By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Four American Naval Heroes - Paul Jones, Admiral Farragut, Oliver H. Perry, Admiral Dewey
Author: Beebe, Mabel
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Four American Naval Heroes - Paul Jones, Admiral Farragut, Oliver H. Perry, Admiral Dewey" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

book was produced from scanned images of public domain

                     FOUR AMERICAN NAVAL HEROES

                     A BOOK FOR YOUNG AMERICANS
                       BY MABEL BORTON BEEBE



Four times in the history of our country has the American navy achieved
renown and won the gratitude of the nation. These four times correspond,
of course, to the four great wars that we have had; and with the mention
of each the name of a famous hero of the sea is at once brought to mind.
What would the Revolution have been without its Paul Jones; or the War
of 1812, without its Perry? How differently might the Civil War have
ended but for its Farragut; and the Spanish War, but for its Dewey! The
story of the achievements of these four men covers a large part of our
naval history.

[Illustration: SEAL OF THE U.S. NAVY.]

Six months after the battle of Lexington the Continental Congress
decided to raise and equip a fleet to help carry on the war against
England. Before the end of the year (1775) seventeen vessels were ready
for service, and it was then that Paul Jones began his public career.
Many other ships were soon added.

[Illustration: EZEK HOPKINS.]

The building and equipping of this first navy was largely intrusted to
Ezek Hopkins, whom Congress had appointed Commander-in-Chief, but it
does not seem that he did all that was expected of him, for within less
than two years he was dismissed. He was the only person who ever held
the title of Commander-in-Chief of the navy. During the war several
other vessels were added to the fleet, and over 800 prizes were captured
from the British. But before peace was declared twenty-four of our ships
had been taken by the enemy, others had been wrecked in storms, and
nearly all the rest were disabled. There was no effort to build other
vessels, and so, for many years, our country had no navy.


In 1794, when war with the Barbary States was expected, Congress ordered
the building of six large frigates. One of these was the famous
_Constitution_, which is still in existence and about which Dr. Holmes
wrote the well-known poem called "Old Ironsides." Through all the
earlier years of our history, John Adams used his influence to
strengthen our power on the sea; and he was so far successful that he
has often been called "The Father of the American Navy." When the War of
1812 began the United States owned a great many gunboats for coast
defense, besides seventeen sea-going vessels. It was during this war
that the navy especially distinguished itself, and Oliver Hazard Perry
made his name famous.

[Illustration: A SLOOP OF WAR.]

The ships of war in those earlier times were wooden sailing vessels, and
they were very slow-goers when compared with the swift cruisers which
sail the ocean now. The largest of these vessels were called ships of
the line, because they formed the line of battle in any general fight at
sea. They usually had three decks, with guns on every deck. The upper
deck was often covered over, and on the open deck thus formed above
there was a fourth tier of guns. This open deck was called the
forecastle and quarter-deck. Some of the largest ships of the line
carried as many as 120 guns each; the smallest was built to carry 72

Next in size to these ships were the frigates. A frigate had only one
covered deck and the open forecastle and quarter-deck above it, and
therefore had but two tiers of guns. The largest frigate carried sixty
guns, besides a large pivot gun at the bow. The American frigates were
noted for their speed.

Still smaller than the frigates were the corvettes, or sloops of war, as
they are more commonly called. These had but one tier of guns, and that
was on the open deck. They were rigged like the larger vessels, with
three masts and square sails.


The fourth class of vessels included the brigs of war, which had but two
masts and carried from six to twenty guns. Equal to them in size were
the schooners, which also had two masts, but were rigged fore-and-aft.
The guns which they carried were commonly much smaller than those on the
sloops and frigates.

After Robert Fulton's invention of the steamboat in 1807 there were many
attempts to apply steam on vessels of war. But it was a long time before
these attempts were very successful. The earliest war steamships were
driven by paddle-wheels, placed at the sides of the vessels. The
paddles, besides taking up much valuable space, were exposed to the
shots of the enemy, and in any battle were very easily crippled and made
useless. But the speed of these vessels was much greater than that of
any sailing ship, and this alone made them very desirable. For many
years steam frigates were the most formidable vessels in the navy. The
first successful steamship of war was the English frigate _Penelope_,
which was built in 1843, and carried forty-six guns. One of the earliest
and most noted American vessels of the same type was the _Powhatan_. The
first screw line of battle ship was built by the French in 1849. It was
called the _Napoleon_, and carried one hundred guns. It was so
successful that steamships soon began to take the place of sailing
vessels in all the navies of the world.


Up to this time all war vessels were built of wood; but there had been
many experiments to learn whether they might not be protected by iron
plating. The first iron-clad ship was built in France in 1858; and not
long after that Great Britain added to her navy an entire fleet of
iron-clads. All these were built after the same pattern as wooden ships,
and were simply covered or protected with iron plates.


The first iron-clads used in our own navy were built soon after the
beginning of the Civil War (1861), and were designed for use on the
large rivers and along the coast. They were called "turtle-backs," and
were simply large steamboats covered with thick slabs of iron and
carrying thirteen guns each. The iron slabs were joined closely together
and laid in such a manner as to inclose the decks with sloping sides and
roofs. The first great deviation from old patterns was the _Monitor_,
built by John Ericsson in 1862. She was the strangest looking craft that
had ever been seen, and has been likened to a big washtub turned upside
down and floating on the water. The _Merrimac_, which she defeated in
Hampton Roads, was a wooden frigate which the Confederates had made into
an iron-clad by covering her with railroad rails. They had also, by
giving her an iron prow, converted her into a ram. These two vessels,
the _Monitor_ and the _Merrimac_, were indirectly the cause of a great
revolution in naval warfare; they were the forerunners of all the modern
ships of war now in existence. The nations of the world saw at once that
there would be no more use for ships of the line and wooden frigates and
sloops of war.


The ships that have been built since that time are entirely unlike those
with which Paul Jones and Commodore Perry and Admiral Farragut won their
great victories. The largest and most formidable of the new vessels are
known as battleships, and may be briefly described as floating forts,
built of steel and armed with powerful guns. These are named after the
states, as the _Oregon_, the _Texas_, and the _Iowa_. Next to them in
importance are the great monitors, such as the _Monadnock_ and the
_Monterey_. These are slow sailers but terrible fighters, and are
intended chiefly for harbor defense. The cruisers, which rank next, are
smaller than battleships and are not so heavily armed; but they are
built for speed, and their swiftness makes up for their lack of
strength. Among the most noted of these are the _Brooklyn_, the
_Columbia_, and the _Minneapolis_. There are also smaller cruisers,
such as the _Cincinnati_ and the _Raleigh_, that are intended rather for
scout duty than for service in battle. Most of the cruisers are named
after cities. One of the strangest vessels in the navy is the dynamite
cruiser _Vesuvius_, which is armed with terrible dynamite guns. Then
there is the ram _Katahdin_. She carries no heavy guns, and her only
weapon of offense is a powerful ram. Her speed is greater than that of
most battleships, and she is protected by a covering of the heaviest
steel armor. Besides all these there are a number of smaller vessels,
such as torpedo boats and tugs.

A few old-fashioned wooden vessels--steam frigates and sailing
vessels--are still to be found in our navy yards, but these would be of
no use in a battle.

In reading of the exploits of our great naval heroes it is well to keep
in mind these wonderful changes that have taken place in the navy. Think
of the slow-going wooden frigates which sailed the seas in the time of
Paul Jones or Commodore Perry--how small and insignificant they would be
if placed side by side with the tremendous _Oregon_ or with the cruisers
which Admiral Dewey led to victory in the Bay of Manila! But if the
glory of an achievement is measured by the difficulties that are
encountered and overcome, to whom shall we award the greater honor--to
our earlier heroes, or to our later?
                                                  JAMES BALDWIN.


    CHAPTER                                               PAGE
             INTRODUCTION                                    3


          I. THE LITTLE SCOTCH LAD.                         17
         II. THE YOUNG SAILOR.                              20
         IV. LIEUTENANT PAUL JONES.                         26
          V. THE CRUISE OF THE ALFRED.                      29
         VI. CAPTAIN PAUL JONES.                            32
        VII. THE CRUISE OF THE RANGER.                      35
       VIII. THE RANGER AND THE DRAKE.                      41
         IX. THE BON HOMME RICHARD.                         45
          X. THE GREAT FIGHT WITH THE SERAPIS.              49
         XI. HONOR TO THE HERO.                             57
        XII. THE RETURN TO AMERICA.                         61
       XIII. AMBITIOUS HOPES.                               63
        XIV. SAD DISAPPOINTMENTS.                           66


         II. SCHOOL DAYS.                                   75
        III. PLANS FOR THE FUTURE.                          81
         IV. THE CRUISE IN THE WEST INDIES.                 83
          V. THE WAR WITH THE BARBARY STATES.               87
         VI. MORE TROUBLE WITH ENGLAND.                     94
        VII. WAR ON THE CANADIAN BORDER.                   100
       VIII. OLIVER PERRY BUILDS A FLEET.                  105
          X. WHAT PERRY'S VICTORY ACCOMPLISHED.            117
         XI. ON THE MEDITERRANEAN AGAIN.                   122
        XII. CAPTAIN PERRY'S LAST CRUISE.                  126


          I. CHILDHOOD.                                    133
         II. THE LITTLE MIDSHIPMAN.                        138
        III. THE LOSS OF THE ESSEX.                        144
         IV. THE TRIP ON THE MEDITERRANEAN.                147
          V. WAR WITH THE PIRATES.                         150
         VI. FROM LIEUTENANT TO CAPTAIN.                   155
        VII. THE QUESTION OF ALLEGIANCE.                   162
       VIII. THE CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.                   168
         IX. THE BATTLE OF MOBILE BAY.                     177
          X. WELL-EARNED LAURELS.                          186


             FOREWORD--CAUSES OF THE WAR WITH SPAIN.       195
          I. THE BATTLE OF MANILA.                         201
         II. THE BOYHOOD OF GEORGE DEWEY.                  207
        III. DEWEY AS A NAVAL CADET.                       210
         IV. FROM LIEUTENANT TO COMMODORE.                 212
          V. THE AMERICAN NAVY IN CUBAN WATERS.            217
         VI. THE CRUISE OF THE OREGON.                     221
         IX. THE END OF THE WAR.                           236
          X. LIFE ON AN AMERICAN MAN-OF-WAR.               242
         XI. SOME FACTS ABOUT THE NAVY OF 1898.            247


[Illustration: Paul Jones.]



Many years ago there lived, in the southwestern part of Scotland, on the
beautiful bay called Solway Firth, a gentleman whose name was Mr. Craik.
In Scotland, a large farm is called an estate. Mr. Craik named his
estate Arbigland.

His large house stood high on the shore overlooking the sea. The lawn
sloped gradually to the firth.

Mr. Craik's gardener, John Paul, lived in a cottage on the estate. Mr.
Craik was very fond of John Paul, for he worked well. He made the
grounds like a beautiful park, and planted many trees, some of which are
still standing.

One day John Paul married Jean Macduff. She was the daughter of a
neighboring farmer. She and John lived very happily in their little
cottage. They had seven children. The fifth child was a boy, named for
his father, John Paul. He was born July 6, 1747.

When little John was large enough to run about he liked to play on the
beautiful lawn and to wander along the shore of the firth. Sometimes he
would sit still for hours watching the waves.

Sometimes he and Mr. Craik's little boy would play with tiny sailboats
and paddle about in the water. When they grew tired of this, they would
climb among the rocks on the mountains which were back of the estate.

When there were storms at sea, vessels would come into Solway Firth for
a safe harbor. The water was very deep near the shore. Because of this
the ships could come so near the lawn of Arbigland that their masts
seemed to touch the overhanging trees.

Little John Paul and his playmates liked to watch the sailors, and
sometimes could even talk to them. They heard many wonderful stories of
a land called America, where grew the tobacco that was packed in some of
the ships.

The children would often take their little sailboats to some inlet,
where they would play sailor. John Paul was always the captain. He had
listened carefully to the commands given by the captains of the large
vessels. These he would repeat correctly and with great dignity, though
he did not always understand them.

John Paul spent more time in this kind of play than in going to school.
In those days there were few schools, and book-learning was not thought
to be of much use. At a parish school near by, John learned to spell and
to repeat the rules of grammar.

When he was twelve years old he felt that the time had come when he
could be a real sailor. So his father allowed him to go across the firth
to an English town called Whitehaven. There he was apprenticed to Mr.
Younger, a merchant, who owned a ship and traded in goods brought from
foreign lands.

He soon went to sea in Mr. Younger's vessel, the _Friendship_. This ship
was bound for America to get tobacco from the Virginia fields.


At that time the trip across the Atlantic could not be made as quickly
as now. There were no steamships, and the sailing vessels had, of
course, to depend upon the wind to carry them to their destination. It
was several months before the _Friendship_ anchored at the mouth of the
Rappahannock River.

Farther inland, on this river, was the town of Fredericksburg. John
Paul's eldest brother, William, lived there. He had left his Scottish
home many years before, and had come with his wife to Virginia. Here he
was now living on his own plantation, where he raised tobacco for the
English market.

While the _Friendship_ was in port being loaded for its return voyage,
John Paul went to Fredericksburg to stay with his brother. While there
he spent the most of his time in hard study. Although he was still
young, he had found that he could not succeed as he wished with so
little education.

It was during these months in America that he formed the habit of
study. All through the remainder of his life his leisure time was given
to the reading of books.

After he returned to Scotland he spent six years in the employ of Mr.
Younger. During that time he learned a great deal about good seamanship.

When John Paul was nineteen years of age, the loss of money compelled
Mr. Younger to give up his business.

John Paul was soon afterward made mate on a slaver called the _Two
Friends_. This was a vessel whose sole business was the carrying of
slaves from Africa to America and other countries.

People at that time did not think there was any wrong in slave-trading.
It was a very profitable business. Even the sailors made more money than
did those on vessels engaged in any other business.

The _Two Friends_ carried a cargo of slaves to Jamaica, an English
possession in the West Indies. As soon as port was reached, John Paul
left the vessel. He said that he would never again sail on a
slave-trading voyage. He could not endure to see men and women treated
so cruelly, and bought and sold like cattle.

He sailed for home as a passenger on board a small trading vessel. On
the voyage both the captain and the mate died of fever, and the ship
with all its passengers was in mid-ocean with no one to command.

John Paul took the captain's place, for no one else knew so much about
seamanship. This was a daring thing for one so young, as he was not yet
twenty years old.

When he brought the vessel safely into port, the owners were so grateful
to him that they made him the captain.

Soon afterward he sailed for the West Indies. The carpenter on board
was, one day, very disrespectful to the young captain. He was punished
by a flogging, and was discharged. Not long after this he died of a

The enemies of John Paul, who were jealous of him, thought this was
their chance to do him harm. They said that the flogging had killed the

Many people believed this, and when John Paul again returned to
Scotland, he found that his friends had lost their faith in him.

During the next two years he made several voyages, but all the while he
remembered the injustice done to him. He finally succeeded, however, in
proving to his friends that he was worthy of their confidence.


When John Paul visited his brother in Virginia, America was not much
like what it is now. Most of the country was an unexplored wilderness,
and there was no United States as we know it to-day.

Some large settlements, known as colonies, had been made in that part of
the country which lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Alleghany

Most of the people who lived in these colonies were English, and their
governors were appointed by the king of England.

Each governor, with the help of a few men whom he chose from the people,
would make laws for the colony.

Not all the laws were made in this way. Sometimes the king, without
caring for the wishes of the colonists, would make laws to suit himself.

Up to this time the people had been obedient and loyal to their king.
But when George the Third came to the throne of England, he caused the
people a great deal of trouble.

He sent orders to the governors that the colonists should trade with no
other country than his own.

All their goods should be bought in England, and, to pay for them, they
must send to the same country all the corn, cotton, and tobacco which
they had to sell. The colonists wished to build factories and weave
their own cloth, but the king would not allow this.

For a long while England had been at war with France. King George said
that the colonists should help pay the expenses of that war, and
therefore he began to tax them heavily.

They were obliged to pay a tax on every pound of tea, and stamped paper
must be bought for every legal document.

The colonists were much aroused on account of the tea tax and the stamp
act, as it was called.

One day startling news came to John Paul in Virginia. A shipload of tea
had anchored in Boston harbor. The colonists declared that they would
not pay the tax on this tea, and some of them, dressed as Indians, had
gone on board the vessel and thrown it all into the harbor.

Later on, came the news that the king had sent his English soldiers to
Boston to keep the people quiet. He had also closed the port of Boston
and said that no more ships should come in or go out. This aroused the
whole country. Everybody felt that something must be done to preserve
the freedom of the people.

Each colony chose men as delegates to confer together about what was
best to be done. The delegates met in Philadelphia on the 5th of
September, 1774. That meeting has since been called the First
Continental Congress of America.

The delegates of the colonies decided to send a petition to the king
asking that he would remove the taxes and not make unjust laws.

All winter the people waited for an answer, but as none came, matters
grew worse in the spring.

On the 19th of April, 1775, a battle was fought with the king's soldiers
at Lexington, in Massachusetts. This was the first battle of the
American Revolution.


In the year 1773, soon after the trouble with England had begun, John
Paul's brother William died in Virginia. He left some money and his
plantation, but had made no will to say who should have them. He had no
children, and his wife had been dead for years.

His father had died the year before, and John was the only one of the
family now living who could manage the estate.

So he left the sea and went to live on the farm near Fredericksburg, in
Virginia. He thought that he would spend the rest of his life in the
quiet country, and never return to the sea.

He soon learned to love America very dearly, even more than he did his
own country. He wanted to see the colonists win in their struggle for
their rights.

But so good a sailor could not be a good farmer. In two years the farm
was in a bad condition and all the money left by his brother had been
spent. The agents in Scotland, with whom John Paul had left money for
the care of his mother and sisters, had proved to be dishonest, and this
money also had been lost.

In the midst of these perplexities, he decided to serve America in the
war which every one saw was now inevitable.

Another congress of delegates from the colonies met in 1775, and made
preparations for that war. The colonists were organized into an army,
with George Washington as the commander in chief.

A fleet of English vessels had been sent across the Atlantic. The
swiftest of these sailed up and down the Atlantic coast, forcing the
people in the towns to give provisions to the king's sailors and
soldiers. Other vessels were constantly coming over, loaded with arms
and ammunition for the English soldiers.

George Washington's army was almost without ammunition. There was very
little gunpowder made in this country at that time, and the need of it
was very great.

[Illustration: JOHN ADAMS.]

It was thought that the best way to supply the American army with
ammunition was to capture the English vessels. It was for this purpose
that the first American navy was organized.

The first navy yard was established at Plymouth. Here a few schooners
and merchant vessels were equipped with cannon as warships. These were
manned by bold, brave men, who, since boyhood, had been on the sea in
fishing or trading vessels.

No member of the Continental Congress did more to strengthen and enlarge
this first navy than John Adams.

In 1775 John Paul settled up his affairs, left the Virginia farm, and
went to Philadelphia to offer his services to the naval committee of

He gave his name as John Paul Jones. Just why he did this, we do not
know. Perhaps he did not wish his friends in Scotland to know that he
had taken up arms against his native country.

Perhaps he thought that, should he ever be captured by the English, it
would go harder with him if they should know his English name. We cannot
tell. Hereafter we shall call him Paul Jones, as this is the name by
which he was known during the rest of his life.

Congress accepted his offer and he was made first lieutenant on the
_Alfred_, a flag-ship.


The young lieutenant was now twenty-nine years old. His health was
excellent and he could endure great fatigue. His figure was light,
graceful, and active. His face was stern and his manner was soldierly.
He was a fine seaman and familiar with armed vessels.

He knew that the men placed above him in the navy had had less
experience than he. But he took the position given him without

[Illustration: THE PINE TREE FLAG.]

