The New Student's Reference Work/Bainbridge, Commodore William

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Bainbridge, Commodore William, an American naval officer, who did staunch and loyal service during the War of 1812, was born at Princeton, N. J., May 7, 1774, and died at Philadelphia, July 28, 1833. His career as a naval commander dates from 1798, when the United States navy was recognized. Early in the century he was actively engaged in the. Mediterranean in successive command of the frigates George Washington, Essex and Philadelphia, was once captured by the French, and had to surrender his ship in the United States war with Tripoli. When the War of 1812 broke out, he was given command of a squadron, consisting of the Constitution, Essex and Hornet, which sailed from Boston in that year. When cruising off the coast of Brazil toward the close of 1812, he captured the British frigate, Java, of 49 guns, for which Congress voted him a gold medal, together with a share in the prize-money. During the remaining months of the war he had charge of the Charlestown Navy Yard; and from 1815 to 1821 he was again in command of a squadron at sea. Later on, Commodore Bainbridge acted as president of the board of navy commissioners.