Meade was born in Spain in 1807 to Richard Worsam Meade I (1778-1828) and his wife Margaret Coats Butler Meade (and was the brother of General George Meade, the victor of Gettysburg). He entered the Navy as a Midshipman in April 1826, appointed from the state of Pennsylvania. During the next decade he served in a number of ships, among them the frigate Brandywine (during the later 1820s and early 1830s) and sloop-of-war Saint Louis (in the mid-1830s). He was promoted to Lieutenant in December 1837 and was subsequently assigned to the U.S. Coast Survey, the New York Navy Yard, the steamer Fulton and storeship Erie. Beginning in the mid-1840s his Navy service became intermittent, with a long period of "awaiting orders" broken in 1847 by assignment to the steamer Scourge. Lieutenant Meade resigned his commission in December 1851, but was again in service in 1854-1855 as Commanding Officer of the steamship Massachusetts, part of the Pacific Squadron. He once more left the Navy in September 1855.
Meade returned to active duty during the Civil War and was given the rank of Commander, apparently backdated to September 1855. He commanded the Receiving Ship at New York (the old ship-of-the-line North Carolina) into 1864. Promoted to Captain (in 1864, with the date of rank again apparently backdated, this time to July 1862), he was Commanding Officer of the steam frigate San Jacinto until she was wrecked in the Bahamas at the beginning of 1865. Captain Meade appears to have had no further active employment. He was retired in December 1867 and died at Brooklyn, New York, on 16 April 1870.
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