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of the President.
Now surely the employment of Indians tive shore, where hundreds were assembled to was no more shocking to every lover of witness the engagement.” honorable war, than the attempt to blow up the Ramilies. Yet we find Ingersol repro
“ The commander of the seventy-four,” bating the one and passing over the other.
adds the writer of this veracious document,
' had it in his power, for five hours, to We are more honest than Ingersol, and bring us at any time to an engagement, our can find no difference between a shell thrown maintopsail to the mast during that time. into Odessa, and a fire-ship sent into Cron- It was afterwards ascertained that the ship stadt or Sebastopol. Every Christian must which declined the battle with the President, deplore war as a calamity, but so long as the was the Plantagenet, seventy-four, Captain necessity of a thing, so opposed to every Lloyd. The reason given by Captain Lloyd Divine law as a state of warfare, is recog- for avoiding an engagagement was that his nized by nations, we cannot see how it is to crew were in a state of mutiny." be regulated by Christian rules.
One would almost think that this was invenPerhaps one of the most signal instances tion enough to put forth on an imaginary subAmerican boastings in
of unblushing effronteryject; not so, however, as another American reference to the course occurred in the case of writer declares that “Captain Lloyd after
the President, Commo- returning to England had several of his dore Rodgers. The President was on her sailors tried and executed on this charge.” return from her third cruise, and having passed the Delaware was standing for New Unfortunately for the truth of these stateYork; “when,” says the Commodore, “I ments, the Plantagenet, on the day that saw nothing until I made Sandy Hook, Commodore Rodgers was off the Hook, was when I again fell in with another of the off Barbadoes, at least sixteen hundred enemy's squadrons ; and by some unaccount- miles distant. Again, the crew of the able cause, was permitted to enter the bay, Plantagenet was one of the finest in the although in the presence of a decidedly service, and no such trials took place on her superior force, after having been obliged to return home. The vessel that was magniremain outside, seven hours and a half, wait-fied into a seventy-four by the diseased imaging for the tide.”
ination of Rodgers and his officers, was the
thirty-eight gun frigate Loire, Captain ThoThis assertion of the Commodore's was mas Brown, and his reasons for not bringnot suficient for the officers of the Pre-ing the President to action were, that he sident, who improved on the story, and had seventy-four men away in prizes, and asserted that seeing a large ship to wind- forty in sick bay, thus leaving out of three ward they“ backed the maintopsail and hundred and thirty two men, only two huncleared for action. The strange sail came dred and seventeen to go into action with a down within gun-shot, and hauled her wind vessel carrying four hundred and seventy. on the starboard tack. We continued, with our maintopsail to the mast, three hours, We have lost sight of the Essex, thirty-two and, seeing no probability of the seventy
gun frigate, Capt. Por. four gun ship’s bearing down to engage, the
ter, who sailed towards President
her a shot to windward, and the end of 1812, on a cruise to the Pacific. hoisted our colours; when she bore up for The Essex was to have made this cruise us reluctantly. When within half gun-shot, in company with the Constitution and Ilorbacked her maintopsail. At this moment, net, but not meeting with these vessels at all hands were called to muster aft, and the the rendezvous, Captain Porter proceeded Commodore said a few but expressive words, alone, and on the 11th of March, having though it was unnecessary; for what other captured the British packet Norton, with stimulant could true Americans want, than eleven thousand pounds sterling on board, fighting gloriously in the sight of their na- arrived at Valparaiso, on the coast of Chili.
Cruise of the Essex.