When the commander of the _Alfred_ came on board, Paul Jones hoisted the
American flag. This was the first time a flag of our own had ever been

We do not know just what this flag was like, but some of the earliest
naval flags bore the picture of a pine tree; others had a rattlesnake
stretched across the stripes, and the words, "Don't tread on me." Our
present flag was not adopted until two years later.

On the 17th of February, 1776, the first American squadron sailed for
the Bahama Islands.

On the way, two British sloops were captured. The English sailors told
the Americans that on the island of New Providence were forts, which
contained a large amount of military supplies. They said that these
forts could easily be taken.

The soldiers on a vessel are called marines. A plan was made to hide the
American marines in the British sloops. In that way it was thought they
could go safely into the harbor of New Providence. Then they could land
and take possession of the forts.


This plan would have been successful, but for one foolish mistake. The
squadron sailed so close to the harbor during the night that in the
morning all the ships could be seen from the shore. The war vessels
should have remained out of sight until the marines had been safely
landed from the sloops. The alarm was spread, and the sloops were not
allowed to cross the bar.

The commander of the squadron then planned to land on the opposite side
of the island and take the forts from the rear, but Paul Jones told him
he could not do this. There was no place to anchor the squadron, and no
road to the forts.

However, he had learned from the pilots of a good landing not far from
the harbor. When he told the commander of this, he was only rebuked for
confiding in pilots.

So Paul Jones undertook, alone, to conduct the _Alfred_ to the landing
he had found. He succeeded in doing this and the whole squadron
afterwards followed.

The English soldiers abandoned the forts, and the squadron sailed away
the same day, carrying a hundred cannon and other military stores.


A short time after this, the American squadron tried to capture a
British ship called the _Glasgow_, but the attempt was not successful.

Because of this failure, one of the captains was dismissed from the
navy, and the command of his vessel was given to Lieutenant Jones. This
vessel was named the _Providence_.

With it and the _Alfred_, which he also commanded, Captain Jones
captured sixteen prizes in six weeks. Among them were cargoes of coal
and dry goods.

Best of all, he captured an English vessel bound for Canada, full of
warm clothing for the British soldiers. This was a prize that proved of
great value to General Washington's poorly clothed army.

In those days there were selfish people just as now. In January, 1777, a
jealous commodore succeeded in depriving Paul Jones of his position as
captain. He was now without ship or rank. When he appealed to Congress
he was put off with promises from time to time. It was not until May
that his petitions were heard.

There were three new ships being built for the navy at Boston. Congress
gave him permission to choose one of these and have it fitted out as he

While waiting in Boston for these ships to be finished, Paul Jones wrote
many wise suggestions about the management of the navy. Congress at
first paid but little attention to these suggestions, but was afterwards
glad to act upon them.

These were some of the things he said:

"1. Every officer should be examined before he receives his commission.

"2. The ranks in a navy should correspond to those in an army.

"3. As England has the best navy in the world, we should copy hers."

[Illustration: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.]

Before the ship he had chosen was completed, he was ordered to wait no
longer in Boston, but to take the _Ranger_, an old vessel, and sail at
once for France. Through the efforts of Benjamin Franklin, the American
Minister to France, the French king had acknowledged the independence of
the colonies, and was ready to aid the Americans in the war.

Paul Jones was to carry a letter from Congress to the American
commissioners in Paris.

This letter told the commissioners to buy a new fast-sailing frigate for
Captain Jones, and to have it fitted up as he desired. They were then to
advise him as to what he should do with it.


When the _Ranger_ sailed out of Boston harbor, the stars and stripes of
the American republic waved from the mast head.

Paul Jones was the first naval officer to raise this flag. You remember
that two years before, on the _Alfred_, he had first hoisted the pine
tree emblem.

When Jones with his ship entered Quiberon Bay, in France, the French
admiral there saluted the American flag. This was the first time that a
foreign country had recognized America as an independent nation.

Paul Jones anchored the _Ranger_ at Brest and went to Paris to deliver
his letter, and lay his plans before the commissioners. He told them two
important things:

First, that our navy was too small to win in open battle with the fleets
of the English.

Second, that the way to keep the English vessels from burning,
destroying, and carrying away property on the American coasts, was to
send vessels to the English coasts to annoy the English in the same way.

The commissioners thought that these plans should be carried out at
once; and since a new frigate could not be purchased for some time, they
refitted the _Ranger_ for his use.

On April 10, 1778, Paul Jones set out on what proved to be a memorable

You remember that when he first went to sea, as a boy, he sailed from
Whitehaven. This town is on the English coast, just across the Solway
Firth from John Paul's old home.

He knew there were large shipping yards there, and he determined to set
fire to them. He planned to reach the harbor in the night, and burn the
ships while the people were asleep.

Because of the wind and tides, it was nearly midnight when he arrived.
He found three hundred vessels of different kinds lying in the harbor.
His men were put into two small boats, and each boat was ordered to set
fire to half the ships.

It was nearly daylight when they rowed away from the _Ranger_. Nothing
could be heard but the splashing of their oars. Their flickering torches
showed to them the old sleeping town, with the many white ships along
the shore.

Leaving orders that the fire be speedily kindled, Captain Jones took
with him a few men, and scaled the walls of the batteries which
protected the harbor. He locked the sleeping sentinels in the guardhouse
and spiked the cannon.

Then, sending his men back to the harbor, he went, with one man only, to
another fort, which was a quarter of a mile away. Here he also spiked
the guns.

After all this had been done he returned to his boats to find that his
sailors had done nothing. Not one ship was on fire!

The lieutenant in charge told Paul Jones that their torches had gone
out. "Anyway," he said, "nothing can be gained by burning poor people's

Determined that they should not leave the harbor until something was
destroyed, Paul Jones ran to a neighboring house and got a light. With
this he set fire to the largest ship.

By this time the people had been aroused, and hundreds were running to
the shore.

There was no time to do more. The sailors hastened back to the _Ranger_,
taking with them three prisoners, whom Paul Jones said he would show as

The soldiers tried to shoot the sailors from the forts; but they could
do nothing with the spiked guns. The sailors amused themselves by firing
back pistol shots.

On reaching the ship they found that a man was missing. Paul Jones was
afraid that harm had befallen him. He need not have been troubled,
however, for the man was a deserter. He spread the alarm for miles along
the shore. The people afterward called him the "Savior of Whitehaven."

Paul Jones was greatly disappointed by the failure of his plans. He
knew that if he had reached the harbor a few hours earlier he could have
burned, not only all the ships, but the entire town.

Although the plan to destroy English property to aid the American cause,
was a wise one, from a military point of view, yet we cannot understand
why Paul Jones should have selected Whitehaven for this destruction.
There he had received kindness and employment when a boy. His mother and
sisters lived just across the bay, and had he succeeded in burning
Whitehaven, the people, in their anger, might have injured the family of
the man who had so cruelly harmed them. We wonder if he thought of these

The Earl of Selkirk lived near Whitehaven, on St. Mary's Isle. As the
_Ranger_ sailed by this island, Paul Jones thought it would be well to
take the earl prisoner.

There were many Americans held as prisoners, by the English, and the
earl could be exchanged for some of these.

So, with a few men, Paul Jones rowed to the shore, where some fishermen
told him that the earl was away from home. Paul Jones started to go
back to his vessel. But his sailors were disappointed and asked his
permission to go to the earl's house and take away the silver.

Paul Jones did not like this plan, but at last consented. He did not go
with the men, however, but walked up and down the shore until they

The sailors found Lady Selkirk and her family at breakfast. They took
all the silver from the table, put it into a bag, and returned to the


Paul Jones was always troubled about this. He afterwards bought the
silver for a large sum of money, and sent it back to Lady Selkirk with a
letter of apology.

The people in the neighborhood were frightened when they heard of the
earl's silver being taken. They ran here and there, hiding their
valuables. Some of them dragged a cannon to the shore, and spent a night
firing at what they supposed in the darkness to be Paul Jones' vessel.
In the morning they found they had wasted all their powder on a rock!

The next day the alarm was carried to all the towns along the shore:
"Beware of Paul Jones, the pirate!"


An English naval vessel called the _Drake_ was sent out to capture the
_Ranger_. Every one felt sure that she would be successful, and five
boatloads of men went out with her to see the fight.

When the _Drake_ came alongside of the _Ranger_, she hailed and asked
what ship it was. Paul Jones replied: "The American Continental ship
_Ranger_! Come on! We are waiting for you!"

After a battle of one hour, the _Drake_ surrendered. The captain and
forty-two men had been killed, and the vessel was badly injured. Paul
Jones lost only his lieutenant and one seaman. Six others were wounded,
one of whom died.


This was a great victory for Paul Jones. The _Drake_ not only mounted
two more guns than the _Ranger_, but was manned by a crew that was much
better drilled. The vessel belonged to the well-established English
navy, which was accustomed to victory on the seas.

Towing the _Drake_, Paul Jones sailed northward in safety. Then, leaving
the Irish Sea, he sailed around the north coast of Ireland and returned
to the harbor at Brest, with the _Drake_ and two hundred prisoners. This
was just a month from the day he had set out on his cruise.

The French government had now concluded an alliance with the American
republic. War had been openly declared between France and England, and
all the French people rejoiced over the victory of the _Ranger_.

Paul Jones was not sorry when Congress sent him an order to bring his
vessel to America. It was needed to protect the coasts of New Jersey
from the war ships of the British.

The French king did not like brave Paul Jones to return to America. He
wished him to remain where he could be of more direct service to France.
He therefore caused letters to be sent to him, promising that if he
would stay on that side of the Atlantic he should have command of the
new frigate he had wished for so long.

Pleased with the prospect of this, he gave up the command of the
_Ranger_, and it sailed to America under a new captain.

But promises are often more easily made than kept. The French navy was
well supplied with ships and officers. These officers were jealous of
the success of Paul Jones, and did all they could to prevent him from
obtaining his commission.

The summer and most of the winter of 1778 passed away, and Paul Jones
was still waiting for his ship. He began to wish he had gone to America.

Some wealthy men offered him a ship if he would take charge of a trading
expedition for them. To do this, he must give up his commission in the
American navy, and so Paul Jones said, "As a servant of the republic of
America, I cannot serve either myself or my best friends, unless the
honor of America is the first object."

During these months of waiting, his only weapon was his pen. He wrote
letters of appeal to all persons of influence, to Congress, and also to
the king of France.



One day, when Paul Jones was reading "Poor Richard's Almanac," written
by Dr. Franklin, he found a paragraph which set him to thinking. It was:
"_If you would have your business done, go; if not_, SEND."

He sent no more letters, but went at once to the French court and
pleaded his case there in person. As a result, he was soon after made
commander of a vessel which he named the _Bon Homme Richard_, which
means _Poor Richard_. He did this out of gratitude to Dr. Franklin.

The _Bon Homme Richard_ was an old trading vessel, poorly fitted out for
war. But after his long months of waiting, Paul Jones was thankful even
for this.

He was also given command of four smaller vessels. One of these, the
_Alliance_, had, for captain, a Frenchman named Pierre Landais, who was
afterwards the cause of much trouble. Paul Jones was ordered to cruise
with his small squadron along the west coast of Ireland and to capture
all the English merchant vessels he could find.

[Illustration: RICHARD DALE.]

The officer next in command to Paul Jones was Lieutenant Richard Dale,
who has since been remembered not only for his bravery during that
famous cruise, but for his service to the country at a later period.

On the 14th of August, 1779, the ships put to sea. When they reached the
southern point of Ireland, one of the four small vessels was left
behind and deserted.

Cruising northward, the squadron soon captured two valuable prizes.
Without asking the permission of Paul Jones, Captain Landais sent these
captured vessels to Norway.

On the way, they were taken by the Danes, who returned them to England.
The value of these prizes, thus lost through Captain Landais, was about
£40,000, or nearly $200,000.

The squadron sailed round the north of Scotland, and down the eastern
coast until it came to the Firth of Forth. Here was the town of Leith,
and in its harbor lay some English war vessels.

Paul Jones wished to capture these. The winds were favorable, and a
landing could easily have been made but for Captain Landais.

Paul Jones spent a whole night persuading this troublesome captain to
help him. It was only with a promise of money that he at last succeeded.
But in the morning the winds were contrary.

That day the _Richard_ captured an English merchant ship. The captain
promised Paul Jones that if he would allow his vessel to go free, he
would pilot the squadron into the harbor.

The people, seeing the fleet piloted by the English vessel, supposed the
visit to be a friendly one. So they sent a boat out to the _Richard_,
asking for powder and shot to defend the town from the visit of "Paul
Jones the pirate."

Jones sent back a barrel of powder with the message that he had no
suitable shot. It was not until the vessels were nearing the harbor that
the object of the visit was suspected. The people, in their fright, ran
to the house of the minister. He had helped them when in trouble at
other times, and could surely do something now.

The good man, with his flock following him, ran to the beach, where he
made a strange prayer.

He told the Lord that the people there were very poor, and that the wind
was bringing to the shore that "vile pirate," Paul Jones, who would burn
their houses and take away even their clothes. "I canna think of it! I
canna think of it! I have long been a faithful servant to ye, O Lord.
But gin ye dinna turn the wind aboot and blaw the scoundrel out of our
gates, I'll nae stir a foot, but will just sit here till the tide comes

Just then a violent gale sprang up, and by the time it had abated the
squadron had been driven so far out to sea that the plan was given up.

Long afterward, the good minister would often say, "I prayed, but the
Lord sent the wind."


Paul Jones next cruised up and down the eastern coast of England, trying
to capture some merchant ships that were bound for London.

About noon, on September 23, 1779, he saw not far from the shore an
English fleet, sailing from the north. It was convoyed by two new war
ships, the _Serapis_ and the _Countess of Scarborough_.

Paul Jones at once signaled to his ships to form in line of battle.
Captain Landais disobeyed.

The sight of the American squadron seemed to cause confusion in the
English fleet. They let fly their top gallant sails and fired many
signals. The _Serapis_ and the _Countess_ drew up in line of battle and
waited for the enemy, while the merchant ships ran into port.

It was a clear, calm afternoon. The sea was like a polished mirror, with
scarcely a ripple on its surface.

The vessels approached each other so slowly that they scarcely seemed to
move. The decks had all been cleared for action, and the captains were
full of impatience.

Word had gone from town to town along the shore, that a great battle was
soon to be fought. The people along the shore gathered on the high
cliffs, eagerly hoping to see the dreaded Paul Jones crushed forever.

The sun had gone down behind the hills before the ships were within
speaking distance of each other. The harvest moon came up, full and
clear, and shed a soft light over the dreadful battle that followed.

Captain Landais, when he disobeyed Paul Jones' order to join in line of
battle, spread the sails of the _Alliance_, and went quickly toward the
enemy as though to make an attack. But when very near to where the
_Serapis_ lay, he changed his course, and sailed away to a place where
the battle could be seen without harm.

About half-past seven in the evening, the _Richard_ rounded to on the
side of the _Serapis_ within pistol-shot.

Captain Pearson of the _Serapis_ hailed, saying: "What ship is that?"
The answer came: "I can't hear what you say."

Captain Pearson repeated: "What ship is that? Answer at once or I shall

Paul Jones' reply was a shot. This was followed by a broadside from each

At this first fire, two of the guns in the lower battery of the
_Richard_ burst. The explosion tore up the decks, and killed many men.

The two vessels now began pouring broadsides into each other. The
_Richard_ was old and rotten, and these shots caused her to leak badly.
Captain Pearson saw this, and hailed, saying, "Has your ship struck?"

The bold reply came: "I have not yet begun to fight."

Paul Jones saw, that, as the _Serapis_ was so much the better ship of
the two, his only hope lay in getting the vessels so close together that
the men could board the _Serapis_ from the _Richard_.

All this time the vessels had been sailing in the same direction,
crossing and re-crossing each other's course.

Finally Paul Jones ran the _Richard_ across the bow of the _Serapis_.
The anchor of the _Serapis_ caught in the stern of the _Richard_ and
became firmly fastened there. As the vessels were swung around by the
tide, the sides came together. The spars and rigging were entangled and
remained so until the close of the engagement.

With the muzzles of the guns almost touching, the firing began. The
effect was terrible.

Paul Jones, who had only two guns that could be used on the starboard
side, grappled with the _Serapis_. With the help of a few men, he
brought over a larboard gun, and these three were all that he used
during the rest of the battle.

Meanwhile the other ships of the American squadron did strange things.
The _Pallas_, alone, did her duty. In a half hour she had captured the
_Countess of Scarborough_. The _Vengeance_ simply sailed for the nearest

Worst of all was the conduct of Captain Landais and his ship _Alliance_.
For a while he looked quietly on as though he were umpire. At 9:30
o'clock he came along the larboard side of the _Richard_ so that she was
between him and the enemy. Then he deliberately fired into her, killing
many men.

Many voices cried out that he was firing into the wrong ship. He seemed
not to hear, for, until the battle was over, his firing continued. The
_Poor Richard_ had an enemy on each side.

Paul Jones sent some men up the masts and into the rigging to throw
hand-grenades, or bombs, among the enemy. One of these set fire to some
cartridges on the deck of the _Serapis_. This caused a terrible
explosion, disabling all the men at the guns in that part of the ship.
Twenty of them were killed outright.

By this time so much water had leaked into the _Richard_ that she was
settling. A sailor, seeing this, set up the cry: "Quarter! quarter! Our
ship is sinking!"

Captain Pearson, hearing the cry, sent his men to board the _Richard_.
Paul Jones, with a pike in his hand, headed a party of his men similarly
armed, and drove the English back.

Some of the _Richard's_ men ran below and set the prisoners free. There
were more than a hundred of them.

One of these prisoners climbed through the port holes into the
_Serapis_. He told Captain Pearson that if he would hold out a little
longer, the _Richard_ would either sink or strike.

Poor Paul Jones was now in a hard place. His ship was sinking. More than
a hundred prisoners were running about the decks, and they, with the
crew, were shouting for quarter. His own ship, the _Alliance_, was
hurling shots at him from the other side. Everywhere was confusion.

But he, alone, was undismayed. He shouted to the prisoners to go below
to the pumps or they would be quickly drowned. He ordered the crew to
their places. He himself never left the three guns that could still be

At half-past ten o'clock, the _Serapis_ surrendered.


When Captain Pearson gave his sword to Paul Jones, he said it was very
hard to surrender to a man who had fought "with a halter around his
neck." Paul Jones replied, "Sir! You have fought like a hero. I hope
your king will reward you."

This battle had lasted for three hours and a half. It has since been
known in history as one of the greatest victories ever won upon the
seas. The _Serapis_ and the _Countess_ were both new ships, one of forty
guns and the other of twenty. The crews were well-drilled Englishmen.

Everything was against the _Richard_, and the victory was due alone to
the great courage and will of its commander. When the fight was over,
Paul Jones separated the ships and set the sails of the _Richard_. All
night every sailor was busy fighting the fire which raged on both ships.

When daylight showed to Captain Pearson the wreck of the _Richard_, he
was sorry he had surrendered. Her rudder was gone and her rotten timbers
were split into pieces. Some of the shots had passed entirely through

Paul Jones wished to take her into port to show how desperately he had
fought, but this was out of the question. By nine o'clock the sailors
abandoned her, and at ten she suddenly went down.

Repairing the _Serapis_ as best he could, Paul Jones took her and the
_Countess of Scarborough_, with his unfaithful fleet, to Holland.


After this great victory, Paul Jones was everywhere received as a hero.
The king of France presented him with a gold sword.

He also sent word, through his minister, that, with the consent of
Congress, he would make Paul Jones a Knight of the Order of Military
Merit. To avoid delay, the gold cross of the order had been sent to the
French minister in America, who would present it to Paul Jones when
permission to accept it had been received from Congress.

