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gatories particularly, exclaimed with a stentorian voice, “ Mo, Sir, we have more than we want; we stand in each others' way.” The white frocks of the Americans, enabled them to distinguish each other, even in darkness. That part of the crew who had gained the deck jumped over-board, and swam ashore, which was within pistol-shot. Many below followed their example and leaped out of the cabinwindow. The Lieutenant, deliberately entered the cabin, where he found the officers either in bed or dressing. He sternly demanded a surrender of the Brig, assuring them that resistance was vain; and might, to them, prove disastrous. The astonished British officers could in vain call their men to quarters, for they had made a passage through the waves to the shore. They surrendered as gracefully as they could; and as Preble was conducting his prize out of port, the batteries opened upon it, and the infantry poured a harmless shower of musketry. This was amongst the most gallant deeds of the naval force in the Revolutionary war; and placed Preble upon an eminence, upon which he ever stood to the day of his death. As the prototype of the gallant Decatur, he was by no means satisfied with one noble achievement as the foundation of his fame. He continued in the sloop of war Winthrop, in the assiduous discharge of duty, until the British crown acknowledged the independence of the American Republic. o Then literally ended the small beginning of the American Navy. But the scintillations of naval glo
ry were not extinguished—they were only smothered—they were to be revived again into a blaze by the cheering breezes of national prosperity. It is not known to the writer that Lieut. Preble took any part in the naval warfare with France in the administration of Adams. The conclusion may fairly be made, that he did not; as he certainly would have been “heard from?" if he had. But this is all conjecture. . In 1801, he was appointed to the command of the well known frigate Essex, as Post Captain, and proceeded to the East Indies to afford protection and convoy to the American trade in those seas. Not long after his return, he was designated by government te take command of that squadron in which he, Capt. Decatur, and the brilliant list of American ocean-warriors associated with them, were to give weight and character to American naval prowess, amongst distant nations, who before knew Americans only as a nation of merchants, and upon whose commerce, and citizens, some of them had preyed with impunity. In tracing the life of Capt. Decatur from the time Com. Prehle took the command of the American squadron in the Mediterranean, until he retired from it, the writer was under the unavoidable necessity of blending with it that of the Commodore. It need not be here repeated. At the time he left the Mediterranean it had become the theatre of his fame. His glory was familiar to the Pope at Rome; and although the squadron belonged to a distant and Protestant nation, he declared, that “ All Christendom had not effected in centuries, what the American squadron had accomplished in the space of a single year.” The name of Preble, as commander in chief, and of Decatur his leading champion, resonnded through all the maritime nations upon the shores of the Mediterranean. Not only Tripoli, but all the Barbary powers bordering upon that sea, were held in check, and their indiscriminate depredations upon all the commercial world trading in its ports, enjoyed, in a greater or less degree, the benefits arising from the presence, the vigilance and the achievements of the American squadron. Even the jealousy of British naval officers, for a time, gave place to the effusions of involuntary admiration.
But it was in the bosom of his own beloved country, where the veteran Commodore received demonstrations of respect and approbation most grateful to his patriotic and noble heart. Particulars must be omitted. The American government, fully acquainted with his nautical skill, and duly appreciating his invaluable services, employed him to assist in arranging, systematising and advancing the naval establishment of the Republic. He had conquered Tripoli into a peace, which was concluded in a few months after he returned to America. A vote of thanks, and a medal, were presented to him by Congress.
He died in his native town, upon the 25th August, 1807. He has a monument of his fame in the heart of every officer and seaman who ever served under him. It is enough to say that STEPHEN DEcATUR, never ceased to express his unqualified admiration of the immortal PREBLE, until he was rendered immortal himself, and followed his beloved and adored naval patron into eternity.
Capt. Decatur takes command of the frigate Constitution—Perfection of discipline in the American Navy—He takes command of the frigate Congress—Peace with Tripoli—Emancipation of Capt Bainbridge, his officers and seamen—Meeting between them and Capt. Decatur, American officers and seamen of the Squadron—Captain Decatur returns to America in the frigate Congress—Visits his Father, Commodore Decatur, at Philadelphia—He is appointed Superintendant of Gun-boats—Marries Miss Wheeler, of Norfolk, (Vir.)—Supersedes Com. Barron, and takes command of the frigate Chesapeake—“Affair of the Chesapeake”—Captain Decatur takes command of the Southern Squadron as Commodor E.
CAPT. DECATUR, upon the retirement of Com. Preble, from the American squadron, in the Mediterranean, found himself senior to all the officers of the original squadron, and next in command to Com. Barron, who united the additional force with it, and assumed the chief command of the whole.
As commander of the noble frigate Constitution, and of the gallant officers and seamen who had so long served under the immediate orders of Com. Preble; Decatur felt as if a high degree of responsibility devolved upon him. It was the first frigate he ever commanded, and he was the youngest officer in the American navy ever placed in so important a station. But although he had arrived only to that period of life when the characters of men generally