Ilaving revictualled his ship, Capt. Porter caping to shore, taking with them part of stood over to the Gallipagos, where he cap- the specie. This, however, was only partially tured twelve whalers. Two of these the effected, from their boats having been much American commander armed and manned as cut up by the fire of the Phæbe. The loss cruisers, the manning part of the operation of the two British vessels was five killed and being completed by inducing several of the ten wounded. Captain Porter asserted that crews of the whale ships to desert, and by he had fifty-eight killed and sixty-six taking several Americans out of a Peruvian wounded, and there is no means of disprorvessel. The larger of these vessels, newly ing the assertion. “ The battered state of christened the Essex Junior, was armed with the Essex,” declared Captain Porter, "must twenty guns (ten long sixes, and ten eigh- prevent her ever reaching England.” In teen pound carronades) and a complement spite, however, of the assertion, she was of ninety-five men.
safely anchored in Plymouth Sound. The It does not appear that Capt. Porter was
superiority was decidedly in favour of the very successful between this time and the British (not more so, however, than in the beginning of 1814, when we find him still in three first actions of the war, the advantage
was the other way), so there is no room for company with the Essex Junior in Valparaiso.
further observation on the matter, than to
examine what became of the prizes taken by On the 8th of February the British thirty- the Essex. The Essex junior, we have just six gun frigate Phoebe, Captain IIillyar, and seen recaptured ; another, the Georgiana, the eighteen gun sloop, Cherub, Captain armed with sixteen guns, and a prize crew Tucker, long in pursuit of Captain Porter, of over forty men, was fitted up with sperdiscovered his vessels at anchor with two of macetti oil taken from the others, and dethe prizes, stood into and anchored in the spatched to the United States ; her passage port. With the usual policy of his country, was cut short in the West Indies by the BaCaptain Porter began to tamper with the rossa frigate. The cargo was valued at one British seamen, by hoisting at his fore-top- hundred thousand dollars. The Policy and gallant mast head a white flag, with the New Zealander were filled with all the oil motto, “ Free Trade and Sailors' Rights." from the other ships, and sent home. They This was answered by Captain IIillyar, who were, however, both recaptured, with their ran up a St. George's ensign, with the motto prize crews—the first by the Loire, the second “God and Country; British Sailors’ Best by the Belvidera. The Rose and Charlton Rights ; Traitors offend both.” Three or were given up to the prisoners; the Sir four days after, Captain Porter returned to Andrew Hammond was taken by the Chethe attack by hoisting a flag, on which was rub; the Hector, Greenwich, and Catherine inscribed “God, our Country, and Liberty ; got burned, and the Seringapatam was run Tyrants offend both.”
away with by her crew, who delivered her to After remaining sometime in harbour, and her owners in payment of salvage. It will making several ineffectual attempts to escape thus be seen that, a balance being struck, the from his watchful antagonist, Capt. Porter, result would not be very favourable to the on the 27th of March, was blown out of the American Government, the loss of the Essex Harbour, followed immediately by both Bri- being taken into consideration ; not to speak tish vessels, and, after an attempt to run his of the valuable services of Captain David vessel on shore, easily captured ; the Essex Porter, of whose talents as a despatch-writer junior having been secured also. Captain we will furnish the reader an example Porter and part of his crew succeeded in es- in our next chapter.
himself for the loss of the Essex, and we Captain David Porter as a writer of despatches. to have been particularly struck with the
- Fifth invasion of Canada by a United display of motto flags, and the number of States' army.-General Brown's proclama- jacks at the mast heads, apparently quite tion or general order. — General Brown's forgetful that he acknowledges to have force.—Surrender of Fort Erie.—General sported an equal number himself. An enBrown's Despatch —Movements of the Ame- sign and motto flag at the gaff, another motto rican army.—General Brown's inaction and flag, “free trade and equal rights,” at the timidity.-Brown's letter to Chauncey.
fore, an ensign in the mizen rigging, and We give below, as promised in our last think that a more extraordinary production
Captain David Porter chapter, Capt. Porter's for mingled cunning and blundering it would as a writer of despatches. lengthy vindication of be difficult to find. Captain Porter appears
* Letter from Captain Porter to the Secretary of to enable me to meet the Commodore by the the Navy.