The hero traveled about in Holland and France, from city to city,
enjoying his great triumph. Crowds of people were everywhere eager to
see him, and a word with him was thought to be a great honor.

The most serious fault in the character of Paul Jones was his vanity. He
had always been very fond of praise and glory, and now his longings were
partly satisfied by all this homage.

Dr. Franklin wrote him a letter, praising him for his bravery. He
thanked him, most of all, for the prisoners he had captured. There were
so many of them that, by exchange, every American, held by the English,
could be set at liberty.

While Paul Jones was enjoying this praise, Captain Landais was going
about also, claiming for himself the glory for the capture of the
_Serapis_, and trying to make people believe that he was the real hero.

When Dr. Franklin heard from the sailors how he had fired upon the
_Richard_, he ordered him to Paris to be tried.

During the next year, Paul Jones made a few short cruises, but
accomplished nothing more than the taking of a few prizes.

At this time the army of George Washington was sorely in need of
clothing and military supplies. Word was sent to Dr. Franklin to buy
them in France and send them to America by Paul Jones.

Fifteen thousand muskets, with powder, and one hundred and twenty bales
of cloth, were bought and stored in the _Alliance_ and the _Ariel_. Dr.
Franklin told Paul Jones to sail with these goods at once. This was
early in the year 1780.

The summer came and passed away, and the ships were still anchored in
the French harbor. Paul Jones gave excuse after excuse until the
patience of Dr. Franklin was about gone.

Captain Landais had been one cause of the delay. Instead of going to
Paris for trial, as Franklin had ordered, he had gone back to the
_Alliance_ to stir up mutiny against Paul Jones. He caused one trouble
after another and disobeyed every order. Finally, by intrigue, he took
command of the _Alliance_ and sailed to America.

But Captain Landais never again troubled Paul Jones. His reception in
America was not what he had expected. Instead of being regarded as a
hero, he was judged insane, and dismissed from the navy. A small share
of prize money was afterward paid to him. On this he lived until
eighty-seven years of age, when he died in Brooklyn, New York.

Another reason Paul Jones gave for his delay in France was that he
wished to get the prize money due for the capture of the _Serapis_, and
pay the sailors. This gave him an excuse to linger about the courts
where he could receive more of the homage he loved so well.

Then, too, he spent much time in getting letters and certificates of his
bravery from the king and the ministers. He wished to show these to
Congress when he should arrive in America.

Finally, one day in October, he set sail in the _Ariel_. He had not gone
far when a furious gale forced him to return to port for safety.

For three months longer he waited, hoping still for the prize money that
was due. One day he gave a grand fête on his ship. Flags floated from
every mast. Pink silk curtains hung from awnings to the decks. These
were decorated with mirrors, pictures, and flowers.

The company invited were men and women of high rank. When all was ready,
Paul Jones sent his boats ashore to bring them on board.

He, himself, dressed in full uniform, received them and conducted them
to their seats on the deck. At three o'clock they sat down to an
elaborate dinner which lasted until sunset.

At eight o'clock, as the moon rose, a mock battle of the _Richard_ and
the _Serapis_ was given. There was much noise from the firing of guns,
and a great blaze of light from the rockets that were sent up. The
effect was beautiful, but the din was such that the ladies were
frightened. At the end of an hour this display was ended.

After a dance on the deck, the officers rowed the company back to the


On the 18th of December, 1780, nearly a year after he had received his
orders, Jones sailed for America. He arrived in Philadelphia on February
18th, 1781. When Congress inquired into the cause of his long delay, he
gave explanations which seemed to be satisfactory. Resolutions of thanks
were passed, and permission given to the French minister to present the
Cross of Military Merit, which had been sent by the French king.

This cross was presented with great ceremony, and it was ever after a
source of much pride to Paul Jones. He wore it upon all occasions and
loved to be called Chevalier.

During the following year Paul Jones superintended the construction of a
new war ship, the _America_, which was being built by Congress.

This was the largest seventy-four gun ship in the world, and he was to
be her captain.

Once more Paul Jones was disappointed. Before the _America_ was
finished, Congress decided to give her to France. She was to replace a
French vessel, which had been lost while in the American service.

Paul Jones was again without a ship. As he could not bear to be idle, he
spent the time until the close of the war, with a French fleet, cruising
among the West Indies.

As soon as he heard that peace was declared between England and America,
he left the French fleet and returned to America. He arrived in
Philadelphia in May, 1783.

Now that the war was over, and there was no more fighting to be done,
Paul Jones thought that the best thing for him to do was to get the
prize money still due from the French government for the vessels he had

For this purpose, he soon returned to France. After many delays the
money, amounting to nearly $30,000, was paid to him. It was to be
divided among the officers and crews of the ships which he had

Paul Jones came again to America in 1787 to attend to the final division
of this money.


While in this country, Congress ordered a gold medal to be presented to
him for his services during the war.


You remember that, during the war, Captain Landais had sent two valuable
ships to Norway, and so caused the loss of much prize money. Denmark
had taken these ships, by force, and given them back to England.

Paul Jones determined to go to Denmark to try to induce that country to
pay for these ships. In November, 1787, he left America for the last

On the way to Denmark, he stopped in Paris. Here he heard some news
which pleased him very much.

For some time Russia had been at war with Turkey, and the Russian navy
had lately met with several disasters on the Black Sea.

The Russian minister in Paris had heard a great deal about the hero,
Paul Jones. So he sent word to the Empress Catherine, who was then the
ruler of Russia, that if she would give Paul Jones the command of the
Russian fleet, "all Constantinople would tremble in less than a year."

When Paul Jones heard that this message had gone to Russia, he was sure
that a chance would come to win still more glory and fame.

He was more anxious than before to go to Copenhagen, the capital of
Denmark. He would then be nearer to Russia and could more quickly
answer the summons of the empress.

He was not disappointed in this. He was in Copenhagen but a few weeks,
when he received the offer of a position in the Russian navy, with the
rank of rear-admiral.

He gave up the hope of the prize money, and started in April, 1788, for
St. Petersburg.

The story of his trip to Russia shows what a fearless man he was. No
danger was too great for him to brave, in order to accomplish any
purpose he had in mind.

In order to reach St. Petersburg with the least delay, he went to
Stockholm, Sweden. Here he took an open boat and crossed the Baltic Sea,
which was full of floating ice.

He did not let the boatmen know of his intentions until they were well
out at sea. Then, pistol in hand, he compelled the unwilling men to
steer for the Russian shore.

For four days and nights they were out in the open boats, carefully
steering through the ice, and many times barely escaping death.

When, at last, they arrived safely at a Russian port on the Gulf of
Finland, he rewarded the boatmen and gave them a new boat and provisions
for their return. Scarcely would any one believe the story, as such a
trip had never been made before, and was thought to be impossible.

He hurried on to St. Petersburg, where he was warmly welcomed. The story
of his trip across the Baltic, added to other tales of his bravery,
caused the empress to show him many favors.


After a few days in St. Petersburg, Paul Jones hurried on to the Black
Sea to take command of his fleet. But he again met with disappointments.
He was not given the command of the whole fleet, as he had expected.
Instead, he was given only half, Prince Nassau commanding the remainder.
Both of these men were under a still higher authority, Prince Potemkin.

Potemkin was as fond of glory as was Paul Jones. He and Nassau were
both jealous of the foreigner, and Potemkin finally succeeded in having
Paul Jones recalled to St. Petersburg.

He arrived there, full of sorrow, because he had achieved no fame. More
trouble was in store for him. Some jealous conspirators so blackened his
character that the empress would not allow him to appear at court.

Even after proving his innocence to the satisfaction of the empress, he
could not regain his former position.

About this time his health began to fail. Sick, both in body and mind,
he went back to Paris in 1790, having been in Russia about eighteen

It was nearly a year afterward, before he gave up all hope of regaining
a position in the Russian service. When the empress refused him this, he
quietly waited for death.

This occurred on the 18th of July, 1792, in his lodgings in Paris. His
pride and love of titles had left him. He told his friends that he
wished no longer to be called Admiral or Chevalier.

He wished to be simply a "citizen of the United States."

The National Assembly of France decreed him a public funeral, and many
of the greatest men of the time followed his body to the tomb. The place
of his burial has been forgotten.

The most enduring monument to his memory is to be found in the grateful
recollections of his countrymen. The name of Paul Jones, the first naval
hero of America, will not be forgotten so long as the stars and stripes
float over the sea.


[Illustration: Oliver Hazard Perry]



A very long time ago, there lived in England a young Quaker whose name
was Edmund Perry.

At that time the Quakers were much persecuted. They were a quiet and
peace-loving people, and would not serve in the army. They had their own
religious meetings, and refused to pay money for the support of the
Church of England. For these reasons, they were imprisoned, beaten, and
driven from their homes.

Edmund Perry believed that the Quakers were right, and he could not
endure these persecutions. So, in 1650, he came to America to live.

Thirty years before that time, a company of Pilgrims had left England
because they also wished to be free to worship God as they chose. They
had founded a colony at Plymouth, which is now in the state of

Edmund Perry thought that in this settlement of Pilgrims he could surely
live peaceably in the enjoyment of his own belief. He did not stay long
in Plymouth, however. His Quaker religion was hated there, as it had
been in England; and the Pilgrims did not wish to have any one in their
colony who did not agree with them.

Not far from Plymouth was the colony of Rhode Island, which had been
founded by Roger Williams. Roger Williams declared that a man is
responsible for his opinions only to God and his own conscience, and
that no one has any right to punish him for his belief.

The people in the Rhode Island colony did not quarrel with one another
about religion, but lived together in peace.

Edmund Perry thought that this was the place where he could make a home
for himself and his family. He therefore purchased a large tract of land
on the shores of Narragansett Bay, near what is now the site of South

Here he lived for the rest of his life, at peace with all about him,
even his Indian neighbors. His descendants also lived in this
neighborhood. Among them were judges, lawyers, and doctors, as well as
farmers and mechanics; and they were always highly respected in the

Christopher Raymond Perry, a great-great-grandson of Edmund Perry, was
born in December, 1761.

At that time there were thirteen colonies or great settlements of
English people at different places along the Atlantic coast of what is
now the United States. But troubles had already begun to brew between
the people of these colonies and the king of England. These troubles
finally led to the Revolutionary War.

Christopher Perry, although a mere boy, was one of the first persons in
Rhode Island to offer himself for this war. He joined a company of
volunteers known as the "Kingston Reds"; but soon afterwards left the
army and entered the navy. Here he served, having many adventures, until
the close of the war, in 1783.

He had become very fond of a sailor's life, and when there was no more
use for him in the navy he obtained a place on a merchant vessel, and
went on a cruise to Ireland.

During the homeward voyage he became acquainted with one of the
passengers, a beautiful girl of Scotch descent, whose name was Sara
Alexander. Soon after their arrival in America, their friendship ripened
into love, and in 1784 they were married in Philadelphia.

Christopher Perry, though but twenty-three years of age, was then the
captain of a vessel. The young couple went to live with Christopher's
father, on the old Perry estate in South Kingston.

This was then a farm of two hundred acres. The old homestead stood at
the foot of a hill not far from the Narragansett shore.

Through the trees in a neighboring wood, shone the white stones which
marked the graves of the Quaker, Edmund Perry, and many of his children
and grandchildren.

The Perry family were glad to welcome Christopher's young wife into
their home. She was as intelligent as she was beautiful; and her sweet
and happy disposition made every one love her.

Christopher Perry gave up his life on the sea for a time, and many happy
months were spent in the old home.

On the 23d of August, 1785, their first baby boy was born. He was named
for an uncle and a great-great-grandfather, Oliver Hazard Perry.


Oliver was a winsome baby and he grew strong and beautiful very fast.
Every one loved him, for he thought all strangers were friends, and was
never afraid of them.

Indeed he was not afraid of anything, for to him there was no danger. We
shall see that he kept this same fearlessness all through his life.

When he was three years old, he was playing one day with an older child,
in the road near his grandfather's house. A man was seen coming rapidly
towards them on horseback. The elder child ran out of the way, calling
to Oliver to do the same.

The little fellow sat quite still, however, until the horse was nearly
upon him. As the horseman drew rein, Oliver looked up into his face and
said, "Man, you will not ride over me, will you?"


The gentleman, who was a friend of the family's, carried him into the
house, and told the story.

When scarcely more than a baby, Oliver sat upon his mother's knee,
while she taught him letters and words. It was not long before he could
read quite well. By the time he was five years old, there were two other
babies to keep the beautiful, loving mother busy. So it was thought best
to send Oliver to school.

Not far from the Perrys', there lived an old gentleman whom the people
loved because of his goodness of heart. As there was no school near by,
he had often been asked to teach the neighborhood children.

The good old man was notoriously lazy, and consented upon one
condition--that he should be allowed to have a bed in the schoolroom.

Teachers were few in those days, and, since there was no one else, the
bed was set up. How amusing it must have been to see the children
standing about the master's bed and reciting their lessons!

It was to this strange school that little Oliver was first sent. Some
girl cousins lived on the adjoining farm. Though they were all older
than he, it was Oliver's duty, each day, to take them to and from
school. No one, not even the other scholars, thought this at all
strange. His dignified manners always made him seem older than he really

One day his mother told him that he was old enough to go to school at
Tower Hill, a place four miles away. Boys and girls would now think that
a long way to go to school; but Oliver and his cousins did not mind the
walk through the woods and over the hills.

The master of this school was so old that he had once taught Oliver's
grandfather. He was not lazy, however, and was never known to lose his

It was not long until a change was made and Oliver was taken away from
"old master Kelly."

For several years past, Oliver's father had been again on the sea. He
had commanded vessels on successful voyages to Europe and South America,
and now he had a large income. He was therefore able to pay for better
teaching for Oliver and the younger children.

So the family moved from South Kingston to Newport, a larger town, with
better schools.

At first Oliver did not like the change. The discipline was much more
strict than it had been in the little country schools.

His teacher, Mr. Frazer, had one serious fault. He had a violent temper
which was not always controlled.

One day he became angry at Oliver and broke a ruler over his head.
Without a word, Oliver took his hat and went home. He told his mother
that he would never go back.

The wise mother said nothing until the next morning. Then, giving him a
note for Mr. Frazer, she told him to go to school as usual. The proud
boy's lip quivered and tears were in his eyes, but he never thought of
disobeying his mother.

The note he carried was a kind one, telling Mr. Frazer that she
intrusted Oliver to his care again and hoped that she would not have
cause to regret it.

After this Oliver had no better friend than Mr. Frazer. On holidays they
walked together to the seashore and spent many hours wandering along
the beach. The schoolmaster took great delight in teaching Oliver the
rules of navigation, and the use of the instruments necessary for
sailing a vessel.

Oliver learned these things so readily that it was not long until Mr.
Frazer said he was the best navigator in Rhode Island. This, of course,
was not strictly true, but it showed what an apt scholar the boy was.

Oliver made many friends in Newport. Among them was the Frenchman, Count
Rochambeau. The father of this man was a great general, and had once
commanded some French troops who helped the Americans in the
Revolutionary War.

Count Rochambeau often invited Oliver to dine with him, and one day he
gave him a beautiful little watch.

When Oliver was twelve years old, his father gave up his life on the
sea. The family then moved to Westerly, a little village in the
southwestern part of Rhode Island.

For five years Oliver had been a faithful pupil of Mr. Frazer's, and he
was now far advanced for his years.


About this time some unexpected troubles arose in our country.

France and England had been at war for years. The French were anxious
that America should join in the quarrel; and when they could not bring
this about by persuasion, they tried to use force.

French cruisers were sent to the American shores to capture merchant
vessels while on their way to foreign ports.

You may be sure that this roused the people from one end of the United
States to the other. Preparations for war with France were begun; and
the first great need was a better navy.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, all work on government vessels
had been stopped. Those that were unfinished were sold to shipping
merchants. Even the ships of war that had done such good service, were
sold to foreign countries. In this way, the entire American navy passed
out of existence.

But now the President, John Adams, went to work to establish a navy that
should give protection to American commerce.

In the spring of 1798, a naval department was organized, with Benjamin
Stoddert as the first Secretary of the Navy. The following summer was
busy with active preparations. Six new frigates were built, and to these
were added a number of other vessels of various kinds.

Captain Christopher Perry was given command of one of the new frigates
that were being built at Warren, a small town near Bristol, Rhode
Island. This vessel was to be called the _General Greene_.

In order to superintend the building of this vessel, Captain Perry, with
his wife, left his quiet home in Westerly, and went to stay in Warren.

Oliver, then not quite thirteen years old, remained at home to take
charge of the family.

He saw that his sister and brothers went to school regularly. He bought
all the family provisions. Each day he wrote to his father and mother,
telling them about home affairs. In the meantime, he was busily
planning what his work in life should be.

His mother had taught him that a man must be brave, and always ready to
serve his country. She had told him many stories of battles fought long
ago in her native land across the sea.

Oliver had lived most of his life in sight of the sea, and had spent
many hours with seamen. It is not strange, therefore, that he should
decide,--"I wish to be a captain like my father."

He had heard of the troubles with France, and he longed to help defend
his country. And so at last he wrote to his father, asking permission to
enter the navy. It was a manly letter, telling all his reasons for his

The consent was readily given, and Oliver soon afterward received an
appointment as midshipman on his father's vessel, the _General Greene_.


In the meantime, the people grew more eager for war. An army had been
raised to drive back the French, should they attempt to invade the
land. George Washington, though nearly sixty-seven years of age, had
been appointed commander in chief of the American forces.

In February, 1799, one of the new frigates, the _Constellation_, under
Captain Truxton, defeated and captured a French frigate of equal size.
By spring the _General Greene_ was completed, and Captain Perry was
ordered to sail for the West Indies.

[Illustration: CAPT. THOMAS TRUXTON.]

America had large trading interests with those islands. Many of our
merchant vessels brought from there large cargoes of fruits, coffee, and
spices. The _General Greene_ was ordered to protect these cargoes from
the French cruisers, and bring them safely into port.

For several months Captain Perry's vessel convoyed ships between Cuba
and the United States. In July, some of the sailors on board were sick
with yellow fever. So Captain Perry brought the vessel back to Newport.

Oliver went at once to see his mother. The tall lad in his bright
uniform was a hero to all the children in the neighborhood.

His brothers and sister considered it an honor to wait upon him. They
would go out in the early morning and pick berries for his breakfast, so
that he might have them with the dew upon them.

While on shipboard he had learned to play a little on the flute. The
children loved to sit about him, and listen to his music.

By the autumn of 1799, the crew of the _General Greene_ were well again,
and Captain Perry sailed back to Havana.

It was during the following winter months of cruising with his father,
that Oliver was taught his lessons of naval honor. He also applied the
lessons in navigation which he had learned from Mr. Frazer.

He read and studied very carefully, and could not have had a better
teacher than his father.

While the _General Greene_ was cruising among the West Indies, Captain
Truxton had won another victory with his _Constellation_. This time he
captured a French frigate which carried sixteen guns more than the

The French, dismayed at these victories of the Americans, began to be
more civil. They even seemed anxious for peace.

[Illustration: THE CONSTELLATION.]

War had been carried on for about a year, though it had never been
formally declared.

In May, 1800, the _General Greene_ came back to Newport, and remained in
harbor until the terms of peace were concluded.

The trouble with France being settled, it was decided by the government
to dispose of nearly all the naval vessels. As a result, many of the
captains and midshipmen were dismissed, Captain Perry being one of the

Fortunately for the country, young Oliver was retained as midshipman.


On the northern coast of Africa, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, are
four countries known as the Barbary States. These are Tunis, Algiers,
Tripoli, and Morocco.

