Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Shubrick, John Templar

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SHUBRICK, John Templar, naval officer, b. on Bull's island, S. C., 12 Sept., 1788; d. at sea in the summer of 1815. His father was colonel in the Revolutionary army under Gen. Nathanael Greene, and his aide at the battle of Eutaw Springs. The son entered the navy as midshipman, 19 Aug., 1806, was attached to the “Chesapeake” during the surrender to the British ship “Leopard,” and remained in that vessel under Decatur until 1808. He was commissioned lieutenant, 28 May, 1812, attached to the “Constitution” during her escape from the British fleet in July, 1812, and participated in the capture of the “Guerrière” and “Java.” On 6 Jan., 1813, he was transferred to the “Hornet,” and was executive officer at the capture of the British brig “Peacock,” 24 Feb., 1813. He was next transferred to the “President,” of which he acted as executive at its capture by a British fleet, 15 Jan., 1815. He was carried a prisoner to Bermuda, but released at the end of the war. He received three silver medals and votes of thanks from congress for assisting in the capture of the “Guerrière,” “Java,” and “Peacock.” South Carolina gave him a vote of thanks and a sword. On 20 May, 1815, he sailed as executive of the “Guerrière” to Algiers, where he assisted at the capture of an Algerine frigate and brig, and in the demonstration by which Decatur obtained the treaty with Algiers. He was assigned to command the brig “Épervier,” and sailed from Algiers early in July, 1815, with a copy of the treaty for ratification. The brig was lost at sea with all on board. —

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His brother, William Branford, naval officer, b. on Bull's island, S. C., 31 Oct., 1790: d. in Washington, D. C., 27 May, 1874, entered the navy as midshipman, 19 Aug., 1806, was commissioned lieutenant, 5 Jan., 1813, commanded a gun-boat in Hampton Roads in 1813, and assisted in defending Norfolk against the British. He was 3d lieutenant of the “Constitution” at the capture of the “Cyane” and “Levant,” 23 Feb., 1815, and executive in her subsequent escape from a British fleet. He received a silver medal, and was included in the vote of thanks by congress to Stewart and his officers, and South Carolina gave him thanks and a sword for his services. He was commissioned master-commandant, 28 March, 1820, and captain, 21 Feb., 1831, commanded the West India squadron in 1838-'40, and was chief of the bureau of provisions and clothing in 1845-'6. On 22 Jan., 1847, he arrived on the coast of California in the “Independence,” and assumed command-in-chief of the U. S. naval force in the Pacific. He captured the city of Mazatlan, 11 Nov., 1847, and, landing the naval brigade, held it against superior forces. He also took Guaymas, La Paz, and San Blas, which places, together with other ports in Mexico and California, he held until the close of the war. He commanded the “Princeton” in 1853, with a small squadron, to protect the fisheries in a dispute with the British, was chief of the bureau of construction in 1853, chairman of the light-house board in 1854- '8, and in 1858 was appointed to command a fleet of 19 vessels with 200 guns and 2,500 men, flying the flag of a vice-admiral, to operate against Paraguay for firing upon the U. S. steamer “Water-Witch.” He reached Asuncion, 25 Jan., 1859, and by display of force obtained apologies and pecuniary indemnity on 10 Feb. The president highly commended his zeal and ability in the conduct of this mission, and the president of the Argentine Confederation presented him with a sword. In 1861 unsucessful efforts were made to induce him to join the Confederates in behalf of his native state. In December, 1861, he was placed on the retired list, but he continued on duty as chairman of the light-house board from 1860 till 1870. — Another brother, Edward Rutledge, naval officer, b. in South Carolina in 1794; d. at sea, 12 March, 1844, entered the navy as midshipman, 16 Jan., 1809. He served during the war of 1812-'15 on the “President,” in the long cruises of Com. John Rodgers, and became lieutenant, 9 Oct., 1813. He was commissioned commander, 24 April, 1828, had charge of the sloop “Vincennes” in the West Indies in 1830-'3 and became captain, 9 Feb., 1837. He took command of the frigate “Columbia,” 22 July, 1842, on the Brazil station, and died at sea. — Another brother, Irvine, naval officer, b. in South Carolina in 1798; d. in Wilmington, Del., 5 April, 1849, entered the navy as midshipman, 12 May, 1814, served in the “President” under Decatur when that vessel was captured by the British, 15 Jan., 1815, was in the “Guerrière” in the Algerine war in 1815, when Decatur captured the Algerine frigate, and assisted in suppressing piracy in the West Indies while attached to the sloop “Hornet” in 1821-'3. He was commissioned lieutenant, 13 Jan., 1825, was executive officer of the “Potomac,” on the Pacific station, in 1831-'4, and commanded the landing-party from that vessel on 6 Feb., 1832, in the attack on the Malay town of Quallah Battoo, Sumatra, which he destroyed to avenge the capture and plunder of the American ship “Friendship” the year before. He was highly commended for ability and gallantry in the conduct of this expedition. After being commissioned commander, 8 Sept., 1841, he took charge of the “Saratoga,” on the Brazil station, in 1844-'7, and was inspector at the Philadelphia navy-yard in 1848-'9. —

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Irvine's son, Thomas Branford, naval officer, b. in Wilmington, Del., 3 June, 1825; d. in Vera Cruz, Mexico, 25 March, 1847, was off Vera Cruz in the steamer “Mississippi” when he was sent on shore, 23 March, 1847, in charge of one of the gmis in the naval battery in the works against that city. He was killed while in the act of pointing this gun during the bombardment of Vera Cruz. A monument called the Midshipmen's Monument (see engraving) was erected at Annapolis in the grounds of the naval academy, to commemorate his death and that of Passed Midshipmen Henry A. Clemson, John R. Hynson, and Midshipman Wingate Pillsbury, who were drowned when the brig “Somers” was capsized and lost in a squall off Vera Cruz in December, 1846.