1st of April, off St. Helena, I proceeded to the island of St. Catharines (the last place of ren
dezvous on the coast of Brazil) as the most ESSEX JUNIOR, July 3rd, 1814
likely to supply my wants, and at the same at Sea.
time afford me that secrecy necessary to enable
me to elude the British ships of war on the SIR, I have done myself the honour to ad- coast, and expected there. I here could prodress you repeatedly since I left the Delaware ; cure only wood, water and rum, and a few bags but have scarcely a hope that one of my of flour; and hearing of the Commodore's action letters has reached you; therefore consider it with the Java, the capture of the Hornet by the necessary to give you a brief history of my pro- Montague, and a considerable augmentation of ceedings since that period.
the British force on the coast, and of several
being in pursuit of me, I found it necessary to I sailed from the Delaware on the 27th of get to sea as soon a possible. I now, agreeably October, 1812, and repaired with all diligence to the Commodore's plan, stretched to the (agreeably to instructions from Commodore southward, securing the coast so far as Rio de Bainbridge) to Port Praya, Fernando de Noron- la Plata. I heard that Buenos Ayres was in a ho, and Cape Frio; and arrived at each place state of starvation, and could not supply our on the day appointed to meet him. On my wants; and that the government of Montevideo passage from Port Praya to Fernando de Noron- was very inimical to us. The Commodere's inho, I captured his Britannic Majesty's packet structions now left it completely discretionary Nocton; and after taking out about 71,000 with me what course to pursue, and I deterpounds sterling in specie, sent her under com- mined on following that which had not only mand of Lieutenant Finch for America. I met his approbation, but the approbation of the cruized off Rio de Janeiro, and about Cape Frio, then secretary of the navy. I accordingly until the 12th of January, 1818, hearing fre-shaped my course for the Pacific; and after quently of the Commodore, by vessels from suffering greatly from short allowance of proviBahia. I here captured but one schooner, with sions, and heavy gales off Cape Horn (for hides and tallow-I sent her into Porto Rico. which my ship and men were badly provided) I The Montague, the Admiral's ship, being in arrived at Valparaiso on the 14th of March, pursuit of me, my provisions now getting short, 1813. I here took in as much jerked beef and and finding it necessary to look out for a supply, other provisions, as my ship would conve
and several jacks hoisted in different parts James’ Naval History would have furnished of the ship—all these are mentioned by Capt. the information. Porter, and had he not acknowledged it, We should scarcely note such a trifle, were
niently stow, and ran down the coast of Chili the Racoon and Cherub sloops of war, and a and Peru; in this track I fell in with a Peru- store-ship of twenty guns, had sailed on the vian corsair, which had on board twenty-four 6th of July for this sea. The Racoon and Americans as prisoners, the crews of two Cherub had been seeking me for some time on whale ships, which she had taken on the coast the coast of Brazil, and on their return from of Chili. The captain informed me, that, as their cruize, joined the squadron sent in search the allies of Great Britain, they would capture of me to the Pacific. My ship, as it may be all they should meet with, in expectation of a supposed, after being near a year at sea, rewar between Spain and the United States, I quired some repairs to put her into a state to consequently threw all his guns and ammuni- meet them; which I determined to do, and tion into the sea, liberated the Americans, bring them to action if I could meet them on .wrote a respectful letter to the viceroy, ex- nearly equal terms. I proceeded now in complaining the cause of my proceedings, which I pany with the remainder of my prizes, to the delivered to her captain. I then proceeded for island of Nooaheevah or Madison's island, lying Lima and re-captured one of the vessels as she in the Washington group, discovered by a was entering the port. From thence I proceed- captain Ingraham, of Boston; here I caulked ed for the Gallipagos Islands, where I cruized and completely overhauled my ship, made for from the 17th of April, until the 3rd of October, her a new set of water casks, her old ones 1813; during which time I touched only once being entirely decayed, and took on board from on the coast of America, which was for the my prizes provisions and stores for upwards of purpose of procuring a supply of fresh water, four months, and sailed for the coast of Chili as none is to be found among those islands, on the 12th of December, 1813. Previous to which are, perhaps, the most barren and deso- sailing, I secured the Seringapatam, Greenlate of any known.