For more than four hundred years, these countries had been making a
business of sea-robbery. Their pirate vessels had seized and plundered
the ships of other nations, and the captured officers and men were sold
into slavery.

Instead of resisting these robbers, most of the nations had found it
easier to pay vast sums of money to the Barbary rulers to obtain
protection for their commerce.

The Americans had begun in this way, and had made presents of money and
goods to Algiers and Tunis.

Then the ruler of Tripoli, called the Bashaw, informed our government
that he would wait six months for a handsome present from us. If it did
not come then, he would declare war against the United States.


This did not frighten the Americans at all. Their only reply was to send
a fleet of four ships to the Mediterranean. The intention was to force
the Bashaw to make a treaty which should insure safety for our ships.

This squadron did not do much but blockade the ports of Tripoli.

A year later, in 1802, a larger squadron was fitted out to bring the
Bashaw to terms. Commodore Morris was the commander. On one of the
vessels, the _Adams_, was Oliver Perry as midshipman.

Soon after the arrival of his ship in the Mediterranean, Oliver
celebrated his seventeenth birthday.

The captain of the _Adams_ was very fond of him, and succeeded in having
him appointed lieutenant on that day.

For a year and a half, the squadron of Commodore Morris cruised about
the Mediterranean. No great battles were fought and no great victories
were won.

The _Adams_ stopped at the coast towns of Spain, France, and Italy.
Through the kindness of the captain, Oliver was often allowed to go on
shore and visit the places of interest.

Commodore Morris, being recalled to America, sailed thither in the
_Adams_; and so it happened that in November, 1803, Oliver Perry arrived
again in America.

His father was then living in Newport, and Oliver remained at home until
July of the next year.

He spent much of his time in studying mathematics and astronomy. He
liked to go out among the young people, and his pleasing manners and
good looks made him a general favorite.

He was fond of music and could play the flute very skillfully. When not
studying, he liked most of all to ride horses, and fence with a sword.

While Lieutenant Perry was spending this time at home, the war in the
Mediterranean was still being carried on. Commodore Preble, who had
succeeded Commodore Morris, had won many brilliant victories.

The most daring feat of all this war was accomplished by Stephen
Decatur, a young lieutenant only twenty-three years old.

One of the largest of the American vessels, the _Philadelphia_, had, by
accident, been grounded on a reef. Taking advantage of her helpless
condition, the whole Tripolitan fleet opened fire upon her.

Captain Bainbridge, the commander of the _Philadelphia_, was obliged to
surrender. The Tripolitans managed to float the vessel off the reef, and
towed her into the harbor.

Captain Bainbridge, although a prisoner, found means to send word of his
misfortune to Commodore Preble, who was then at Malta, and the American
fleet at once sailed for Tripoli.

At the suggestion of Captain Bainbridge, the Americans determined to
burn the _Philadelphia_, rather than allow the Tripolitans to keep her.

This was a very dangerous undertaking, as the vessel was anchored in the
midst of the Tripolitan fleet. It was also within easy range of the guns
of the fort, commanding the harbor.

The task was given to Stephen Decatur. In order to deceive the enemy, he
took a small boat which had been captured from them a short time before.
Its crew was made up of volunteers, for the chances of escape were very

[Illustration: STEPHEN DECATUR.]

Under cover of night, the little vessel sailed into the harbor, and, as
if by accident, ran into the _Philadelphia_. Before the Tripolitans
realized what had happened, Decatur and his men were climbing over the
sides of the vessel and through the port holes.


Decatur had ordered his men to use no firearms. He did not wish to
attract the attention of the Tripolitans who were in the fort and on the
other vessels in the harbor.

A desperate hand to hand fight ensued. In a few minutes the Americans
were in possession of the vessel. Some of the Tripolitan crew had been
killed; others had jumped into the sea.

The Americans then set the _Philadelphia_ on fire and jumped into their
boat to escape. Lieutenant Decatur was the last one to leave the burning

The situation of the little band was now desperate. The _Philadelphia_
was a mass of flames, lighting up the harbor for miles around.

Decatur's little boat could be plainly seen, and all the vessels and
forts opened fire on it. But the Tripolitans were too much excited to do
serious damage.

In a short time the fire reached the magazine of the _Philadelphia_ and
she blew up with a tremendous crash, leaving the harbor in darkness.
Decatur and his men escaped with but one man wounded.

This is only one of many deeds of bravery done in this war, but we can
not tell of them in this story. Lieutenant Perry, in his home in
America, heard of them, and longed to be on the scene of action.

He was very glad when, in the following September, he was ordered to
return in the _Constellation_ to the Mediterranean.

The American fleet in the Mediterranean was by this time so large that
the Bashaw was convinced that the Americans were in earnest.

He was glad to make a treaty of peace and release the prisoners on
payment of a small ransom.

In October, 1806, Oliver Perry returned to America. He was greatly
disappointed that he had not been able to take a more active part in the

He spent most of the next two years in Newport, dividing his time
between study and his many friends.


While America was having these troubles with the Barbary States, France
and England were still at war. Commerce all over the world was affected,
and in some cases almost destroyed by this long war.

The French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, had forbidden all vessels of
other nations to enter British ports. The English, in turn, said that
no vessel should enter a port of France, or of any country belonging to

But the Americans had to endure still further injuries from the English.
British war vessels claimed the right to stop American ships on the sea,
search them, and carry off American sailors, claiming them as deserters
from the English navy.

The French could not do this; for no American sailor could be accused of
being a runaway Frenchman.

In 1807, an event took place which nearly led to war.

The British frigate _Leopard_, cruising along the coast, hailed the
American frigate _Chesapeake_, and demanded permission to search the

The captain of the _Chesapeake_ refused. Without a word of warning, the
_Leopard_ fired into the _Chesapeake_, killing and wounding more than
twenty men.

The American captain had not dreamed of such an outrage. His vessel had
just put to sea and everything was in confusion. He did not even have a
gun in condition to return the fire. So he lowered his flag and

The officers of the _Leopard_ then came on board and carried off four
men from the crew.

The United States would have declared war at once if England had not

The President, at this time, was Thomas Jefferson. He was a man of
peace. He called a session of Congress to see if the trouble could not
be settled without war.

As a result of this session, a law was passed known as the Embargo Act.
By this law, no vessel was allowed to sail from the United States to any
foreign country.

In order to enforce the law, Congress ordered a number of gunboats to be
built. These were to sail up and down the coast, and prevent any vessel
from entering or leaving the ports.

Lieutenant Perry was ordered to superintend the building of a fleet of
these gunboats at Newport. After they were built, he was put in command
of them, and ordered to patrol Long Island Sound.

At this time, the government wanted a map of the harbors in the
neighborhood of Newport. On account of his standing as a seaman, and of
his education, Lieutenant Perry was selected to visit the harbors and
make such a map.

He was given a fast sailing schooner called the _Revenge_. While
carrying on this work, he was one day returning from Newport to New
London, when a dense fog came on. The _Revenge_ struck upon a reef of
rocks, and went to pieces.

By great efforts Lieutenant Perry was able to save, not only all the
crew, but the sails, rigging, and cannon.

He then went to Washington to explain the loss of the _Revenge_ to the
navy department. It was made clear that it was the fault of the local
pilot who had charge of the vessel at the time.

Lieutenant Perry was commended for his gallant conduct in this disaster,
and was also granted a year's leave of absence. He went to Newport, and
on May 5, 1811, he was married to Elizabeth Champlin Mason.

The young couple took a wedding journey through New England. They spent
one day in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Lieutenant Perry was much interested
in visiting the place where his Quaker ancestor had lived so many years

During this time, the people of the United States had learned that the
Embargo Act was a very unwise law. The men of Congress had thought to
injure France and England by thus refusing to trade with them
altogether. They soon discovered, however, that the damage to American
commerce was far greater.

Trading vessels in the ports were left standing idle at the wharves,
while the sailors were forced to find other employment.

[Illustration: JAMES MADISON.]

All over the country, there arose a bitter feeling against this law. In
the New England states, where there were the largest shipping interests,
there was even talk of secession from the Union.

About this time a new President, James Madison, was elected. Soon
afterward the Embargo Act was repealed, and in its place was passed a
law which satisfied the people for a time. By this law, trade was
allowed with every country but England and France.

American vessels now put to sea on voyages to foreign lands. But their
old enemies, the English, soon began to annoy them as before.

In May, 1811, the British sloop _Little Belt_ was hailed by the American
frigate _President_, under the command of Commodore Rodgers. The reply
was a cannon shot. The _President_ then poured broadsides into the
_Little Belt_. After the English had lost thirty-two men in killed and
wounded, they came to terms.


The American people now saw that war could no longer be avoided. On June
18, 1812, the formal declaration was made.


Up to this time the English navy had been called the "Mistress of the
Seas." England's vessels could be numbered by the hundred, and the crews
by the ten thousand.

When this war of 1812 was declared, the entire United States navy
comprised about half a dozen frigates, and six or eight sloops and
brigs. Along the American coast alone the English had seven times this
number of war vessels.

The first few months of the war were full of naval surprises. In that
brief time the Americans captured more British ships than the French had
taken in twenty years.

On August 19th, the American frigate _Constitution_, commanded by
Captain Isaac Hull, in one half hour captured the English frigate
_Guerrière_. The English lost one hundred men, and the vessel was so
disabled that she was left to sink. The Americans lost but fourteen men,
and in a few hours the ship was ready for another battle.

Several other victories followed in quick succession. In all this time
the Americans did not lose a ship.

In December, Commodore Bainbridge, the same officer who had been taken
prisoner years before by the Tripolitans and had afterwards been
promoted, was cruising with the frigate _Constitution_ off the coast of
Brazil. He there encountered and captured the British frigate _Java_.

But though so successful on the sea, the Americans were defeated many
times on land.

The possession of the Great Lakes was of the utmost importance to both
the English and the Americans.

Ever since the Revolution the English had kept a naval force on these
lakes. They had hoped that some time they might be able to extend the
Canadian territory along the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi to New
Orleans. This would give them the possession of the great west.

Many prosperous towns and trading posts were scattered along the
Canadian shores. To capture some of these was the task given to the
American army.

The campaign was opened by General William Hull. With two thousand men
he crossed the Detroit River, and marched into Canada.

After a few skirmishes with the Indians, he fell back to the fort at
Detroit. Then, without firing a single gun, he gave up this fort to the
English. This surrender was a great loss to the Americans for many

There was, in the west, a bold Indian warrior whose name was Tecumseh.
He had a brother whom the Indians called the Prophet, because he was a
medicine man and could do wonderful things.

[Illustration: TECUMSEH.]

These two Indians wished to form a union of all the tribes from Canada
to the Gulf of Mexico. They hoped that in this way they might prevent
the white settlers from taking their hunting grounds.

"The white men are continually driving the red people toward the west;
by and by we shall be driven into the Great Water," they said.

The governor-general of Canada made the Indians many promises, and tried
to incite them against the United States. In this way he persuaded many
warlike tribes to give aid to the English. Tecumseh himself crossed into
Canada and joined the British army under General Proctor.

After Hull's surrender of Detroit, the British and Indians took
possession not only of that fort, but also of Fort Dearborn, where
Chicago now stands. The territory of Michigan was completely in their
hands, and the settlers along the lakes and all through the northwest
were at the mercy of the Indians.


General William Henry Harrison tried to regain Detroit. His advance
guard was met and defeated at the River Raisin, a few miles south of
Detroit. Every American prisoner was murdered by the Indians; and for
years afterward the River Raisin was a name of horror.

The Americans felt that something desperate must be done. The first
great thing to be gained was the control of the lakes.

At this time nearly the whole of the western country was a wilderness.
The only way of moving men and supplies from place to place, was by the
use of boats on the lakes and water courses.

On Lake Ontario a small fleet had been built, and a skirmish or two had
been fought. But the thing of most importance was the control of Lake
Erie. This would not only give back Detroit to the Americans, but would
also be the means of recovering the whole of the Michigan territory.

The task of building a fleet and driving the English from the lakes was
given to Lieutenant Perry.

At the beginning of the war he had left his quiet home in Newport, and
had hurried to Washington to ask for active service.

He was promised the first vacancy, but in the meantime he was ordered to
protect the harbors of Long Island Sound with a flotilla of gunboats.

During the year 1812 he performed this duty faithfully, all the while
drilling his men, in hopes of being intrusted with a larger


In February, 1813, Lieutenant Perry was ordered to go to Lake Erie. He
was to take with him, from his gunboats, the men whom he thought best
fitted for the service and report to Commodore Chauncey, who was in
command of the squadron on Lake Ontario. The American headquarters, on
that lake, were at Sacketts Harbor.

It was almost impossible to reach the place. From the Hudson River to
the shores of Lake Ontario, was a vast wilderness. No road had been cut
through it; none but Indians could follow the difficult trails.

The only route known to the white men was along the Mohawk River to Lake
Oneida, then by the Oswego River to the little village of Oswego on Lake
Ontario. To transport men and arms along this route was a great task,
requiring much time, skill, and patience.

Oliver Perry was a man of action. On the very day that he received his
orders, he started fifty men to Lake Ontario, and the next day fifty


On February 22d, in the coldest part of winter, he left his home and his
young wife in Newport, and with his brother Alexander, began the
difficult journey towards the north.

Sometimes they traveled in rude sleighs over the roughest of roads.
Sometimes, when the river was not too full of ice, they embarked in
canoes. At other times, they could only go on foot through the thick
underbrush. On all sides was a vast wilderness, inhabited only by wild
beasts and unfriendly Indians.

At Oswego, they embarked in boats and followed the shore of Lake Ontario
to Sacketts Harbor. On one side of them was the dreary inland sea full
of tossing white caps and overhung by the leaden sky of winter. On the
other side lay the trackless forest.

To relieve their loneliness, they occasionally fired a musket. The
echoes would roll along the shore, growing fainter and fainter. This
only made the silence which followed seem greater than before.

A cold rain began to fall, and by the time they reached Sacketts Harbor
they were drenched to the skin.

On March 16th, Lieutenant Perry set out for Lake Erie. Upon reaching the
harbor at Erie he found that twenty-five ship carpenters had already
begun work on three gunboats and two brigs. Fifty more carpenters had
started four weeks before from Philadelphia, but had not yet arrived.

The task which lay before Oliver Perry seemed almost an impossible one.
Mechanics, seamen, guns, sailcloth,--everything needed for the ships
must be brought hundreds of miles through a wild and half-settled

But by the end of the summer, a fleet, which seemed to have been built
by magic, was ready to meet the English. Six months before, the timbers
used in building the vessels had been growing trees; the iron that held
these timbers together was either in the mines or in warehouses or
farmers' barns, in the shape of plowshares, axes, or horseshoes.

The shipbuilders had come through the wilderness from Philadelphia. The
guns, ammunition, and rigging had been brought in ox-wagons, hundreds of
miles over almost impassable roads.

While Perry was building this fleet, a sad event had taken place on the
sea. The British frigate _Shannon_ met and captured the American frigate
_Chesapeake_, June 1, 1813, near Boston harbor.


Captain Lawrence of the _Chesapeake_ fought bravely, but, in the battle,
was mortally wounded. As he was being carried below, his last words
were: "Don't give up the ship!"

The Secretary of the Navy sent word to Lieutenant Perry to name one of
the vessels of his new fleet the _Lawrence_, after this gallant captain.
Lieutenant Perry therefore gave this name to his flagship.

By the 10th of July the fleet was ready for sea, but there were only
officers and men enough to man one ship. Several of these were ill with

Lieutenant Perry wrote many letters to General Harrison, Commodore
Chauncey, and the Secretary of the Navy.

"Give me men, and I will acquire both for you and for myself honor and
glory on this lake, or die in the attempt," he said.

By the end of July he had over four hundred men for his nine vessels.
But, as he said, they were a "motley crew" of regular soldiers, negroes,
and raw recruits. During the battle which followed, over a hundred of
these men were too sick to be of any use.

The English fleet of six vessels was commanded by Captain Barclay. In
his crews were over five hundred men and boys.


Early in August the American squadron left the harbor of Erie, and
sailed to Put-in-Bay, an island not far from the west end of the lake.

The British squadron was in the harbor of Fort Malden, nearly opposite
on the Canadian shore.

On the morning of September 10, 1813, from the masthead of the
_Lawrence_, the English fleet was seen approaching.

As the Americans were sailing out to battle, Lieutenant Perry gathered
his men together and talked to them about the courage they would need.

He showed them a large blue flag, bearing in white letters a foot high
the words: "Don't give up the ship!"

"My brave lads," he said, "this flag bears the last words of Captain
Lawrence. Shall I hoist it?"

With one voice, the men shouted: "Aye, aye, sir!"

As the bunting was run up on the _Lawrence_, cheer upon cheer came from
every vessel of the American squadron. The men were then sent to their
quarters, and every one quietly waited for the beginning of battle.

It was a beautiful morning. The sky was cloudless, and there was hardly
a ripple to disturb the lake. The English vessels were newly painted,
and gayly adorned with flags. Every sail shone in dazzling whiteness in
the sunlight.

At half-past ten a bugle was heard from the English flagship, which was
followed by cheers from the other vessels. Across the water the
Americans could hear the strains of the English national air played by a

On the _Lawrence_ all was still. With determined faces the men stood by
the guns.

Lieutenant Perry knew that a great responsibility was upon him. He knew
that, should he lose the battle, General Proctor and Tecumseh, with five
thousand soldiers and Indians, were ready to cross the lake, and take
possession of the southern shore. All through that part of the country,
anxious men, women, and children were waiting to flee from their homes,
if the dreaded Indians came upon them.

These things Lieutenant Perry knew. He passed along the deck, carefully
examining every gun. He had a word of encouragement for each gun crew.

Seeing some of the men who had fought on the _Constitution_, he said, "I
need not say anything to you. You know how to beat those fellows."

As he passed another gun, commanded by a crew that had served in his
gunboat flotilla, he said: "Here are the Newport boys! They will do
their duty, I warrant."

In this way he filled all his men with a great earnestness, and a
determination to conquer or die.

While the two squadrons were yet a mile apart, the English sent a cannon
ball skimming over the water. For some time there followed a vigorous
firing from both sides.

As the English guns could carry farther than those of the Americans,
Lieutenant Perry brought his flagship into close quarters. The other
American vessels were some distance behind.

The whole British squadron then opened fire upon the _Lawrence_.

At the end of an hour of this unequal battle, the condition of the
_Lawrence_ was pitiable. One by one the guns had been disabled. Finally
only one on the side toward the enemy could be used. The rigging was
damaged, the spars were shattered, and the sails were torn into shreds.
Eighty-three men had been killed or wounded.

Two musket balls passed through Lieutenant Perry's hat, and his clothing
was torn by flying splinters.

One heavy shot crushed into the large china closet, and smashed every
dish with a great clatter. A dog, that had been locked up there,
startled by the noise, added to the tumult by howling dismally.

Several times the _Lawrence_ barely escaped being blown up. Two cannon
balls passed entirely through the powder magazine.

Even the wounded men crawled upon the deck to lend a feeble hand in
firing the guns. It was Oliver Perry himself, however, that loaded and
fired the last gun of the _Lawrence_.

Lieutenant Perry at last determined to change his flag from the
_Lawrence_ to the _Niagara_. A breeze had sprung up, which enabled this
vessel to come near to the helpless _Lawrence_.

The first lieutenant was left in command of the _Lawrence_, with orders
to hold out to the last. Then with his brother Alexander and four
seamen, Lieutenant Perry got into a rowboat. Just as they were shoving
off, a seaman on the _Lawrence_ hauled down the blue flag, bearing the
motto, "Don't give up the ship!" He rolled it up and tossed it to Perry.

The smoke of the battle was so dense that the rowboat had nearly reached
the _Niagara_ before it was seen by the English. Then a shot was sent
which went straight through the boat's side.

