The man who made our world a little better was known as Attorney General Charles Bonaparte.
Heroes are believed to be made up by children, however there are such things as heroes. In our beloved country, there are men and women who protect us all, these people are known to be from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but before they had that title they were known by many others. According to The Free Dictionary by Farlex, the definition of the FBI is (1) “a federal law enforcement agency that is the principal investigative arm of the Department of Justice.” (T.S.) Yet, they wouldn’t be the agents they are if it wasn’t for the hero who started if all, Attorney General Charles Bonaparte.
Charles Bonaparte was born on June 9, 1851 and had a really fulfilling life. Charles became a very successful man who was part of the 1872 Harvard graduating class; on September First, 1875, he married Ellen Channing, and in 1905 he accepted the portfolio of Secretary of the Navy. In December of 1906, when Charles was only 45, he was appointed Attorney General by President Theodore Roosevelt. (2) “Part of the reason Bonaparte had been appointed Attorney General by Roosevelt was to give over his special talents…” and he didn’t wait around to waste any time. It was in that time that President Roosevelt, also a good friend of Charles, instructed the new Attorney General to (3) “… create a force of special agents to work as investigators within the Department of Justice.” Charles then started putting pieces together and to find a way to organize such a task to present to the congressmen, in hope that they would give him the support necessary to start his new priority.
Even though the Attorney General and the President agreed on the case, they still had to go through Congress, which unfortunately crushed and rejected the idea. The (4) “congress saw Bonaparte’s proposal as an unwanted expansion of the power of the president.” Therefore, Bonaparte was on his own to complete his mission, and was only able to use the funds that were already available to him. Surprisingly, the lack of funds didn’t slow Bonaparte down for he had his corps of special agents running in 1907, which was part of the Department of Justice; sadly the corps of special agents didn’t have a name or an official leader, besides the Attorney General. Also, Charles made sure that the men that were selected were physically and mentally capable of completing the investigations.
Regardless of the difficult project, Charles had succeeded. However, Charles knew that the special agents would need some type of order to follow, therefore, on July 26 of 1908, Charles wrote the Funding Order, which established all matters relating to investigations under the Department of Justice. Also on this date, Bonaparte ordered ten former Secret Service employees and some of the Department of Justice investigators to report to the Chief Examiner where they were the first to become special agents of the Department of Justice. The action that had taken place was viewed and celebrated as the beginning of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Our nation’s leaders started small, but all great things begin with a slow incline.
The man who made our world a little better, known as Attorney General Charles Bonaparte, completed his terms in March of 1909, along with President Roosevelt; he left George Wickersham in charge. Yet, he didn’t leave without recommending that (5) “the 34 agents should become a permanent part of the Department of Justice.” Under the new Attorney General on March 16, 1909 the Secret Service of the Department of Justice was renamed to Bureau of Investigation, and the title chief examiner was changed to Chief of the Bureau of Investigation. The most important steps leading to the FBI were already taken by a man who did everything in his power to set up the organization that would one day help the nation succeed, as much as he did.
Heroes are all around us and they come in different forms, they might not all wear uniforms or spandex, but they are here. If it wasn’t for Charles Bonaparte’s potential, intelligence, and strive for success, there wouldn’t be a team of special agents to catch those who have harmed many other and prevented disasters. Both Charles and Theodore Roosevelt went beyond to make this country the way it is and for that I thank them. Many people may laugh at the special agents and might not even consider them important, but if it wasn’t for them we would have had to find a new way to learn about terrorism. Also, many cases wouldn’t have been solved if it wasn’t for the intelligence the men and women of the FBI possess. I once read a quote that said (6) “Every great achievement was once considered impossible,” and Bonaparte was one of the many people in this world that went beyond what people considered impossible to do what was necessary for the country.
A Brief History of the FBI. (2010, May 21). FBI. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/brief-history
Bloch, D. (1935, August 18). Historical Documents from the Bureau's Founding. Washington Star Article.
Deneberg, Barry. The True Story of J. Edgar Hoover and the F.B.I. : , . Print.