wich and Sir Andrew Hammond under the guns While among this group, I captured the
of a battery, which I erected for their protecfollowing British ships, employed chiefly in the tion, (after taking possession of this fine island
for the United States, and establishing the most spermaceti whale fishery :
friendly inercourse with the natives,) I left LETTERS OF MARQUE.
them under the charge of lieutenant Gamble of Tons. Men. Guns. Pierced for. the marines, with twenty-one men, with orders Montezuma 270 21 2
to repair to Valparaiso, after a certain period. Policy 175 26 10 18
I arrived on the coast of Chili on the 12th of Georgiana 280 25 6 18
January, 1814; looked into Conception and Greenwich 388 25 10 20
Valparaiso, found at both places only three Atlantic 355 24 8 20
English vessels, and learned that the squadron Rose 220 21 8 20
which sailed from Rio de Janeiro for that sea Hector 270 25 11 20
had not been heard of since their departure, Catharine 270 29 8 18
and were supposed to be lost in endeavouring Seringapatam 357 31 14 26
to double Cape Horn. Charlton
274 21 10 18 New Zealander 259 23
I had completely broken up the British
8 18 Sir A. Hammond 301 31 12 18
navigation in the Pacific ; the vessels which
had not been captured by me, were laid up and 3,456
I had afforded the most 302 107
dare not venture out.
ample protection to our own vessels, which As some of those ships were captured by were on my arrival, very numerous and unboats, and others by prizes, my officers and protected. The valuable whale fishery there men had several opportunities of showing their is entirely destroyed, and the actual injury we gallantry,
have done them may be estimated at two and The Rose and Charlton were given to the half millions of dollars, independent of expenses prisoners, the Hector, Catharine and Monte- of the vessels in search of me. They have furzuma, I sent to Valparaiso, where they were nished me amply with sails, cordage, cables, laid up; the Policy, Georgiana and New Zea- anchors, provisions medicines and stores of lander, I sent for America ; the Greenwich I every description; and the slops on board them kept as a store ship, to contain the stores of have furnished clothing for the seamen, We any other prizes, necessary for us; and the had, in fact, lived on the enemy since I had Atlantic, now called Essex Junior, I equipped been in that sea, every prize having proved a with twenty guns, and gave comand of her to well found store-ship for me. I had not yet lieutenant Downes,
been under the necessity of drawing bills on Lieutenant Downes had conveyed the prizes the department for any object, and liad been to Valparaiso, and on his return brought me enabled to make considerable advances to my letters informing me, that a squadron under officers and crew on account of pay. the command of commodore James Hillyar, con For the unexampled time we had kept the sisting of the frigate Phoebe, of thirty-six guns, sea, my crew had continued remarkably healthy.
it not a part of the ridiculous pretension and misrepresentation and false writing formed sneering which prevailed, and which laid part of an American officer's duty to his American officers open to the charge that country. Captain Porter declares that, in
I had but one case of the scurvy, and had lost me, where they cruized for near six weeks ; only the following men by death ; viz. : during which time I endeavoured to provoke a John S. Cowan, lieut. Bobert Miller, surgeon. challenge, and frequently, but ineffectually, to Levi Holmes, o. seaman. Edward Sweeny do. bring the Phæbe alone to action, first with both Samuel Groce, seaman.
my ships, and afterwards with my single ship, James Spafford, gunner's mate.
with both crews on board. I was several times
under way, and ascertained that I had greatly John Rodgersrs. } quarter gunners.
the advantage in point of sailing, and once Andrew Mahan, corporal of marines.
succeeded in closing within a gun-shot of the Lewis Price, private marine.