Taking off his coat and rolling it up, Perry quickly thrust it into the
hole which the ball had made. This kept the boat from sinking.

As he stepped upon the deck of the _Niagara_, Perry ordered the blue
flag to be hoisted. Just at this moment the _Lawrence_ surrendered.

[Illustration: THE BATTLE OF LAKE ERIE.]

The English gave a cheer, thinking they had won the battle. They were
not able, however, to board and take the _Lawrence_ at once, and so she
drifted away. When safely out of range her colors were rehoisted.

Bringing the _Niagara_ into position, Lieutenant Perry fired a terrific
broadside into one of the English vessels. Then he sailed quickly to
another and did the same thing.

The other American vessels followed this example, and a terrific battle

In just fifteen minutes the English surrendered. Two vessels of their
squadron attempted to escape, but were soon overtaken and captured.

Lieutenant Perry was determined that the formal surrender should take
place on the _Lawrence_. So once more he lowered his flag, and jumping
into a boat, made for his first flagship.

When he stepped on board the _Lawrence_ not a cheer was heard. The
handful of men that were left silently greeted their commander.

Few of them were uninjured. Some had splintered arms and legs. Others
had bandages about their heads. Their faces were black with powder.

The English officers came on board to present their swords to Perry.
With quiet dignity he returned each one.

He then took from his pocket an old letter. Using his cap for a desk, he
wrote with a pencil his famous dispatch to General Harrison:

"We have met the enemy and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one
schooner, and one sloop. Yours, with very great respect and esteem,

                                                       "O.H. PERRY."


The battle on Lake Erie was the beginning of the end of the war. The
news of the victory caused great rejoicings all over the country. In all
the principal towns there were meetings, bonfires, and torchlight

General Harrison could now take his army into Canada. No time was lost.
He hurried over four thousand men to the lake, where Perry's fleet
waited to take them across.

The main body of the British army, under General Proctor and Tecumseh,
was at Fort Malden. Upon landing there the Americans found that the
enemy had fled, having burned the forts, barracks, and stores.

General Harrison followed the English up the left bank of the Detroit
River. The fort at Detroit was surrendered without any resistance, and
the English retreated along the St. Clair Lake and up the Thames River.

The Americans steadily pursued them. Perry, with his fleet, followed
the army, carrying the baggage and provisions.

He became so excited over the chase that he could not remain quietly on
his ships. So, leaving them in charge of one of his officers, he went
ashore and offered his services to General Harrison as aid-de-camp.

As he joined the army he was met with cheers of welcome from the
soldiers. General Harrison afterward said: "The appearance of the
gallant Perry cheered and animated every soldier."

Following the English some distance up the Thames, the Americans finally
overtook them. They were drawn up in line of battle on a narrow strip of
land which lay between the river and a large swamp.

The American cavalry made a bold dash through these lines, and the enemy
was soon routed. Over sixty British and Indians were killed, and six
hundred troops were made prisoners. General Proctor made his escape, but
Tecumseh was killed.

The death of this great chief severed forever the tie which bound the
Indians to the English. Soon afterwards all the tribes of the northwest
declared submission to the United States. The white settlers in the
region about the Great Lakes were thus freed from their fear of the

During the battle of the Thames, the soldiers greatly admired the fine
horsemanship of Oliver Perry. He rode a powerful black horse, with a
white face, that could be seen from all parts of the field.

Once, when riding swiftly to carry out some orders of the general's, the
horse plunged into the deep mire to his breast. Perry pressed his hands
on the pommel of the saddle, and sprang over the horse's head to dry

Relieved from the weight of his rider, the horse freed himself and
bounded forward. Perry clutched the mane as he passed and vaulted into
the saddle, without stopping the animal's speed for a moment. As he
passed the soldiers, many cheers arose.

On October 7, 1813, Perry returned to Detroit, and from there started
back to his home in Newport. The people hailed him with joy, and enough
could not be said in his praises. Even Captain Barclay of the English
fleet called him "The gallant and generous enemy."

His journey to Newport was indeed a triumphal one. In every town that he
passed through, business was stopped and the schools were closed so that
all could have a glimpse of the hero of Lake Erie. Processions
accompanied him from town to town.

On November 18th, he reached his home in Newport. Bells were rung, all
the ships were adorned with flags, and salutes were fired in his honor.


On November 29th, he received his promotion to the rank of captain. At
that time this was the highest rank in the American navy. A gold medal
was also given to him by Congress.

In the following January he made a visit to Washington, where he was
publicly entertained by the President and citizens.

In August, 1814, he was ordered to command a new frigate named the
_Java_. He hastened to Baltimore, where this vessel was to be launched.

On the 11th of September, Lieutenant Macdonough, who was in command of
the American squadron on Lake Champlain, gained a decisive victory over
the British near Plattsburg. Everything at the North seemed now to be
favorable to the Americans; but it was not so at the South.

While Captain Perry was waiting at Baltimore, the British had sailed up
the Potomac with an army and a fleet. They captured Washington, and
burned the capitol, the White House, and some of the other public

Being so successful in this, they made a like attempt upon Baltimore,
but were driven back. They then blockaded Chesapeake Bay.

Just at this time, Congress passed a bill to fit out two squadrons of
fast-sailing vessels. These were to cruise near the English coasts and
destroy the commerce between the different ports.

Captain Perry was ordered to leave the _Java_ and command one of these
squadrons. But before he could sail for England, peace was declared. A
treaty with that country was signed December 24, 1814.


While the United States had been at war with England, trouble had again
arisen with the Barbary States. None of these countries had been so
annoying as Algiers. The ruler, or Dey, of Algiers knew that every
American naval vessel was busy fighting the English. He therefore
thought this a good time to burn and plunder the merchant ships. He also
demanded large sums of money in return for his captured prizes and

But no sooner was peace concluded with England, than Congress declared
war with Algiers. A squadron was sent to the Mediterranean, commanded by
the brave Stephen Decatur, and he soon compelled the Dey to sign a
treaty with the United States.

In this treaty the Dey promised to give back all the American property
he had captured. If there was anything that he could not return, he was
to pay for it at its full value. He was also to release all the
Americans he held as prisoners, and give up, forever, all claim to
tribute money from the United States.

When the consuls of other countries heard of what Decatur had
accomplished, they tried to persuade the Algerine ruler to make the same
terms with them. Then the Dey was sorry that he had "humbled himself"
before the young republic, and he declared that he did not consider the
treaty binding.

Congress therefore thought it wise to strengthen the American squadron
in the Mediterranean, in order that this trouble should be settled.

Captain Perry was ordered to take the _Java_ and sail at once for
Algiers. On January 22, 1816, he set sail, and in March he joined the
American vessels off the eastern coast of Spain.

Upon arriving at Algiers, they found that the Dey had just received a
large amount of tribute money from an English fleet. This made him very
unwilling to talk about treaties.

The English fleet had not only brought money to pay for the release of
English prisoners, but also had brought vast sums from the governments
of Naples and Sardinia to buy the freedom of their enslaved countrymen.

Twelve hundred captives were freed in this way, and put aboard the
English vessels. There were people of all ages, clothed in rags. Some
had been taken while young and now were old men, with gray hair and

The Dey refused to treat with the American commander, and the Americans
would have destroyed the Algerian fleet and bombarded the town at once,
but for an article in the treaty which Decatur had made. This article
stated that when either side should become dissatisfied with the treaty,
three months' notice should be given before actual fighting began.

While waiting for these three months to pass, the American squadron
cruised about the Mediterranean and visited the other Barbary States.
The commander wished to show the rulers of these states that our country
had a navy which could protect our commerce.

After this the fleet sailed along the southern coast of Europe. There
was no vessel which attracted more admiration than Captain Perry's
_Java_. To visit this ship was, indeed, a pleasure.

The captain was a courteous host, and always made his guests welcome.
Everything on the ship was in order, and ready for instant use. The
discipline of the crew was perfect.

Being a good musician himself, Captain Perry had the finest band in all
the fleet. He took a personal interest in each one of his men, and was
always ready with a word of praise when he saw it was deserved. He gave
the midshipmen lessons in navigation, and saw that they had lessons in
Spanish and French and in the use of the sword. They were even taught to

Whenever it was possible the men were allowed to go on shore, in order
that they might visit the places of interest.

By January, 1817, the Dey of Algiers finally came to terms and signed a
new treaty, agreeing to the conditions required by the United States.
Captain Perry was soon afterwards ordered to sail for America, carrying
this new treaty with him. In March he arrived at Newport.


After so many months of cruising, Captain Perry was very glad to be
again in his own country.

He spent the next two years quietly at home with his family. He built a
snug little cottage in Narragansett, on the old Perry estate. This was
the same farm that had been purchased by the young Quaker, Edmund Perry,
so many years before. Here the family spent the summers.

Captain Perry was always fond of life in the country. He took many long
rides on horseback. Besides his horses, he had many other pets on the
farm. He and his three little sons spent a great deal of time taking
care of them.

The winters were passed in the house at Newport.


These were the happiest years of Oliver Perry's life, and he could not
help but be sorry, when, on March 31, 1819, he received a summons to go
to Washington.

Upon arriving there, the Secretary of the Navy told him of an expedition
that the government wished him to undertake.

He was to go to Venezuela, on the northern coast of South America. This
was a new republic which had formerly been a colony of Spain. Its
people were still fighting for their independence, just as the people of
the United States had fought against the king of England.

Small, fast-sailing war vessels, called privateers, had been fitted out
by this republic. These vessels were designed to capture Spanish
merchant ships, and were allowed to keep all the money that was obtained
from the prizes.

But it was not the Spanish ships alone which suffered from these
privateers. The desire for prize money led them to attack ships of other
nations. The American merchants had met with many losses in this way.

Captain Perry was to present claims for these losses, and also to
persuade the president of Venezuela to keep his privateers from preying
on American commerce. For this expedition, Perry was to have two
vessels, the sloop _John Adams_ and the schooner _Nonsuch_.

On July 15, 1819, he arrived at the mouth of the Orinoco River. Here he
was obliged to take the small schooner in order to go up the river and
reach the town of Angostura, which was then the Venezuelan capital. He
sent the _John Adams_ to Port Spain, on the island of Trinidad, one
hundred and fifty miles away. This vessel was ordered to wait there for
his return.

The voyage up the Orinoco was an interesting one. All along the shores
were vast tropical forests with overhanging trees full of birds of
brilliant colors. Luxuriant vines were festooned from limb to limb.
Flowers of all colors grew everywhere.

On the other hand, the trip was full of hardships. The heat was fearful
and the sand-flies, gnats, and mosquitoes were almost unbearable.

Soon after reaching Angostura many of the crew were taken ill with
yellow fever, but Perry would not leave until his mission was
accomplished. After three weeks of delay, he succeeded in getting the
promises for which he had come.

The schooner then sailed down the river, reaching the mouth on August
15th. On account of a high sea, to cross the bar that night would be a
dangerous undertaking, and the vessel was therefore anchored until

During the night, the wind freshened so much that the spray dashed into
the cabin where Captain Perry was sleeping. In the morning he awoke with
a cold chill and symptoms of yellow fever.

Every effort was made to reach the _John Adams_ as soon as possible.
Captain Perry grew rapidly worse. In the intense heat, his little
schooner cabin was most uncomfortable.

The winds were unfavorable and the progress of the little vessel was
slow. When within a mile of the _John Adams_, Captain Perry died. This
was on his thirty-fourth birthday, August 23, 1819.

He was buried on the island of Trinidad with military honors, and the
_John Adams_ brought back the sad news to the United States.

His death was regarded as a national calamity. The government sent a war
vessel to bring his body home. He was finally laid to rest at Newport,
where a granite monument marks his grave.

The feelings of his fellow officers were well expressed by Stephen
Decatur. Upon hearing of Perry's death, he said: "Sir! The American navy
has lost its brightest ornament!"


[Illustration: D.E. Farragut]



On July 5, 1801, in a rude cabin in Eastern Tennessee, David Glasgow
Farragut was born.

It was a wild and lonely place. For miles around the little farm,
nothing could be seen but woods. Few sounds could be heard save the
singing of birds and sometimes the cries of wild beasts.

There was already one child in the family, a boy, whose name was

George Farragut, the father, was a brave man. He was a Spaniard, and had
come to America during the Revolutionary War.

He was a lover of liberty, and for that reason he had taken up arms with
the colonists to help them win their independence from England.

After the close of the war, he had married a hardy frontier girl, and
had come to this wild place to make his home.

His life on the little clearing in the backwoods was one of toil and
frequent hardships. Every day he was busy chopping down trees, planting
crops, or hunting in the great forest.

The young wife, Elizabeth, was also busy, keeping her house and spinning
and making the clothes for herself, her husband, and her children.

Little David Farragut grew strong very fast.

He and William had no playmates, but they liked to run about under the
trees. They could not go far from the cabin, however, as there were both
wild beasts and Indians in the woods.

Sometimes the father would be away for several days, hunting wild game
for the family to eat. At such times, the mother and children would be
left alone.

One day a band of Indians came and tried to enter the cabin. The mother
sent the boys into the loft, where they crouched down close to the roof
and kept very still. Then, for hours, she guarded the door with an axe,
until, at last, something frightened the Indians and they went away.

When little David was about seven years old, his father was appointed by
the government to command a gunboat on the Mississippi. As his
headquarters were to be at New Orleans, the family moved to a plantation
on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain. This lake is near the city.

When not on duty on the gunboat, George Farragut was very fond of
sailing on the lake. He had a little sailboat in which he would take the
children, even in severe storms.

Sometimes the weather would be so bad that they couldn't come home; and
then they would sleep all night on the shore of some island. The father
would wrap the children in a sail, or cover them with dry sand to keep
them warm.

One day a neighbor told him that it was dangerous to take the children
on such trips. George Farragut replied, "Now is the time to conquer
their fears."

When fishing in the lake one morning, George Farragut saw a boat in
which there was an old man all alone. Pulling alongside, he found that
the stranger had become unconscious from the heat of the sun.

He was taken to the Farragut home, and, although he was nursed for some
time with the greatest of care and everything was done for him that
could be done, yet he grew no better.

Finally Mrs. Farragut also was taken very ill, and in a few days both
she and the stranger she had nursed so tenderly, died. This was a sad
day for the family of George Farragut.

Not long after the funeral, a stranger called at the Farragut house. He
said that his name was David Porter and that he was the son of the old
gentleman who had died there. He thanked George Farragut for his
kindness to his father, and offered to adopt one of the Farragut boys.

There were now five children in the family, and David's father was very
glad to accept this offer. The oldest son, William, already had a
commission as midshipman in the navy, and so it was decided that David
should be the one to go.

Captain Porter was at that time the commander of the naval station at
New Orleans. His handsome uniform, with its belt and shining buttons,
seemed very attractive to little David, and he was eager to go with his
new guardian.

David spent a few months with the Porter family in New Orleans. Then
Captain Porter took him to Washington and placed him in school there.

One day David was introduced to a great man, the Secretary of the Navy.
He asked the boy many questions, and was so pleased with his intelligent
answers that he said to him, "My boy, when you are ten years old I shall
make you a midshipman in the navy."

This was a proud moment for little David Farragut. The great man did not
forget his promise. The appointment came six months before the time that
was named. It was arranged that the lad should go with Captain Porter in
the frigate _Essex_.

It was several months, however, before the vessel was ready to sail. In
the meantime, David attended a school in Chester, Pennsylvania.


For a long time England had been at war with France. British men-of-war
and privateers were in the habit of attacking any vessel going to or
from the ports of France. More than this, the British government claimed
the right to search American vessels to see whether any English sailors
were on board.

Nor was this the worst. Numbers of American seamen were falsely accused
of being English deserters, and every year many were taken from their
own vessels and forced to serve on British ships.

The Americans tried to induce the British government to cease this
unjust treatment. They tried to settle the matter peaceably, but the
British were haughty and overbearing and would not agree to give up any
of their claims.

On June 18, 1812, things had gone so far that our country was obliged to
declare war against Great Britain. A squadron was fitted out and ordered
to cruise along the Atlantic coast, in order to protect American vessels
from the British.

Captain Porter's vessel, the _Essex_, was to be one of this fleet. It
was not ready, however, to sail with the others; but orders were given
that it should follow as soon as possible and join the squadron in the

If Captain Porter could not find the squadron, he was to do whatever he
thought best.

On October 28, 1812, the _Essex_ sailed down the Delaware River, and
through the bay into the ocean. There was a pennant flying from the
mast-head on which were the words, "Free Trade and Sailors' Rights." It
was for these things that Captain Porter was ready to fight. By his side
stood the little midshipman, David Farragut, in his shining uniform.
There was no prouder boy in all America than he was on that day.


For several months, Captain Porter cruised about the Atlantic. He
captured several English vessels, and then, as he could not find the
American squadron, he decided to make a trip around Cape Horn, and
cruise in the Pacific.

The passage around Cape Horn is one of the most dangerous in the world,
but Captain Porter was not afraid. The _Essex_ was one of the best ships
in the navy, and the crew had been drilled very thoroughly.

Sometimes Captain Porter sounded a false alarm of fire on shipboard.
This was to test the courage of the men and prepare them for accidents.
Sometimes he even caused a smoke to be made. The sailors soon became so
accustomed to a cry of "Fire" that it caused no confusion.

The courage of the crew was severely tried in going around Cape Horn.
The weather was bitterly cold, and for twenty-one days the ship was
buffeted by furious storms.

By this time the provisions were almost gone. Each man had but a small
daily allowance of bread and water. Little David Farragut was having his
first real experience as a sailor.

From Cape Horn, Captain Porter sailed north along the west coast of
South America, and stopped at an island near the coast of Chili. The
sailors went on shore with their guns and killed some wild hogs and
horses. They were in such need of fresh meat that they ate even the
flesh of the horses with great relish.

For months the _Essex_ cruised about in the beautiful Pacific. Captain
Porter captured several English vessels, and warned American
whaling-ships of danger. Some of these had been at sea for many months
and had not heard of the war.

Sometimes the _Essex_ would stop at an island, and the crew would go on
shore to kill seals; sometimes they would anchor in shallow bays and
fish for cod.

On one solitary island there was a strange postoffice, a box nailed to a
tree. Here passing vessels would leave messages and letters, to be taken
up by other vessels that chanced to be going in the right direction.

The _Essex_ stopped at this island for some time. The crew found prickly
pears to eat. They killed pigeons, which the cook made into pies, and
they made soup of the turtles they caught. Those were great days for
David Farragut.

The _Essex_ finally left this island in May, 1813. Soon more English
vessels were sighted and captured. One of these was to be taken to
Valparaiso, and Captain Porter put David Farragut in charge of it. The
young commander was then but twelve years of age.

The gray-haired English captain was very angry at having to take orders
from a boy. He tried to ignore David, and when he failed in this,
attempted to frighten him. He threatened to shoot any man who obeyed
David's orders, and went below for his pistols.

David knew that the American sailors were loyal to him. So he sent word
to the captain that if he did not obey, he would have him thrown

After this there was no more trouble. David brought the vessel into the
port of Valparaiso in safety. He soon afterward rejoined the _Essex_.

Captain Porter now decided to go to some islands far out in the
Pacific, where he could refit the ship.

As the _Essex_ approached one of these islands, she was met by a canoe
filled with natives. The bodies of these people were tattooed, and they
were gayly ornamented with feathers. They invited the sailors on shore,
and promised to give them fruit and provisions.

During the six weeks that were occupied in refitting the ship, the
sailors rested on the island. David and the other boys of the crew were
given lessons by the ship's chaplain each day, and when school hours
were over, they were allowed to visit the islanders.

The young natives taught the American boys many things. They showed them
how to walk on stilts, and how to use a spear skillfully and with ease.
Best of all, they taught them how to swim. The people of this island
could swim as easily as they could walk. Even the babies could float in
the water like ducks.

