The Farragut Folklife Museum provides exhibits about the life and career of Admiral David Farragut, the naval leader who led the famous flotilla of warships through the torpedo-filled harbor of Mobile in the Civil War. The museum galleries also contain numerous exhibits related to the history of the city of Farragut and surrounding communities. Outside the museum, visitors can see a life-size bronze statue of Admiral David Farragut which was dedicated in 2010.
Descended from a family that had long served the kings
of Spain, His grandfather's family had been captured at Ciudadella by Ottoman
Turks in 1558, and taken to Constantinople for ransom. After being ransomed,
Antonio Farragut located in Minorca, where the family prospered. David's
father, George (Jorge) Farragut immigrated to Britain's North American Colonies
in March 1776 and promptly joined the colonial struggle for independence.1
Revolution George Farragut moved his family to the frontier of East Tennessee.
Born on July 5, 1801 in Campbell’s Station, TN, Farragut experienced the
fullness of frontier life. One early memory was of him being sent to hide in a
loft while his mother barricaded the door and held guard against hostile natives
with an axe.2 While David was still young the family relocated to Louisiana.
Later, George was apparently involved with the occupation of the self-proclaimed
Republic of West Florida by the United States.3 George also served in the War
of 1812. George died on June 4, 1817 at the age of sixty-three.
Farragut went to live with the family of Captain
David Porter who provided Farragut an opportunity to practice his seamanship. Porter
eventually adopted young Farragut. While here, Farragut changed his given first
name, James, to David in honor of his adoptive father. American Admiral David
Dixon Porter then became Farragut’s foster brother.4
joined the U.S. Navy in 1810, Farragut rose through the ranks. Farragut’s first
command came at the age of twelve when he was placed in command of ship that
had been captured during the War of 1812.5 At the outbreak of the Civil War,
Farragut, though a southerner, sided with the Union. With his capture of New
Orleans in April of 1862, Farragut of granted the newly created rank of Rear
Admiral, the first commissioned Admiral in the United Sates Navy. At the Battle
of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, Farragut uttered his now famous quote, ““Damn
the torpedoes! Four Bells! Captain
Drayton, go ahead! Jouett, full speed!”6
Farragut served in the U.S. Navy until his death in 1870. He eventually reached
the ranks of Vice Admiral (1864) and Admiral (1866).