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with all possible dispatch, and repaired to sea on a cruise, in which he met with no other luck than the capture of an inconsiderable prize. He again put to sea on the 13th of October last, and on the 18th of the month, after a long and heavy gale, he fell in with a number of strongly armed merchantmen under convoy of his Britannic majesty's sloup of war the Frolic, Capt. Winyates.
Capt. Jones bore down upon the Frolic, and a bloody action was commenced which ended in the capture of the Frolic, though unfortunately both vessels were captured by the Poictiers 74, with. in an hour or two after, and carried to Bermuda, as more particularly and minutely related before.
On the return of Capt. Jones to the United States, he was ev. ery where received with the utmost demonstrations of gratitude and admiration. Brilliant entertainments were given him in the cities through which he passed. The legislature of his pative state appointed a committee to wait on him with their thanks, and to express the “ pride and pleasure” they felt in recognizing him as a native of their state ; in the same resolution they voted him an elegant piece of plate, with appropriate engravings. The congress of the United States, on motion of Mr. J. A. Bayard, of Delaware, appropriated 25,000 dollars, as a compensation to Capt. Jones and his crew, for the loss they sustained by the re capture of the Frolic. They also ordered a gold medal to be presented to the captain, and a silver one to each of his officers.
Various other marks of honour have been paid by the legislatures, and the citizens of different states, which it would be superfluous to enumerate ; but the most substantial testimony of approbation which he has received, is the appointment to the command of the frigate Macedonian.
Capt. Jones is about the middle size, of an active mind and vig. orous make, and an excellent constitution, capable of the utmost vigilance and fatigue. Naturally and habitually temperate himself, he is a great promoter of temperance among his crew; and has been successful in reclaiming many a valuable seaman from the pernicious habits of intoxication,
**. TO READERS. Our readers will please to recollect, that this publication claims no other merit than that of a judicious selection. In most instanees credit bas been given ; in some, howerer, it has been omuted. We have alreally been, and shall probably berealter be indebted to the Naval History of the United States, the Port Folio, Avalectic Magazine, and Nile's Register, for much of the matter, and even the language of this work. We have ns d lhe language wliere it would answer our purpose. with more or less alteration, as necessity or propriety dictated.
VOLUME 1...............NUMBER 3.
Com. Rodgers' second cruize.....Capture of the Swallow..... Cap.
ture of the Macedonian.....Chase of the Argus.....Biography of Capt. Decatur.
On the 8th Oct. the President, Com. Rodgers, United States, Capt. Decatur, Congress, Capt. Smith, and Argus, Capt. Sinclair, sailed from Boston, on a cruize. In a day or two afterwards, however, the United States and Argus parted company from the other vessels. Com. Rodgers, with the President and Congress, traversed about 8000 miles upon the atlantic without falling in with any of the enemy's frigates : le however captured two valuable prizes, the Swallow, having on board 168,000 dollars in specie, and a south-sea vessel, the Argo, of great value, and returned into the harbour of Boston the latter part of December..... his prizes had previously arrived in safety.
Capture of the Macedonian.....Capt. Decatur, after leaving the squadron, bore south-east. Nothing of moment occurred until the 25th, when, being in latitude 29 d. N. long. 29 d. 30 m. W. he fell in with the British frigate Macedonian, commanded by Capt. John S. Carden.
The Macedonian being to windward, had the advantage of engaging at her own distance. This was so great, that for the first half-hour the United States did not use her carropades. At no time was the Macedonian within such distance as to admit of musketry and grape being used with good effect. Owing to this circumstance, and a heavy swell of the sea, the action lasted an hour and a half. So brisk and spirited was the fire kept up from the United States, that the crew of the British ship supposed she was on fire ; and it was so well directed that the Macedonian's
ed 49 guns.
mizen-mast was shot away by the board. Her fore and maintop-masts were shot away by the caps. Her main-yard was shot in pieces.
Her lower masts were badly wounded. He: lower rigging was all cut to pieces. Only a small portion of the foresail was left to the foreyard. All her guns on the quarter. deck and forecastle were disabled but two, and filled with wreck. Two also of her guns on the main.deck were disabled. She had received several shot between wind and water. A very great portion of her crew were killed or wounded. So much disabled was she, that she lay a perfect wreck and unmanageable log. At this time the United States shot ahead, and was about placing herself in a position to rake, when the British vessel struck her colours. The Macedonian rated in Steel's List a 38 gun ship, but mount
She was only two years old ; and had been but four months out of dock. She was reputed one of the best sailers in the British nary. The killed on board of her amounted to 36 .....the wounded to 68. She has since been fitted out as a 38 gun ship in the American navy.
The damage sustained by the United States was very trifling. She had only 5 men killed and 7 wounded.
All the private property of the officers and men on board the Macedonian was given up to them. The private property claimed by Capt. Carden, valued at about 800 dollars, Capt. Decatur paid him for.
Capt. Decatur arrived at New York with his prize on the 1st Jan. He arrived some time previous off New London, but continued in the sound for several weeks, doubtless, to present his prize to the citizens of New York on that day.
John Archibald, one of the crew of the United States, received a mortal wound, of which he soon after died. He left three children to the mercy of the world, with a mother who had deserted them. When the father of the deceased seaman went on board the frigate to claim the wages and property of his son, an in. quiry was made into the circumstances of the family. was immediately agreed upon by the seamen, for the relief of the orphans. Two dollars was subscribed by each of them. A sum of 000 dollars was made up, and placed in the hands of suitable trustees, for the maintenance and education of the children.