The _Essex_ left this island in December, 1813, and sailed for


One day in the following February, two English war vessels appeared in
the harbor of Valparaiso. The _Essex_ was lying quietly at anchor, and
many of her crew were on shore.

The British vessels bore down upon the _Essex_ in a very hostile manner.
Captain Porter was afraid they would attack him. They had no right to do
this, for Chili was not at war with either England or America.

One of these British vessels was a frigate called the _Phoebe_. The
other was a sloop named the _Cherub_. The _Phoebe_ approached the
_Essex_ until she was within fifteen feet of her side.

Captain Porter, standing on the deck, hailed, saying: "If you touch a
single yardarm, I shall board you instantly!" The _Phoebe_ passed by
with no reply.

After this, the British vessels anchored at the entrance of the harbor.
They could thus keep the _Essex_ a prisoner.

The vessels remained in this position for several weeks. On the 28th of
March, a furious gale sprang up. The cables of the _Essex_ gave way,
and she began to drift out toward the English vessels. Captain Porter
now made a desperate effort to escape. He set all sails and made for the
open sea.

Suddenly something snapped. The main top-mast came crashing down,
carrying sails, rigging, and some of the crew into the water. In this
disabled condition escape was impossible. The _Essex_ was driven toward
the shore and was finally brought to anchor within pistol shot of the

The _Essex_ had but four guns that would shoot as far as the cannon of
the English. The _Phoebe_ and the _Cherub_ took a position out of range
of nearly all the _Essex_ guns, and then poured broadside after
broadside into the unfortunate vessel.

Captain Porter and his gallant crew fought against these odds until one
hundred and twenty-four of the men had been killed or wounded. Then the
_Essex_ surrendered.

During all this dreadful battle there was no braver officer than the
little midshipman, David Farragut. Sometimes he was carrying messages
for the captain; again, he was bringing powder for the guns.

Once when going down the hatchway a wounded man fell upon him. David
barely escaped being crushed to death.

Captain Porter was so pleased with his conduct that he mentioned his
bravery in his official dispatches to the government.

After the surrender the wounded were removed to shore. David offered his
services to the surgeons. He worked early and late, preparing bandages
and waiting upon the injured men.

In speaking of this afterward, he said, "I never earned Uncle Sam's
money so faithfully."

The British put all the American prisoners on board an unarmed vessel,
and made them promise that they would not take up arms against the
English until they had been exchanged for an equal number of English

After this the Americans were allowed to sail for the United States.
They arrived in the harbor of New York on July 7, 1814.


Although a prisoner of war, David Farragut was glad to get back to the
United States.

While waiting to be exchanged he attended a school in Chester,

It was a strange school. The pupils had no books. The teacher, Mr. Neif,
told them the things he wished them to learn, and the boys wrote them
down in notebooks. They would sometimes be examined on these notes to
see whether they had paid proper attention.

In the afternoons, Mr. Neif would take the boys for long walks. They
made collections of minerals and plants, and learned many curious and
useful facts about them.

Mr. Neif, who had been a soldier, gave the boys military drill. He also
taught them to swim and climb.

David Farragut was not a handsome boy. But people liked to look at him,
for his face was honest and good. He was short for his years, but he
stood very erect, and held his head as high as he could.

"I cannot afford to lose any of my inches," he said.

In November, 1814, the British and the Americans made an exchange of
prisoners, and David Farragut was now free to return to the navy. As a
treaty of peace was made a few weeks later, he did not have to serve
against the British.

During the next two years, David made but one short cruise. He was
quartered, the rest of the time, on a receiving ship. This is a vessel
stationed at the navy yards, where recruits are first received into the

In the spring of 1816, David went on a cruise that proved to be most
interesting. He was ordered to the _Washington_, a beautiful new ship of
seventy-four guns. This was to carry the American minister to Naples, in

While waiting at Annapolis for the minister they had a visit from the
President, James Madison. Among his suite was Captain Porter, who was
then a naval commissioner. He came to say good-bye to David.

The voyage across the Atlantic was one to be remembered. The captain
was very proud of his "crack" ship. He kept the crew so busy cleaning
decks and scouring "bright work," that sometimes they had no food for
eight hours at a time. Once all the crew were kept on deck for several
nights in succession.

During the summer months, the _Washington_ cruised about the
Mediterranean, stopping at many places. This was a wonderful experience
for David. He visited the bay of Naples. The great volcano, Vesuvius,
was then in eruption, and the sight of this alone was worth the voyage.

While in the bay, the king of Naples and the emperor of Austria made a
visit to the _Washington_, and a grand display was made to entertain

The _Washington_ stopped at the coast towns of Tunis, Tripoli, and
Algiers, and finally wintered in a Spanish harbor. The Spaniards were
very kind to the captain. They allowed him to use their navy yard, in
which to refit his vessel.

During all this cruise, the boys on the ship were taught by the
chaplain, Mr. Folsom.

He was very fond of David, and in the autumn of 1817, when he was
appointed consul to Tunis, he wrote to the captain of the _Washington_
for permission to take David with him.

This request was granted, and David spent a delightful year with his old
friend. He studied mathematics and English literature. He also learned
to speak French and Italian.

He and Mr. Folsom took many trips about the Mediterranean, and these
were of great benefit to him. In October, 1818, he returned to the
_Washington_, in which he cruised for another year.


While David Farragut was at a port in the Mediterranean, he was summoned
to America to take his examination for the lieutenancy. He was then
eighteen years of age.

In November, 1820, he arrived in New York, where he passed his
examination successfully. He did not receive any appointment, however,
for some time, as there were no vacancies in the navy. The next two
years were spent with the Porter family at Norfolk, Virginia.

In 1822, he sailed for a short time on a sloop of war, that was cruising
about the Gulf of Mexico. On his return to America, he learned that
Captain Porter was fitting out a fleet to cruise against the pirates of
the West Indies.

These robbers had small, fast-sailing ships. They would attack unarmed
merchant vessels, seize all the valuables they could carry away, and
destroy the remainder. Sometimes they killed the crew; at other times
they put them ashore on some desert island.

For years, Americans and English had been waging war against these
pirates, but without success. With their small boats the robbers would
run into the shallow bays and creeks, where no other vessels could
follow them; and so they had grown bolder and bolder every year.

Ever since peace had been declared with England, Captain Porter had been
a commissioner of the navy, and had made no sea voyages. But now he
offered to resign his position, and drive the pirates from the sea. He
said he would do this upon one condition. He must have a fleet of small
vessels that could follow the pirates into their lurking places.

The government accepted his offer, and gave him orders to fit out such a
fleet as he chose. He bought eight small schooners similar to those used
by the pirates. To these were added five large rowboats or barges, which
were called the Mosquito Fleet. David Farragut was assigned to one of
the vessels named the _Greyhound_.

This fleet of Captain Porter's had many encounters with the pirates. At
one time, when the _Greyhound_ was off the southern coast of Cuba, some
of the crew went on shore to hunt game, and were fired upon from the
thicket by pirates. The Americans returned this fire without effect, and
then went back to their ship.

Young Farragut was ordered to take a party of men to capture the
pirates, and at three o'clock the next morning they set out in the

After landing, David and his men tried to go around to a point at the
rear of the place where the pirates were supposed to be. This was no
easy thing to do. They had to cut their way through thickets of cactus,
thorny bushes, and trailing vines. Their shoes were cut from their feet
with walking over the sharp rocks; and the heat was so intense that some
of the men fainted.

At last they found the pirate camp. It was deserted. The robbers had
seen the _Greyhound_ and the barges, and had fled to some other hiding
place. In the camp, which was protected by several cannon, there were
some houses a hundred feet long. There was also an immense cave filled
with all kinds of goods taken from plundered vessels.

The sailors burned the houses, and carried the plunder and cannon to
their boats. The prize that David himself took away was a monkey, which
he had captured after a fierce struggle.

As the sailors were returning to their boats, they heard a great noise
in the thicket behind them, and thought that the pirates had come back
to attack them. David Farragut made a speech to his men. He urged them
to stand their ground and fight bravely. Imagine their surprise and
amusement at finding their foes to be thousands of land crabs, making
their way through the briars!

This was only one of many encounters that the Mosquito Fleet had with
the pirates. Through all the time, the American sailors suffered much
from yellow fever and exposure. David Farragut afterward said: "I never
owned a bed during my cruise in the West Indies, but lay down to rest
wherever I found the most comfortable berth."

The pirates were finally driven from the seas. Their boats were burned
or captured, and their camps destroyed.

While on this cruise, David got leave of absence to visit his sister in
New Orleans. She was the only one of the family still living at the old
home. It was hard for her to recognize in the stranger the boy who had
left home so long before.

When young Farragut was on his way to the north and within sight of
Washington, he was taken ill with yellow fever. He had nursed many a
poor sailor, and had hitherto escaped the disease.

After a short time spent in a Washington hospital, he was able to
return home. Soon afterward, he was married in Norfolk, Virginia, to
Susan Marchant. But it was nearly two years before he was entirely well,
and strong enough to resume his duties in the navy. In the meanwhile, he
and his bride spent much time with the family of Captain Porter.


In August, 1825, David Farragut at last received his commission as
lieutenant. He was ordered on board the ship _Brandywine_, the vessel
which was to have the honor of taking the Marquis de Lafayette to

This great Frenchman had always been a warm friend of the United States.
Fifty years before, he had taken a leading part in the Revolutionary
War, and had been one of General Washington's most trusted officers.

After the Revolution, he had returned to his home in sunny France. He
had always loved America, and in his old age he felt that he would like
to visit again the great nation which he had helped to establish. So in
1824, though old and gray, he had come back to America as the honored
guest of the nation.

From one end of the land to the other, his tour had been one grand
ovation. And now that he was to return home, the good ship _Brandywine_
was detailed to carry him safely across the Atlantic.

[Illustration: LAFAYETTE.]

The voyage was an uneventful one for Lieutenant Farragut. After landing
Lafayette in France, the _Brandywine_ cruised about the shores of
England and in the waters of the Mediterranean for about a year.

On his return to America, Lieutenant Farragut found that his wife was in
very poor health, and he obtained leave of absence from the navy, in
order that he might take her to a famous doctor in New Haven,

During his stay in that city, he regularly attended the lectures at Yale
College, for David Farragut never wasted an opportunity for
self-improvement. When his wife was better, they returned to Norfolk,
where he was placed in charge of the receiving ship in the navy yard.

Most of the boys on the ship were uneducated and did not know one letter
from another. Lieutenant Farragut therefore established a school on
board. This proved to be of great value to these poor boys.

One boy had run away from home to avoid going to school, and he was
determined that he would not study. It was only after many severe
punishments that he was conquered. When once started in the right
direction, he learned rapidly.

One day, seven years afterward, a fine-looking, well-dressed man stopped
David Farragut on the street. On being asked his name, the stranger
replied, "I have grown probably a foot since we parted, but do you not
remember the boy who once gave you so much trouble?"

"Oh yes," said Farragut, "but I should never have recognized him in

"Nevertheless," said the stranger, "I am the same, and am ready to
acknowledge you the greatest benefactor and friend I ever had in this
world of trouble."

After leaving the receiving ship, Lieutenant Farragut spent the next ten
years in short cruises along the South American coast and about the Gulf
of Mexico. During all this time his wife was an invalid, and her health
continued to fail until her death in 1840.

For two years before her death, Lieutenant Farragut was at home on leave
of absence. He could then be constantly with her and wait upon her.

In speaking of his devotion to his wife, a lady in Norfolk said: "When
Lieutenant Farragut dies, every woman in the city should bring a stone,
and build for him a monument reaching to the skies."

In 1841 promotion came to Farragut, and he received a commission as
commander in the navy.

In 1845, the state of Texas was annexed to the United States. This
brought about a dispute with Mexico concerning the southwestern
boundary of the state, and the result was a short war, in which the
Americans were victorious.

Commander Farragut was very anxious to serve his country in this Mexican
War, and wrote many letters to the Navy Department, asking for the
command of a ship. For a long time he waited in vain. When, at last, a
vessel was assigned to him, it was too late for him to do his country
any service. The war was about over, and there was no more work for the
navy to do.

From 1850 until 1852, he was employed in Washington, drawing up a book
of regulations for the navy. As when in New Haven he had attended the
lectures of Yale College, so now he attended those of the Smithsonian


"I have made it a rule of my life to do all things with a view to the
possible future. You cannot come away from such lectures without being
wiser than when you went in," he said. When the book of regulations was
finished, he went back to the navy yard at Norfolk, where he gave a
series of lectures on gunnery to the officers.

About this time, England and France were at war with Russia. Farragut
applied to Congress for permission to visit the English and French
fleets engaged in this war. He wished to see whether he could learn of
any improvements that could be made in the American navy.

But Congress had other work for him to do. There was to be a new navy
yard built on the Pacific coast, at San Francisco. This would be a
difficult task, and one requiring the services of a man having great
knowledge and experience. No one was better fitted to undertake it than
the lieutenant who had been so eager to make use of every opportunity
for improvement.

In August, 1854, he was accordingly sent to California. Some time before
this, he had married a second wife, Virginia Loyall, of Norfolk, and she
accompanied him to the Pacific coast. There were then no railroads
across the great western plains, and they went by ship to the isthmus
of Panama. After crossing the isthmus, they embarked upon a coasting
vessel, and sailed to San Francisco.

Commander Farragut spent four years in laying the foundations of what is
to-day the great navy yard on Mare Island, about thirty miles from San

Before this work was completed he was promoted to the rank of captain.
This was, at that time, the highest rank in the United States navy.

In July, 1858, Captain Farragut returned home. He was given, at once,
the command of the _Brooklyn_. It had been ten years since he had been
on a war vessel, and he found many changes. His ship had steam power as
well as sails. It was one of the first steam war vessels built for the

The arrangement of the guns was the same as in the old sailing sloops.
But they were much larger, and of different shape. Explosive shells were
used instead of solid cannon balls.

The _Brooklyn_ cruised for two years in the Atlantic and the Gulf of
Mexico. While on this cruise, Captain Farragut again visited New
Orleans, for he wished to see his brother who was on duty at the naval
station there. A sorrowful welcome awaited him, however, for his brother
had died just before his arrival. The captain sadly returned to his
ship, and soon afterward sailed home to Norfolk.


In 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War, the United States navy had
but ninety vessels of all kinds. Twenty-one of these were not fit for
service. Only eleven of those in commission were in American waters. The
rest, which were scattered all over the world, were recalled at once.

Some of those in far away ports were commanded by southern captains, and
it would take them several months to reach America.

It was feared that they would take their vessels into southern ports,
and turn them over to the Confederate government. These fears, however,
were groundless, for all the vessels were safely brought into northern
ports. With few exceptions, all the naval officers were loyal to the
United States.

Of all these naval officers, none was more loyal than Captain Farragut.
In his home in Virginia, he had watched the growing troubles with a sad
heart. He was a southerner by birth, and his most tender ties were in
Virginia. It was there that he had spent many years with the Porter
family, and there he had numerous friends. It was there, also, that he
had married and made his home.

He knew that, should war break out, he would be called upon to choose
between his friends in the South, and his government in the North.

"God forbid," he said, "that I should have to raise my hand against the
South." These very words showed that his decision had been made.

He felt that he owed his first allegiance to the United States
government, which had given him his education, employment, and rank. He
could not take up arms against the flag of his country. It was under
this flag that he had received his first commission as midshipman. In
that proud moment he had taken his oath to die in its defense.

On the ocean, he had seen the proudest colors lowered to the victorious
stars and stripes. At Valparaiso, he had stood on the bloody deck of the
_Essex_, and had seen men give their lives in order that the flag should
not be hauled down. He had traveled from ocean to ocean, and had seen
the star spangled banner respected by all nations.

For some weeks before the actual beginning of war, there was much
excitement in Norfolk. Every day the men met together in the stores to
talk over the latest news, and there were many lively discussions among
them. In these meetings, Captain Farragut boldly asserted his loyalty to
the government, and this caused him the loss of many of his friends.

One morning, when in discussion with some officers, one of them said to
him, "A person of your sentiments cannot live in Norfolk."

"Well, then," he calmly replied, "I can live somewhere else."

He felt that the time for action had come. He went home at once, and
told his wife that he was going to "stick to the flag," and that they
must move to the North.

With sad hearts, they sailed away from Norfolk.

They went to New York, and made their home on the Hudson, in a town
called Hastings.

Even there, Captain Farragut met with a cold reception. The people were
suspicious of the southern officer who had come to live among them. They
did not consider the great sacrifice that he had made in leaving home
and friends.

Determined to do his duty, he wrote to offer his services to the
government. Congress could not, at once, accept them. No minor position
could be given to Captain Farragut; it must be one full of

It was not long, however, until the government had need of his services.
The Mississippi River separated two large sections of the southern
states, and its control was of the greatest importance to both the North
and the South.

At the beginning of the war, all the river from Cairo, Illinois, to the
Gulf, was controlled by the South. The capture of the upper forts in
this section was first attempted by the North.

Large armies marched against them by land, and a fleet of river gunboats
sailed down from the north to assist them. These gunboats were river
steamers which the government had covered with plates of iron and armed
with cannon.

While the northern river forts were thus being attacked, an expedition
was planned to capture the fortifications near the river's mouth.

The strongest of these were Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. These were
between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico, and their capture would give
New Orleans to the North. This was considered a very important

After much discussion, the Navy Department decided that Captain Farragut
was best fitted to command this expedition. So Commander David D. Porter
was sent to Hastings to talk the matter over with him. This commander
was the son of the Captain Porter who had adopted David Farragut when a

When Captain Farragut heard of the proposed expedition he was very
enthusiastic. He hurried at once to Washington, where he was appointed
commander of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron. This was in January,
1862. His orders were to capture Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and take
New Orleans.

A few weeks before this an event took place which came near making
serious trouble for the United States. The Confederate government had
appointed two commissioners, John Slidell and James Mason, to go to
England to see if they could not get help from that country.

As it would be dangerous for them to sail in a Confederate vessel, they
went to Havana, Cuba, where they took passage in an English vessel named
the _Trent_.

Although they had tried to do this very secretly, Captain Wilkes,
commanding a warship of the United States, heard about it, and
determined to capture these men, if possible. So he pursued the _Trent_
and obliged her to stop.

The Confederate commissioners refused to leave the _Trent_, and,
therefore, Captain Wilkes sent an armed force on board and carried them
off. He then took them to Boston harbor, where they were imprisoned in a
fort of the United States.

This act caused great indignation in England, and it was only through
the prompt and wise action of President Lincoln and Congress that war
was averted. An apology was made and the Confederate commissioners were
allowed to proceed on their voyage without further molestation.


On the 2d of February, 1862, Captain Farragut sailed from Hampton Roads
in his flagship, the _Hartford_. This was one of the new sloops of war
having both steam and sails.

All the vessels of this expedition were to meet at Ships Island, about
one hundred miles from the mouth of the Mississippi. When Captain
Farragut arrived there on February 20th, he found only a part of his
fleet awaiting him. The other vessels arrived one by one.

This was the most powerful squadron that had ever been under an American
commander. It consisted of steam sloops, gunboats, and mortar boats,
forty-eight vessels in all.

An army of fifteen thousand men was at hand to assist Captain Farragut.
This army had been brought from the North on transports, and was under
the command of General Benjamin F. Butler.

[Illustration: THE HARTFORD.]

In the channel, at the mouth of the Mississippi, were heavy mud banks,
made of deposits brought down by the stream. To take the large vessels
over this bar was Captain Farragut's first great task. The water was so
shallow that the keels of the ships would sometimes stick in the mud,
and then it was with the greatest of difficulty that they could be
hauled off.

