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DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, 53. L. S.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the fifth day of Septem
ber, in the forty-eighth year of the independence of the United States of America, Silas Andrus, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit: -". Biographical Sketches of distinguished American Naval Heroes, in the War of the Revolution, between the American Republic and the Kingdom of Great Britain; comprising the lives and characters of Com. Nicholas Biddle, Com. John Paul Jones, Com. Edward Preble, and Com. Alexander Murray: with incidental allusions to other distinguished characters.
“ Patriots have toild, and in their country's cause
66 Th' historic muse,
To latest times." By S. Putnam Waldo, Esq. author of the “ Journal of Robbins," « Tour of Monroe"-“ Memoirs of Jackson"_“Life of Decatur,” &c. in conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.”
CHAS. A. INGERSOLL,
Clerk of the District of Connecticut. A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me,
CHAS. A. INGĚRSOLL,
Clerk of the District of Connecticut
P. CANFIELD, PRINTER.
CHICAGO PUBLIS IBRARY
AUG 13 40
FROM THE WRITER TO THE READER.
THE following volume was commenced in consequence of perusing the well known Letter of the venerable Statesman, John ADAMS, to the well known Editor of the Baltimore Weekly Register, in which this unrivalled American Patriot says to that indefatigable American Journalist, “It is greatly to be desired that young gentlemen of letters in all the states, especially in the thirteen original States, would undertake the laborious, but certainly interesting and amusing task, of searching and collecting all the records, pamphlets, newspapers, and even hand-bills, which in any way contributed to change the temper and views of the people and compose them into an independent nation."
Without aspiring to the proud eminence of a "young gentleman of letters," I undertook the “ laborious, but certainly interesting and amusing task of searching and collecting all the records, pamphlets, newspapers, and even hand-bills” that came within the scope of my researches.
By the goodness of my parents, a very considerable num. ber of Revolutionary pamphlets, from the scattered library of Maj. Gen. ISRAEL PUTNAM came into my hands. By researches, which would remind a lover of Shakspeare of one of his characters, who sought "for two kernels of wheat, in two bushels of chaff,” I gathered a file of newspapers, embracing the whole period of the War of the American Revolution; and containing a vast variety of facts relating to Naval HEROES, not to be found in voluminous histories of that wonderful war. I also obtained the “ Journals of
the Old Congress," the Acts of which were authenticated by the signature of a man whose name and truth are synonymous-Charles Thomson.
Before commencing the volume, I made this " Renewed Request.” Mr. Babcock
In consequence of a “ request,” which you obligingly inserted in your useful and interesting paper some weeks since, and which, no less obligingly, was extracted into many of the leading Gazettes of the Republic, a very considerable mass of materials has been gathered for an intended publication, to be entitled “ Biographical Sketches of American Naval Heroes in the War of the Revolution." This subject, for some time past, has occupied much of the attention of the subscriber. He was induced to commence the work, not more by his own inclination, than by the solicitation of his friends, whose opinions confirmed him in the propriety of his own. 6 Our Fathers ! where are they?" was an ejaculation of an ancient patriarch. The members of the “Old Congress”—The signers of the declaration of American Independence-the officers of the Army and Navy of the Thirteen Colonies, in the gloomy period of the Revolutionary struggle—“where are they?” They are, most of them, reposing in the tombs of a country, the Independence of which they secured by their toil, their blood or their deaths. Through the medium of the Press, which is the palladium of our liberties, and the source of our knowledge, we have learned something of the gigantic Statesmen and Soldiers of that most important epoch of American history—but the rising generation, like the wri. ter, must search through the scattered and brief details of that period, and catch the narrations of the few hoary headed Seamen who survive to learn the unsurpassed achieve
ments of the matchless “ Naval Heroes," who then dared, with means apparently wholly inefficient, to assail the vaunting “Queen of the ocean," as Britain then called and still calls herself, upon her favourite element.
Although the writer is aware that “the half is not told" him, yet sufficient has been discovered by research, and received from obliging correspondents, to have enabled him to make considerable progress in the work inentioned. T'he cotemporaries, sons and grand-sons of the following catalogue of heroes are most earnestly requested to forward, as soon as possible, brief notices of the birth-early life—the time they entered the Naval service in the revolution—the ships they commanded—the British ships they fought and conquered, or to which they were compelled to strike--incidents of their lives from the conclusion of the revolutionary war to the times of their death-to wit:
Commodores Whipple--Hopkins—Biddle, the elder-Jones-Murray-Decatur, the elder--Truxton.
Captains Preble-Manly--Little-Nicholson--Harden -Tryon, and any others who in a high or minor station signalized themselves in the revolution.
The task which the writer has undertaken is arduous, delicate, and interesting--he again solicits aid--he asks for nothing but the “ raw materials” ---He will manufacture them according to the best of his experience; and if, from the coarseness of the texture, the fabric should be condemned, he will at least enjoy the satisfaction of having made a laudable attempt to rescue from oblivion the memories of departed patriots which ought to be cherished.
S. PUTNAM WALDO. In compliance with this “request,” I was honoured with several deeply interesting communications from gentlemen
whose names I should feel proud in mentioning here, were I not inhibited by injunctions of concealment.
I have listened with rapture and attention to the oral narrations of a few surviving Ocean Warriors of the Revolution, whose frosted locks hung upon bended shoulders, like shivered sails upon tottering masts--whose furrowed faces exhibited the stern visage of veterans who had borne the “peltings of the pitiless storm,” but whose trembling hands would fruitlessly attempt to record their own achievements, or those of their compatriots in ocean warfare. The subject with them, seemed
" To raise a Soul beneath the ribs of Death." and evinced, that the snow upon their heads, had not quenched the revolutionary flame in their hearts. These narrations were noted down with care, when fresh in remembrance.
A recent re-perusal of the productions of MARSHALL, Ramsay, GORDON, Humphreys, Botta, Wilkinson, LEE, Wirt, &c. shews that although they have immortalized the memories of Washington, Putnam, WARREN, MONTGOMERY, Gates, GREENE, Lincoln, Henry, Clinton, WAYNE, and 66
a long list beside” of Army HeroES OF THE RevoLUTION,
the names of Biddle the elder, Jones the elder, Preble, MURRAY, Hopkins, WHIPPLE, Gillon, Nicholson, TRUXTON, Manly, Harden, LITTLE, BARRY, Dale, and the whole of the little peerless band of “NAVAL HEROES OF THE REVOLUTION," are either passed by in silence, or thrown into the back ground of the sanguinary arena of the Revolutionary war.
While, in imagination, we can yet hear the reverberation of the clangor of Bunker Hill, Trenton, Hærlem, Monmouth, Saratoga, Camden, and York. Town, the distant roaring of our little floating bulwarks, “ far away o'er the billow,"