Capt. Decatur, on bis return to the United States, received from all quarters the grateful congratulations of his countrymen.
Chase of the Argus..... The Argus parted company from the United States previous to the capture of the Macedonian by that. vessel, and proceeded to the coast of Brazil, down the north coast of the country from St. Roque to Surinam, thence she passed to the windward of the islands, and in every direction between the
Bermudas, Halifax, and the continent. After a lapse of 96 days, she returned into port, having made five prizes, valued at about 200,000 dollars. During her cruize she fell in with a squadron of the enemy, consisting of 'six sail, two of which were of the line, one of them a remarkable fast sailer. The favour of the moon enabling them to chase as well at night, as in the day, the chase was continued for three days, without intermission, and un. der various circumstances, but the unremitted exertions of their officers and crew enabled her to elude the pursuit. Pressed on all sides by the number of the enemy, and the baffling and unsettled state of the weather, the Argus was at one time within mugket shot of a 74, and at another surrounded ; the determined vigilance of Capt. Sinclair rescued her however from the difficulty.
They had joined in the chase an armed transport, with a view no doubt of distracting the attention, and deceiving the chase, which being discovered, he bore down upon her and compelled her to clear the way. Such was the confidence of Capt. Sinclair in the sailing of the Argus, that during the chase, although at one time so closely pressed as to be compelled to lighten his vessel by throwing over his spare anchors and spars and deck boats, and starting the salt water with which his casks had been filled, as the fresh had been used, and reduced to the last necessity of wetting his sails ; yet did he preserve all bis guns, and one night during the chase he found time to capture, man and despatch a prize. So close were they upon his heels that when he again made sail, two of the ships opened their batteries upon him.
Biography of Commodore Decatur..... Commodore STEPHEN DECATUR is of French descent by the male line. His grandfather was a native of La Rochelle, in France, and married a lady of Rhode-Island. His father, Stephen Decatur, was born in New port, (Rhode Island) and, when a very young man, removed to Philadelphia, where he married the daughter of an Irish gentle. man by the name of Pine. He was bred to the sea, and commanded a merchant vessel out of the port of Philadelphia, until the establishment of the navy, when he was appointed to command the Delaware sloop of war. He continued in her until the frigate Philadelphia was built, when the command of that ship was given to him, at the particular request of the merchants, who had built her by subscription. In this situation he remained until peace was made with France, when he resigned his commission, and retired to his residence a few miles from Philadelphia, where he resided until his death, which happened in November, 1808.
His son, Stephen Decatur, the present commodore, was born on the 5th January, 1779, on the eastern shore of Maryland, whither bis parents had retired, whilst the British were in possession of Philadelphia. They returned to that city when he was a few months old, and he was there educated and brought up.
He entered the navy in March, 1798, as midshipman, and join. ed the frigate United States, under the command of Commodore Barry, who had obtained the warrant for him. He continued for some time with that officer, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. The United States at that time required some repairs and, not wishing to remain in port, he requested an order to join the brig Norfolk, then bound to the Spanish Main. He performed one cruise in her, as first lieutenant, and on his return to port, resumed his station on board of the United States, where he remained until peace was concluded with France.
He was then ordered to the Essex, as first lieutenant, and sailed with Commodore Dale's squadron to the Mediterranean. Oa the return of that squadron he was ordered to the New-York, one of the second Mediterranean squadron, under the command of Commodore Morris.
When 'he returned to the United States he was ordered to take command of the Argus, and proceed in her to join Commodore Preble's squadron, then in the Mediterranean, and on his arrival there to resign the command of the Argus to Lieutenant Hull, and take the schooner Enterprize, then commanded by that officer. After making that exchange, he proceeded to Syracuse, where the squadron was to rendezvous. On his arrival at that port he was informed of the fate of the frigate Philadelphia, which had ran aground on the Barbary coast, and fallen into the hands of the Tripolitans. The idea immediately presented itself to his mind of attempting her recapture or destruction. On Commodore Preble's arrival, a few days afterwards, he proposed to him a plan for the purpose, and volunteered his services to execute it, The wary mind of that veteran officer at first disapproved of an enterprse so full of peril; but the risks and difficulties that surrounded it only stimulated the ardour of Decatur, and imparted to it an air of adventure, fascinating to his youthful imagination.
The consent of the commodore having been obtained, Lieutepant Decatur selected for the expedition a ketch (the Intrepid) which he had captured a few weeks before from the enemy, and manned her with seventy volunteers, chiefly from his own crew. He sailed from Syracuse on the 3d February, 1804, accompanied by the United States' brig Syren, Lieut. Stewart, who was to aid with his boats, and to receive the crew of the ketch, in case it should be found expedient to use her as a fire-ship.
After fifteen days of very tempestuous weather, they arrived at the harbour of Tripoli a little before sunset.
It had been arranged between Lieutenants Decatur and Stewart, that the ketch should enter the harbour about ten o'clock that night, attended by the boats of the Syren. On arriving off the harbour, the Syren, in consequence of a change of wind, had been thrown six or eight miles without the Intrepid. The wind at this time was