It was the 18th of April before all the vessels were in the river and
ready to attack the forts; and in the meanwhile, a great naval battle
had been fought in other waters.

The Confederates had captured the Norfolk navy yard, and with it the
United States vessel _Merrimac_, which was there at the time. They
removed the masts of this vessel, and then fitted her with an iron prow,
and built sloping sides over the deck, covering them with iron rails
laid closely together side by side.

Five of the best Northern war vessels lay in the bay outside of the

On March 8th, 1862, the _Merrimac_ attacked this fleet. She drove her
iron prow straight through the side of the _Cumberland_. This vessel
sank almost immediately, and but few of the men were saved.

Then the _Merrimac_ attacked the _Congress_, drove her ashore, and set
her on fire with red hot shot. Meanwhile, broadside after broadside had
been fired at the _Merrimac_; but the shot bounded harmlessly from her
sloping iron sides.

Night came on, and before attempting to destroy the other three ships,
the black monster waited for the daylight.

There was consternation all through the North. How could a stop be made
to this fearful work of the _Merrimac_? There was no telling what she
might do on the morrow.

That same night there steamed into Chesapeake Bay a queer looking little
vessel which had been built by a famous mechanic, Captain John Ericsson.
She was named the _Monitor_. She had a low, flat deck, pointed at both
ends. In the center was a round, revolving turret. The vessel was
completely plated over with iron, and in the turret were two enormous
guns, larger than any that had ever been used before.

[Illustration: CONFEDERATE FLAG.]

On the morning of March 9th, when the _Merrimac_ steamed out to finish
her work of destruction, a stupendous cannon ball came thundering
against her black side. As the turret of the little _Monitor_ swung
round, there came another and another,--such a battering as never
ship's side had felt before that day.

The broadsides returned by the _Merrimac_ fell harmlessly on the flat
deck and iron turret of the _Monitor_.

This battle lasted for nearly three hours. Neither vessel was injured to
any extent. Finally the _Merrimac_ withdrew, leaving the _Monitor_ in
possession of the bay.

In one respect, this was the most wonderful battle ever fought upon the
water. It showed to all the nations of the world that new navies must be
built. In one day all the war-ships in the world had become
old-fashioned. The days for wooden war vessels were over.

Let us now return to Captain Farragut. As I have said, by the 18th of
April he had succeeded in taking all his vessels over the bar of the
Mississippi. But still greater difficulties were ahead of him.

Before he could capture New Orleans, he must pass the two forts, Jackson
and St. Philip, on opposite banks of the river. First of all, however,
he must break through a barricade which was below the forts. This
reached from shore to shore, and was made of old hulks of vessels and
cypress logs, fastened together with huge iron chains.


Should the barricade be broken and the forts passed, there was still a
Confederate fleet to be overcome. This consisted of fifteen ships,
gunboats, and steam rams similar to the _Merrimac_. They were drawn up
across the river above the forts. Captain Farragut was not discouraged
by any of these things, but began at once to carry out his plans.

All along the banks of the river were thick woods. The forts themselves
were almost hidden by the trees. Captain Farragut stationed his mortar
boats close to the banks, below the chain barricade; and, in order that
they might be better hidden from the forts, large branches of trees had
been tied to the tops of the masts.

This mortar flotilla was commanded by Captain Porter. The mortars could
throw thirteen-inch shells for a distance of two miles.

Captain Farragut's plan was to send these mortar boats forward to
bombard the forts, while the other vessels, breaking through the chains,
should sail boldly up the river.

On the morning of April 18th, the shells from the mortars began to rain
down upon the forts. For six days and nights this firing never ceased.
The answering shots from the forts did but little harm. The
Confederates could not take aim at boats which they could not see.

Meanwhile, two of Captain Farragut's gunboats crept up the river at
night, and broke a passage through the chain barricade. Then, on the
night of April 23d, the entire fleet sailed through this opening and
boldly attacked the forts.

The whole river was at once a scene of confusion. Every gun, both of the
forts and of the Confederate fleet, which had hastened down the river,
was sending shot and shell into the Union fleet.

The Confederates piled every kind of inflammable material upon huge
rafts, set them on fire, and sent them floating down the river. They
hoped, in this way, to burn the invading fleet. The river was a blaze of
light. The din from the cannon was terrible.

But Captain Farragut and his vessels kept steadily on. They passed the
forts, and destroyed or captured every vessel in the Confederate fleet.
This was accomplished with the loss of but one ship of the Union

When the news of this victory reached New Orleans, the whole city was
thrown into wild confusion. Men, women, and children rushed to the levee
and set fire to the goods there.

Everything that would burn was set on fire, and sent down the river to
meet the victorious fleet that was coming. Ships loaded with burning
cotton, and even a half-finished ram like the _Merrimac_ floated down
stream, a mass of flames.

[Illustration: GENERAL B.F. BUTLER.]

About noon on April 25th, the fleet rounded the bend of the river, and
came in sight of the city. That same morning, the mayor of New Orleans
had ordered the state flag of Louisiana to be hoisted upon the city

Captain Farragut demanded that this should be hauled down. He also
ordered that the stars and stripes should be raised over the buildings
belonging to the United States government.

Meanwhile, Commander Porter with his mortar boats had been steadily
bombarding Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. On April 28th, these forts
surrendered, and the Union forces took possession.

On the following day, the flag of the United States was floating over
the city hall of New Orleans. General Butler and his troops took
possession of the city on the first of May.

On the 11th of July, on the recommendation of President Lincoln,
Congress passed a resolution thanking Captain Farragut for what he had
done; and a few days later he was further rewarded by being raised to
the rank of rear-admiral.


After the capture of New Orleans, Admiral Farragut was ordered at once
to proceed up the river. He was to pass, or to attack and capture, all
the Confederate forts between New Orleans and Memphis.

But for many reasons, he thought it unwise to attempt this expedition.

The increasing shallowness of the river would make it almost impossible
to use his best sea-going vessels. The upper forts were located on high
bluffs, and it would be difficult to attack them from the river.

Admiral Farragut knew that, should he be able to pass these forts, or
even to silence their guns, he could not hold them without a large land
force. But he was too good a soldier to do anything in disobedience to

[Illustration: GENERAL N.P. BANKS.]

In the face of all these difficulties, he passed and repassed the forts
at Vicksburg and Port Hudson. He made it plain to the Confederates that
none of their batteries on the Mississippi could stop the movements of
his fleet. But he found, as he had expected, that the forts could not be
held until armies came to his assistance.

A large land force under General Grant besieged Vicksburg until it
surrendered on July 4, 1863. Five days later, an army under General
Nathaniel P. Banks succeeded in capturing Port Hudson.

These were the last Confederate strongholds on the Mississippi. Their
capture gave to the Union forces the entire control of the river.

The command of the Mississippi squadron was given to David D. Porter,
who had likewise been rewarded with the rank of rear admiral. He took
charge of all the river boats of the fleet, while Farragut, with most of
the sea-going vessels, sailed for the Atlantic coast.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL DAVID D. PORTER.]

These vessels were all in need of repairs. His flagship, the _Hartford_,
which was in the best condition of all, had two hundred and forty scars
from shot and shell.

After the loss of New Orleans, Mobile was the best Gulf port left to the
Confederates. This city stands at the head of the broad, shallow bay of
Mobile, thirty miles from the Gulf.

The entrance to the bay is very narrow, and it was protected by two
strong forts,--Fort Morgan on one side, and Fort Gaines on the other.

Admiral Farragut was ordered to capture these forts. This would prevent
the South from using the port of Mobile.

On January 18th, 1864, his ships having been repaired, Captain Farragut
sailed again into the Gulf of Mexico.

He was anxious to make the attack early in the spring, but it was August
before his fleet was ready.

In the meantime, the Confederates had made their fortifications
stronger. The only channel through which the vessels could pass was near
Fort Morgan. The Confederates strengthened this fort with every defense

A double line of torpedoes, or submarine mines, was stretched across the
channel. Above this, lay the Confederate fleet. One of these vessels,
the _Tennessee_, was a huge iron ram like the _Merrimac_.

The squadron of Admiral Farragut was a strong one. There were
twenty-four wooden war vessels and four ironclads like the _Monitor_.

On the night of August 4th, every preparation was made for the attack.
The seamen, with determined faces, gave their messages and keep-sakes to
their messmates, for they hardly expected to come out of this fray

Admiral Farragut, himself, made all his arrangements for the worst,
though hoping for the best. He wrote to his wife, "I am going into
Mobile in the morning, if God is my leader, as I hope He is, and in Him
I place my trust. If He thinks it is the place for me to die, I am ready
to submit to His will. God bless and preserve you, if anything should
happen to me."

At sunrise the fleet moved steadily toward Fort Morgan, the stars and
stripes flying from every masthead.

The four ironclads were sent ahead, close to the forts. The wooden war
vessels followed, lashed together in pairs. This was done so that if one
vessel became disabled it could be towed by the other. Farragut wished
to lead the fleet in his flagship, the _Hartford_, but his officers
dissuaded him, and the _Brooklyn_ went first, the _Hartford_ following.

The admiral climbed up in the rigging, where he could command a view of
the entire fleet. As the shells from the forts began to fall about the
vessels, he climbed higher and higher, in order to see above the smoke.

Fearing that a shot would cut the ropes, one of his officers climbed up
to him and wound a rope around his body. The end of this was secured to
the mast.

The ironclad _Tecumseh_ was now leading the fleet. Suddenly there was a
muffled explosion. The stern of the _Tecumseh_ rose out of the water and
she plunged bow foremost to the bottom of the channel.

At this, the _Brooklyn_ stopped, and with reversed engines began to back
water. Admiral Farragut signaled, and asked, "What's the trouble?"
"Torpedoes," was the reply.

This was the critical moment of the battle. The backing of the
_Brooklyn_ caused confusion among the vessels following so closely upon
each other. There was tremendous cheering and firing from the
Confederates. They were sure that the victory was theirs.

A signal was made to the _Brooklyn_ to go ahead, but she remained

What should be done? To remain there, under the guns of the fort, with
the other vessels coming up behind, was out of the question. Ahead lay
the dreaded line of torpedoes. Everything depended upon prompt decision.

Admiral Farragut ordered the _Hartford_ to go ahead, "full speed." She
passed the _Brooklyn_, and made straight for the mines that had sunk the
_Tecumseh_. As they crossed the line of torpedoes, the sailors could
hear them grating against the hull of the vessel. None of them exploded,
however, and the _Hartford_ passed the fatal line in safety.

The effect of this daring deed was wonderful. Men sprang to the guns,
and the air was filled with the roar of cannon. The other vessels all
followed the _Hartford_ across the torpedoes, into the bay. They then
attacked the Confederate fleet, and soon either captured or destroyed
all but the ram _Tennessee_. This vessel had taken refuge under the guns
of Fort Morgan.

Admiral Farragut then anchored about four miles up the bay. While his
men were having breakfast the iron ram steamed out boldly from the fort
to attack the whole fleet.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL BUCHANAN.]

Admiral Buchanan, the commander of the Confederate fleet, was a brave
officer. Not until after a fierce combat, which lasted over an hour, was
he forced to surrender the _Tennessee_.

This ended the battle of Mobile Bay. "It was one of the hardest earned
victories of my life, and the most desperate battle I ever fought since
the days of the _Essex_," said Farragut.

Not quite three hours had passed from the time that Fort Morgan fired
its first gun until the _Tennessee_ surrendered.

With the Confederate fleet destroyed, and Mobile Bay in possession of
Farragut, the forts were soon captured.

While Farragut had been winning these victories in the Gulf, a very
brilliant naval battle had been fought off the coast of France.


During the whole of the war, England had allowed the Confederates to fit
out armed cruisers in her harbors, and to send them out to prey upon the
United States commerce. The most famous of these cruisers was the
_Alabama_, commanded by Captain Raphael Semmes. For two years this
vessel had roamed the sea, burning and destroying nearly forty United
States merchantmen, but always eluding the war vessels.

At last, in June, 1864, the United States war vessel _Kearsarge_
discovered this enemy in the harbor of Cherbourg, France. As it would
have been against the laws of nations to fight a battle in the harbor,
the _Kearsarge_ remained outside to prevent the _Alabama_ from getting

Finally on Sunday, June 19th, the _Alabama_ suddenly put to sea and
attacked the _Kearsarge_. The vessels were evenly matched.

The battle following was terrific. But the crew of the _Kearsarge_
proved to be the better marksmen, and after an hour's furious fighting
the _Alabama_ suddenly gave a great lurch and plunged to the bottom of
the ocean: The crew were picked up by the _Kearsarge_ and some English
vessels which happened to be near.


After the surrender of the forts, Farragut remained in Mobile Bay until
the following November. His health was suffering from his labors and the
effects of the southern climate.

At this time, the Navy Department requested him to take command of an
expedition against Fort Fisher. This greatly disturbed him, and he wrote
to the Secretary of the Navy that his strength was exhausted.

"I am willing," he said, "to do the bidding of the government as long as
I am able. I fear, however, that my health is giving way. I have now
been down to the Gulf five years out of six, and I want rest if it is to
be had."

When the Secretary of the Navy realized the condition of his health,
Admiral Farragut was granted the much needed furlough.

Leaving his squadron in charge of an efficient officer, he sailed north
in November, 1864. As his flagship entered New York harbor, it was met
by a committee of city officials and citizens. Enthusiastic crowds
greeted him as he landed, and a reception in his honor was held at the

A few days later, a committee of citizens sent him a request to make his
home in New York. With this request came a gift of $50,000. In December,
Congress created for him the grade of vice-admiral. All these honors
were gratefully and modestly acknowledged by him.

In the spring of 1865 peace was declared, and Admiral Farragut went for
a visit to Norfolk. He found that many of his old acquaintances still
felt very unfriendly towards him for having taken up arms against the
South. Although this pained him deeply, he said that he had never
regretted having done his duty.

In 1866, the government gave him the title of Admiral. This title made
him commander of the whole American navy. It was a rank created
especially for him. The government could give him no higher honor.

In 1867, he was appointed commander of the European squadron. Without
any request from him, the government sent permission for Mrs. Farragut
to accompany him on this cruise. On June 28th, they sailed from New York
on the steam frigate _Franklin_.

This foreign cruise was more like the triumphal progress of a king than
the official visit of a naval commander. He dined with the emperor of
France and the queen of England. He visited the ports of Russia,
Holland, and Belgium. He sailed again through the blue Mediterranean,
visiting the places he had seen on his former cruise. A special
excavation of the buried Pompeii was made for his benefit. At Malta, a
grand reception was held in his honor.

But most of all, he enjoyed a visit to his father's Spanish birthplace.
This was in the island of Minorca, just off the eastern coast of Spain.

He was to visit the little city on the day before Christmas. The news of
his coming had spread rapidly to all parts of the island, and a general
holiday had been proclaimed.

At every village on the way crowds of men and women came to meet him and
bid him welcome. All along the route soldiers had been stationed to pay
him honor, and give him any assistance that he might need.

Four miles from the city gates he was met by a large committee of
citizens, and transferred to a handsome carriage.

The city walls, housetops, and balconies were crowded with men, women,
and children. One old man, with tears streaming down his face, shouted:
"He is ours! He is ours!"

The admiral was entertained at the mansion of one of the prominent
citizens. A band of music played in the vestibule, while the people came
in crowds.

Early the next day, surrounded by an excited throng, he was escorted to
all the places of interest. They finally went to the great cathedral,
where the organ pealed forth the American national airs.

This was the last place the admiral visited before his return to
America. He landed in New York, November 10th, 1868.

The following summer, he made a trip to the Pacific coast, to visit the
navy yard at Mares Island. You will remember that, years before, he had
laid the foundations of this navy yard.

Returning from San Francisco to the East, he was taken very ill in
Chicago. By careful nursing he was able to resume the journey. But he
never regained his lost strength, and his health continued steadily to

The following summer the Navy Department placed a steamer at his
disposal, and with his family he visited Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

This was his last sea voyage. As the ship came into harbor, he arose
from his sick bed at the sound of the salute being fired in his honor.

Dressed in full uniform, he went on deck. Looking up with a sad smile at
his flag flying from the masthead, he said: "It would be well if I died
_now_ in harness."

Shortly after his arrival he wandered on board a dismantled sloop, lying
at the wharf. He looked about the ship, and, as he left her to go
ashore, he said: "This is the last time I shall ever tread the deck of a
man of war."

This proved to be true. On August 14th, 1870, surrounded by his family
and loving friends, he died. He was sixty-nine years old.

The government sent a steam frigate to take his body to New York. On the
day of his funeral, the whole city was in mourning. The buildings were
draped in black. Bells were tolled and guns fired.

His body was laid in Woodlawn Cemetery. Heading the procession was
General Grant, then the President of the United States. Following were
many military and naval officers, and thousands of soldiers.

The government erected a bronze statue in his honor. This is in the
national capital, in Farragut Square.

Thus ends the story of the life of America's first admiral, the story of
a man who won fame and glory by constant effort for self-improvement and
strict adherence to duty.



[Illustration: George Dewey]



On the 23d of April, 1898, war was declared between the United States
and Spain. To understand how this came about, we must go back a great
many years.

Ever since the island of Cuba was discovered by Columbus in 1492, the
one thought of the Spaniards has been to gain wealth from the island
without giving anything in return.

For many years, most of the Cubans have been little better off than
slaves. They have always been very poor and have had to do the hard work
on the plantations and in the cities. At best, they have never been able
to make much more than enough to pay the taxes imposed upon them by the
Spanish government.

The island has been ruled by governors sent out from Spain. Many of
these have been very bad men whose only desire has been to get rich and
return home. For a long time the Cubans have wished to choose their own
governors, and they have frequently tried, by force, to secure the right
to do this.

From 1868 to 1878, there was a rebellion known as the "Ten Years' War."
But, one by one, the insurgent bands were scattered and their leaders
killed. This war left Cuba with a heavy debt, and the people poorer than

The conduct of the Spaniards, after this war, was more cruel and
oppressive than before. Fifty thousand soldiers were sent to the island
to preserve peace. The people were forced to pay for the support of this
army, and the taxes were almost unendurable.

At last, in 1895, some of the Cubans resolved to stand it no longer.
They formed an army whose watchword was "Cuba Libre," meaning "Free
Cuba," and began another war with Spain.

The Spanish governor, General Campos, tried in vain to conquer these
insurgents, and was finally recalled to Spain. General Weyler, who was
sent in his place, proved to be a very cruel man.

He surrounded the larger towns with trenches and barbed wire fences, and
built wooden forts or blockhouses for his soldiers. Into these fortified
towns, thousands upon thousands of poor country people were driven,
their homes having been burned and their fields destroyed.

The sufferings of these poor people were terrible. They were huddled
together in sheds and huts without the means even of obtaining food.
Sometimes several families were packed into one little palm-leaf hut
where they had foul air, foul water, and almost nothing to eat.
Thousands of men, women, and children died from starvation and disease.

General Weyler hoped by these cruel means to starve the insurgents into
submission, but the war went on just as before. Throughout the island a
terrible work of destruction was carried on by both the insurgents and
the Spaniards. Railroads were destroyed, and buildings and plantations
were burned.

The people of the United States had heard of all these things, but for a
long time did not do anything to stop them. But when the American consul
at Havana, General Fitzhugh Lee, reported that many Americans were among
the starving, they could endure it no longer. Food and supplies were
sent through the Red Cross Society, and a little of the suffering was
thus relieved.

Matters grew steadily worse in the island until President McKinley felt
obliged to warn the Spanish government that they must soon end the war.
He declared that if this was not done, the United States would recognize
Cuba as an independent country.

Spain became alarmed at this, and, in October, 1897, the cruel Weyler
was recalled, and General Blanco was sent in his place. This new
governor tried to stop the war by granting to the Cubans some of the
rights they demanded. He allowed them to hold some of the offices. He
released the American political prisoners, and set free the starving
country people.

