Skip to main content

Sampson, William Thomas

William Thomas Sampson, 1840–1902, American naval officer, b. Palmyra, N.Y. After serving with Union naval forces in the Civil War, he saw varied naval service and was (1886–90) superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. As chief of the bureau of ordnance (1893–97), he made important changes in naval gunnery. Sampson was president of the board of inquiry on the destruction of the Maine in Havana harbor. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War (1898), he was made commander of the N Atlantic squadron. He commanded the blockade of Cuba and the attack on San Juan. Although he was not present for most of the battle of Santiago de Cuba, where the Spanish fleet was destroyed, he claimed credit for the victory, since he had laid down the general instructions for the attack; his claim was contested by Winfield Scott Schley, who actually commanded in the engagement. Public opinion favored Schley, and Sampson never received due recognition for his part in the victory. In 1899 he attained the rank of rear admiral and from then until his death commanded the Boston navy yard.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sampson, William Thomas." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sampson, William Thomas." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 13, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sampson-william-thomas

"Sampson, William Thomas." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 13, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sampson-william-thomas

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.