Walter P. Forward was appointed to be the 15th Secretary of the Treasury after Thomas Ewing resigned as the 14th Secretary of the Treasury. This was one of many appointments in President Zachary Tyler's reorganized cabinet. He served as Secretary of the Treasury from September 13, 1841 until March 1, 1843.
A judge from Pittsburgh, Forward was an active supporter of President William Henry Harrison and Vice President Tyler in the presidential campaign of 1840 and was rewarded by Harrison with an appointment to the position of Comptroller of Currency in the Treasury Department in 1841. After his resignation as Secretary of the Treasury, he practiced law.
That year, the Independent Treasury System of 1840, supported by Levi Woodbury, the 13th Secretary of the Treasury, was repealed and the government's funds were deposited once more with commercial banks. Soon after Forward took office, he was asked by Millard Fillmore, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to devise a plan to increase the tariff, in response to the serious decrease in revenue caused by the Panic of 1837. He was also asked to develop plans for a Board of Exchequer to receive and disburse customs revenue, since the Independent Treasury System was no longer in effect. In August 1842 a strongly protective tariff was passed.
Walter Forward was born in 1786. He died in 1852.
Type/Rig/Class: Topsail Schooner
Builder: William Easby, Washington, D.C.
Dates of Service: 1842 - 1865
Displacement: 139 tons
Beam: 21' 2"
Draft: 8' 6"
Armament: 2 x 18-pounder; 4 x 9-pounders
The cutter Forward was built in Washington, D.C. and was first stationed at Baltimore, Maryland. She also served out of Wilmington, Delaware later in her career. She was charged with enforcing customs laws, sailing on annual winter cruises, and assisting mariners in distress.
She was ordered to the Gulf of Mexico in May of 1846 to cooperate with the Army and Navy during the Mexican War. She participated in the blockade of Vera Cruz and in the expedition to Tabasco, coming under enemy fire, and receiving a commendation from Commodore Matthew C. Perry.
She returned to Wilmington in May of 1847. From mid-1862 until the end of the Civil War, she was stationed at Beaufort, North Carolina. She was decommissioned and sold in Baltimore in November of 1865 for approximately $5,000.
Donald Canney. U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.
U.S. Coast Guard. Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).