Phoebe, and commenced a fire on her, when she I had done all the injury that could be done ran down for the Cherub, which was two and a
half miles to leeward ; this excited some surthe British commerce in the Pacific, and still hoped to signalize my cruize by something more vious to my getting under way, she hove to off
prize and expressions of indignation, as presplendid before leaving that sea, I thought it not improbable that commodore Hillyar might to windward. Commodore Hillyar seemed de
the port, hoisted her motto flag and fired a gun have kept his arrival secret, and believing that termined to avoid a contest with me on nearly he would seek me at Valpariso as the most likely place to find me, I therefore determined equal terms, and from his extreme prudence in to cruize about that place, and should I fail in hail of each other, there were no hopes ofany
keeping both his ships ever after constantly withof meeting him, hoped to le compensated by the capture of some merchant ships, said to be advantages to my country from a longer stay
I therefore determined to put to sea expected from England.
the first opportunity which should offer ; and I The Phæbe, agreeably to my expectations, was the more strongly induced to do so, as I came to seek me at Valpariso, where I was had gained certain intelligence that the Tagus anchored with the Essex, my armed prize the rated 38, and two other frigates, had sailed for Essex Junior, under the command of lieutenant that sea in pursuit of me; and I had reason to Downes, on the look out off the harbour ; but, expect the arrival of the Racoon from N.W. contrary to the course I thought he would pur-coast of America where she had been sent for sue, commodore Hillyar brought with him the the purpose of destroying our fur establishment Cherub sloop of war, mounting 28 guns, 18 32 on the Columbia. A rendezvous was appointed pound carronades, 8 24’s and 2 long 9's on the for the Essex Junior, and every arrangement quarter-deck and fore-castle, and a complement made for sailing, and I intended to let them of 180 men. The force of the Phæbe is as chase me off, to give the Essex Junior an opporfollows : 30 long 18 pounders, sixteen 32 tunity of escaping. On the 28th March, the pound carronades, one howitzer, and six 3 day after this determination was formed the pounders in the tops, in all 53 guns, and a wind came on to blow fresh from the southcomplement of 320 men, making a force of 81 ward, when I parted my larboard cable and guns and 500 men; in addition to which they took dragged my starboard anchor directly out to on board the crew of an English letter of marque sea. Not a moment was to be lost in getting laying in port. Both ships had picked crews, sail on the ship. The enemy were close in and were sent into the Pacific, in company with with the point forming the west side of the bay; the Racoon of 22 guns and a store ship of 20 but on opening them, I saw a prospect of pasguns, for the express purpose of seeking the sing windward, when I took in my top-gallantEssex, and were prepared with flags bearing sails, which were set over single reefed top-sails, the motto, “God and country ; British sailors' and braced up for this purpose ; but on roundbest rights—Traitors offend both.” This was ing the point a heavy squall struck the ship and intended as a reply to my motto “ Free Trade carried away her main-top-mast, precipitating and sailors' Rights," under the erroneous im- the men who were aloft into the sea, who were pression that my crew were chiefly Englishmen, drowned. Both ships now gave chase to me, or to counteract its effect on their own crews, and I endeavoured in my disabled state to reThe force of the Essex was 46 guns, forty 32 gain the port ; but finding I could not recover pound carronades, and six long 12's, and her the common anchorage, I ran close into a small crew, which had been much reduced by prizes, bay, about three-quarters of a mile to leeward amounted only to 255 men. "The Essex Junior, of the battery on the east side of the harbour, which was intended only as a store-ship mounted and let go my anchor within pistol shot of the twenty guns, ten 18 pound carronades, and ten shore, where I intended to repair my damages short 6's, with only 60 men on board.
as soon as possible. The enemy continued to ply to their motto, I wrote at my mizen, “God, approach, and shewed an evident intention of our Country and Liberty ; Tyrants offend attacking, regardless of the neutrality of the them.”
place where I was anchored, and the caution obOn getting their provisions on board, they served in their approach to the attack of the went off the port for the purpose of blockading crippled Essex was truly ridiculous, as was their