Who was William Bainbridge? (May 7, 1774 A.D – July 27, 1833)


William Bainbridge (May 7, 1774 – July 27, 1833), American naval officer, born in Princeton, New Jersey. He joined the American Merchant Marine when he was 15 years of age; at the age of 19 he was in command of a merchant vessel.

He was made a lieutenant when the U.S. Navy was organized in 1798A.D and was placed in command of the schooner Retaliation. Later that year he was captured by the French off the coast of Guadeloupe, but was released after several weeks.William Bainbridge was promoted to the rank of captain in 1800A.D.

In 1803A.D, during the U.S. war with Tripoli that resulted come from the molesting of U.S. shipping by Barbary pirates, he commanded the frigate Philadelphia. With this ship William Bainbridge captured the Moorish frigate Meshboha. Later he was himself captured and held in Tripoli until peace was declared in 1805A.D.

In the War of 1812A.D, against Great Britain, in command of the famous Constitution (Old Ironsides), he defeated and captured the British frigate Java after a 2-hour battle. In 1821A.D he became commander of the navy yards in Boston and Philadelphia. Subsequently he was appointed president of the Board of Navy Commissioners.

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