase of the navy, was touchingly embodied in a letter addressed to him by the Secretary of the Navy
, Feb. 25, 1901. Rear-Admiral Hichborn
was the recipient of numerous distinctions at home and abroad, one of the most prized
being his election as an honorary member of the British Institute of Naval Architects in 1899.