But it was too late. The crops had been destroyed and the people could
not get a living. The Cuban army would not be satisfied with anything
less than independence, and so the fighting continued.

[Illustration: THE MAINE.]

At last an event took place which aroused the people of the United
States to a deeper interest in Cuba than before. The United States
battleship _Maine_, commanded by Captain C.D. Sigsbee, had been sent on
a friendly visit to Havana. On the 15th of February, 1898, while lying
in the harbor, she was destroyed by a fearful explosion. Two hundred and
sixty-six officers and men were killed.

President McKinley immediately appointed a committee to find out, if
possible, the cause of the disaster. These men reported that the _Maine_
was destroyed by a submarine mine; but they could not find out who had
placed it in the harbor or who had exploded it.


There was intense excitement all over the United States during this
investigation. Senator Proctor and others went to Cuba to see for
themselves if the reports of the suffering there were true. When they
came back, they told the people what they had seen. Senator John M.
Thurston made a speech in Congress in which he said:

"I never saw so pitiful a sight as the people at Matanzas. I can never
forget the hopeless anguish in their eyes. They did not ask for alms as
we went among them. Men, women, and children stood silent, starving.
Their only appeal came from their sad eyes.

"The government of Spain has not and will not give a dollar to save
these people. They are being helped by the charity of the United States.
Think of it! We are feeding these citizens of Spain; we are nursing
their sick; and yet there are people who say that it is right to send
food, but that we must keep hands off. I say that the time has come when
muskets should go with the food."

Most of the members of Congress agreed with Senator Thurston. On the
19th of April, 1898, they passed a resolution authorizing President
McKinley to use the army and navy of the United States to force Spain to
abandon all claim to the island of Cuba.

Spain was not willing to give up her control of the Cubans, and
therefore war was formally declared. It was only a few days until actual
hostilities began.

It is the purpose of the following chapters to relate the story of the
short but decisive struggle which followed. In that struggle the navy of
the United States bore by far the largest share, and it is therefore of
the navy and of the brave officers who commanded it that we shall have
the most to say.



On the morning of May 1, 1898, in the harbor of Manila, one of the most
remarkable naval victories in the history of the world was won by the
United States. The Spanish fleet, though superior in both men and guns,
was entirely destroyed, and hundreds of officers and men were made
prisoners. All this was accomplished by an American squadron under
Commodore George Dewey, without the loss of a ship or a man. The way in
which it all came about was as follows:

When war was declared between the United States and Spain, Commodore
George Dewey was at Hong Kong, China, with that part of our navy which
was known as the Asiatic squadron. He was at once ordered to sail to the
Philippines, and capture or destroy the Spanish fleet there. These
Philippine Islands are about six hundred miles southeast of Hong Kong.
Their capital and largest city is Manila, on the island of Luzon.

As Commodore Dewey sailed out of the bay at Hong Kong, he signaled to
his fleet: "Keep cool and obey orders."

[Illustration: MAP OF MANILA BAY.]

At a little before midnight, on the 30th of April, the American vessels
in single file, led by the flagship _Olympia_, steamed between the forts
which guarded the entrance to the bay of Manila.

In order not to be seen from these forts, all the lights on the vessels
were hidden. Silently and steadily the vessels moved on, unseen by the

All of the fleet except the _Boston_ and _McCulloch_ had passed in
safety, when the soot in the smokestack of the _McCulloch_ caught fire.
Instantly the guns of one of the Spanish batteries were turned upon the
fleet. The _Boston_ and _McCulloch_ returned the fire, but kept on their
way and were soon out of range, having received no injury.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL MONTOJO.]

When day broke, Commodore Dewey found the entire Spanish fleet drawn up
under the protection of the batteries of the Cavité naval station about
nine miles from the city of Manila. It was commanded by Admiral Patricio
Montojo, one of the ablest officers in the Spanish service.

At about five o'clock, with the flagship leading, the Americans bore
down upon the Spanish. Suddenly there was a muffled roar, and a
submarine mine exploded. But, in the excitement, the Spaniards had
fired it too soon, and no damage was done.

This was soon followed by the explosion of another mine, but again the
Spaniards had been in too great haste, and the _Olympia_ escaped

Although Commodore Dewey did not know but that many other torpedoes
might be in his path, he never hesitated. He had been in the battle of
Mobile Bay with Farragut, when that brave commander had sailed boldly
over a line of torpedoes.

Soon the guns of the batteries and Spanish fleet began to pour a storm
of shot and shell at the American squadron. But, as yet, Commodore Dewey
had not fired a gun.

The American sailors were wild with excitement. They had been by the
guns all night, and were eager to begin the fray. Finally Commodore
Dewey said quietly to the captain of the _Olympia_: "You may fire when
ready, Gridley."

The flagship was now within range, and suddenly one of the great guns
sent an answering shot. As its echoes went rolling across the waters,
every man in the American fleet joined in the shout, "Remember the
_Maine_!" These words were the battle cry at Manila Bay.

Slowly the American vessels steamed by the Spanish squadron in single
file, pouring in deadly broadsides as they passed. Then turning, they
retraced their course, drawing a little nearer to the shore. This
maneuver was repeated five times. The marksmanship of the Americans was
wonderful, and at the end of two hours nearly every ship in the Spanish
fleet had either been sunk or was on fire.

At seven o'clock Commodore Dewey decided to withdraw out of range of the
batteries, to give his men a rest and breakfast, and find what damage
had been done to his own fleet. Imagine his surprise and joy at finding
that not a single man had been killed, and that his vessels were
scarcely injured.

At eleven o'clock the Americans returned to the attack, soon silenced
the forts, and burned or captured all that remained of the Spanish

As soon as the battle was over, Commodore Dewey and his men set to work
to care for the wounded Spanish sailors. They treated them like
brothers, doing everything possible for their comfort.

After taking possession of the arsenal at Cavité, Commodore Dewey
blockaded the port of Manila, and awaited further orders from the
department of war. He knew that if the city of Manila could be captured,
it would result in the loss, by the Spaniards, of the entire Philippine

These islands form one of the largest groups in the world, and are so
rich and beautiful that they are called the "Pearls of the Ocean." They
were the most important of the colonial possessions of Spain.

When the news of the victory reached the United States, there was great
rejoicing all over the land, and Commodore Dewey was the hero of the
hour. Congress at once gave him a vote of thanks, and promoted him to
the rank of rear admiral. It also presented him with a beautiful sword,
and gave a medal to each one of his men.


Who was this George Dewey who won that famous victory in the Bay of
Manila? He was a native of Vermont, and had spent the greater part of
his life on the sea with the American navy.

He was born in Montpelier on the day after Christmas, 1837. Montpelier
was a pleasant place in which to live. There were hills to climb, and a
pretty little river ran through the fields and gardens behind the Dewey
home. Here George could wade, sail boats, and fish.

Although he was not fond of books, he never tired of Robinson Crusoe.
With his sister Mary as Friday, he tramped many times over the hills
playing that they were shipwrecked on an island.

Sometimes George's love of adventure got him into trouble. One day he
read how the famous Hannibal marched, with an immense army, over the
Alps in winter. The winters in Vermont are very cold, and to the
ten-year-old boy the snow-covered hills around Montpelier were as good
as the Alps. So, with his sister Mary for an army, the youthful
Hannibal started on his march. The campaign proved to be too severe for
faithful Mary, and she was sick in bed for a week.

When about eleven years of age, George was sent, one day, on an errand.
As it was a long distance, he was allowed to take his father's horse and
buggy, and one of his boy friends for company.

On the way they came to a ford which, though usually shallow, was
swollen with recent rains. When his companion wished to turn back George
said, "What man has done, man can do," and drove, full speed, into the
river. The buggy, horse, and boys were soon floundering in the rapid

When the top and box of the buggy began to float down stream, George
never lost his presence of mind. Commanding his frightened comrade to
follow him, he climbed upon the horse, and the boys reached the shore in

When he returned home, George did not try to escape punishment, but
administered it to himself by going to bed without any supper. But when
his father came to his room and began to scold him, he thought it was a
little too much. In his lisping voice he replied: "You ought to be
thankful that my life wath thpared."

But George Dewey did not play all the time. His father was a good and
wise man, and believed that a thorough education was one of the most
important things of life. He obliged George to go to school regularly
and conduct himself becomingly.

George had an experience in his first school which he never forgot. The
scholars were an unruly set, and they had proved too much for several
teachers. When, one day, a new master, Mr. Pangborn, arrived, the boys
began as usual to make trouble. George was directed to perform some task
and he flatly refused. In a moment Mr. Pangborn seized him and gave him
the worst whipping that he had ever had.

Nor was this all. When he had finished, Mr. Pangborn marched the unruly
George home to his father, the whole school following in the rear. When
Dr. Dewey heard the story, he told George that if Mr. Pangborn's
punishment was not sufficient, he would administer more.

This settled the matter of disobedience for George. He was too manly a
boy not to admire his fearless teacher. They grew to be great friends,
and when Mr. Pangborn started a school of his own in Johnson, Vermont,
George asked to be allowed to attend. This request was granted


When George was fifteen years old, he was sent to a military school at
Norwich, Vermont. He liked the training so well that he decided to try
to get an appointment in the Naval Academy at Annapolis.

One day he told one of his school fellows, George Spalding, what he
intended to do. "Why, Dewey," said Spalding, "that is what I am going to
do myself." Spalding received the coveted appointment, but as he was not
able to go, George went in his place.

George Spalding became a minister, and when the news of Admiral Dewey's
victory at Manila reached the United States, he preached a sermon about
it in his church at Syracuse, New York.

The boy who goes to the Naval School at Annapolis must be ready to work
hard with both his hands and his brain. The discipline is rigid and no
favors are shown or allowances made.

George Dewey was seventeen years old when he entered the Academy. He was
a strong, active boy, and fond of outdoor sports. He was also a lad with
whom no one could trifle.

One day one of the cadets called him insulting names. George promptly
knocked him down. Soon afterward another cadet tried to test the courage
of the "new boy," but received a worse thrashing than the first one had.

The cadets, however, were a manly set, and they admired George for his
courage in defending his rights. Long before the four years' training
had expired, George was one of the most popular members of his class. It
is greatly to his credit, that, although study was not naturally easy
for him, yet he graduated as the fifth in his class. This, at
Annapolis, means good honest work.

George was graduated in 1858, and in order to finish his training, went
on a two years' cruise to the Mediterranean in the _Wabash_. On his
return, he visited his old home in Montpelier, and while there the war
between the Union and the Southern Confederacy began. He hurried to
Washington, where he received his commission as lieutenant.


Lieutenant Dewey was ordered to the steam sloop _Mississippi_, one of
the Gulf Squadron, of which Admiral Farragut was the commander. Though
but twenty-three years of age, the young lieutenant won the admiration
of both officers and men.

When the fleet passed the forts below New Orleans, the _Mississippi_ was
the third in the line. All through that terrible fight, Lieutenant Dewey
stood on the bridge, amid the storm of shot and shell. Whenever the guns
flashed out in the darkness, the sailors could see him holding firmly to
the rail, giving orders as calmly as though a battle were an everyday

When the Confederate iron-clad, _Pensacola_, tried to ram the
_Mississippi_, Lieutenant Dewey never lost his presence of mind. By a
quick move, the _Mississippi_ avoided the _Pensacola_, and passing by,
poured such a broadside into the ram that her crew ran her ashore in a
sinking condition. Admiral Farragut praised the young lieutenant warmly
for his brave conduct in this battle.

About a year later the _Mississippi_, while trying to pass the forts at
Port Hudson, ran aground. The vessel was directly in range of the
enemy's batteries, and there was no hope of saving her. Shot after shot
came crashing through her sides.

The officers who had the task of saving the crew did not return to the
_Mississippi_ after their trip to a place of safety. The rest of the
crew were saved by Lieutenant Dewey. He was obliged to make several
trips to the nearest vessel before he had placed all of the crew out of

When no one was left on board but Captain Smith and himself, they set
fire to the _Mississippi_ in five places, so that she should not fall
into the hands of the enemy.

As Dewey and the captain were about to get into their boat, Captain
Smith said: "Are you sure she will burn, Dewey?"

"I will take one look more to be sure," replied the brave lieutenant;
and, at the risk of his life, he made his way back and saw that the
fires they had started were making good headway. He then rejoined the
captain, and they pulled away from the burning ship.

After the loss of the _Mississippi_, Lieutenant Dewey was ordered to one
of Admiral Farragut's dispatch boats. The admiral often came on board
and was very friendly to the young lieutenant.

In 1864, Dewey was assigned to the _Colorado_ as first lieutenant. This
vessel was part of the fleet besieging Fort Fisher.

During the second attack on the fort, the _Colorado_ was ordered to go
up close to a certain battery and silence it. Some of the officers
objected, as the _Colorado_ was a wooden vessel and had already been
badly damaged. Lieutenant Dewey said, "We shall be safer in there, and
the battery can be taken in fifteen minutes." The attack was a success
and proved that Dewey was wise as well as brave.

After the battle, Admiral Porter came to thank the commander of the
_Colorado_ for the work that his vessel had done. The commodore replied,
"You must thank Lieutenant Dewey. It was his move."

Three months later he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander
on account of the courage and ability he had shown.

After the close of the war, Dewey's father went to see Farragut in New
York. The famous admiral shook Dr. Dewey's hand warmly and said, "Sir!
Your son George is a worthy and brave officer and some day will make his

In 1884 he was made captain. He did not receive the rank of commodore
until 1896.

During all these years, he worked hard and did his duty faithfully. When
not on the sea, he was at work on shore, teaching in the Naval Academy,
making marine maps, or looking after supplies for the vessels.

Admiral Dewey's sailors are very fond of him, for although he is strict
he is always just. The two things which he especially dislikes are
disobedience and untruth.

On one occasion, when captain of the _Dolphin_, his lieutenant reported
that one of the men had refused to perform some task on the plea that it
was not his work. Captain Dewey came on deck, and, looking sternly at
the man, said:

"What! you refuse to do as you are told! Don't you know that this is
mutiny?" Calling for the guard, he ordered them to load their guns.
"Now, my man," he said, "you have just five minutes in which to obey
that order." The captain began counting the minutes, and by the time he
had reached four, the order was obeyed.

At another time, while at Gibraltar, one of his sailors who had been
ashore, came aboard late at night, very drunk. Next morning, he tried to
excuse himself to the captain by saying that he had only had two glasses
of grog, but had afterwards been sun-struck.

"You are lying, my man," said Dewey. "You were very drunk. I expect my
men to tell me the truth. Had you told me that you were drunk, I would
have made the punishment as light as possible. Now you get ten days in
irons for lying."

In January, 1898, Commodore Dewey was ordered to take command of the
Asiatic Squadron at Hong Kong, China.


While Admiral Dewey had been winning fame at Manila, the Navy Department
had organized two other fleets which were to be used nearer home.

One of these was called the Flying Squadron because it was composed of
fast cruisers. It was stationed at Hampton Roads. From this point, it
could move quickly either north or south to protect the cities on the
Atlantic coast in case they should be attacked by a Spanish fleet.

The commander of the Flying Squadron was Commodore Winfield Scott
Schley, later a rear admiral. He was an experienced officer. He had
graduated from Annapolis in time to serve all through the Civil War.

In 1884, he commanded the relief expedition which rescued Lieutenant
Greely and his exploring party at Cape Sabine. To do this, he had to
sail through fourteen hundred miles of ice-covered ocean.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL SCHLEY.]

In 1891, he commanded the _Baltimore_, stationed at Valparaiso. One day,
a party of his sailors who had gone on shore for pleasure, were attacked
by a mob. Two of them were killed and the rest were made prisoners.

Captain Schley boldly went on shore and demanded the release of his men,
and a sum of money for those who had been killed. As he intimated that a
refusal would be followed by a bombardment from the guns of his vessel,
the demand was granted.

Such was the man that the government had selected to command the Flying

The other fleet was much larger, and was called the North Atlantic
Squadron. It was composed of great battleships, monitors, cruisers, and
torpedo-boats. This squadron was to blockade the ports of Cuba in order
to prevent any foreign vessel from bringing aid to the Spanish soldiers.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL SAMPSON.]

This fleet was under the command of Captain William T. Sampson, who was
also made a rear admiral a little later in the war. The government could
well trust this important duty to Admiral Sampson. Graduating from
Annapolis in 1861, he had served through the Civil War, and afterward,
step by step, had won promotion.

During these years he had seen service in both the Pacific and Atlantic
Oceans, and had occupied many responsible positions in the Navy
Department on shore. He had also been one of the committee that had
investigated the loss of the battleship _Maine_.

All this had prepared him for the great task of commanding the North
Atlantic Squadron. The prudence and judgment with which he performed
this duty proved that the government had made a wise selection.

The people of America were still rejoicing over the victory at Manila,
when the news came that the Spanish admiral, Cervera, with four of the
finest cruisers in the world, and three of the latest kind of torpedo
boat destroyers, had sailed from the Canary Islands for the United
States. This caused some alarm, and wild reports were spread as to what
these vessels might do. Admiral Sampson, with his fleet, was guarding
the West Indian waters, and Commodore Schley, with his Flying Squadron,
was waiting at Hampton Roads in case Admiral Cervera should sail north.
If the Spanish admiral could evade these fleets, he might bombard the
cities on the Atlantic coast.


In the meanwhile, the greatest anxiety was felt for the United States
battleship _Oregon_. When the _Maine_ was destroyed, this vessel was at
the Mare Island Navy Yard near San Francisco. Before war was declared
she had been ordered to join the squadron of Admiral Sampson as soon as

[Illustration: THE OREGON.]

To do this she must travel through fourteen thousand miles of stormy
sea, through the dangerous passage around Cape Horn and then up the
eastern shore of South America.

On the 14th of March, commanded by Captain Clark, she sailed from San
Francisco, entering the straits of Magellan on the 17th of April. On
the same day that Admiral Dewey reached the Philippines, the _Oregon_
arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Every American was full of anxiety for the great battleship. Surely
Admiral Cervera would arrive in the West Indian waters before the
_Oregon_ could pass through them. But swiftly and steadily the great
ship came on.

Finally, on the 24th of May, the _Oregon_ sighted the harbor lights of
Key West, and soon reached a safe port. The very next day, Captain Clark
reported her ready for duty. She had steamed the length of two oceans
and not a valve was broken nor a repair needed.

Much praise is due to Captain Clark for bringing his vessel such a
distance in desperate haste in order to help fight the nation's battles.
But we must not forget that it was the chief engineer, Robert W.
Milligen, and his seventy men, who made this possible. In spite of the
terrible heat in the engine rooms, these brave fellows worked untiringly
to keep the great ship moving steadily day and night around the


Meanwhile, on the 11th of May, an unfortunate affair had occurred in the
harbor of Cardenas, on the northern coast of Cuba. Three of the American
vessels blockading this harbor had been ordered to explore the bay.
Suddenly the Spanish batteries on the shore opened fire. The torpedo
boat _Winslow_, being nearest the shore, received most of the enemy's
shells. Although bravely returning the fire, the little boat was soon
disabled. Five men were wounded, and Ensign Worth Bagley and four other
men were killed. These were the first Americans to lose their lives in
this war.

On the following day, the Americans heard that the Spanish fleet had
arrived at Martinique, a small French Island near the coast of
Venezuela. This being known, Commodore Schley sailed from Hampton Roads
for the West Indies.

On the 19th of May, Admiral Cervera sailed into the harbor of Santiago
de Cuba, on the southern coast of Cuba, and was there several days
before the Americans found it out. Commodore Schley hastened at once to
the mouth of the harbor so as to cut off all hope of escape for the
Spanish admiral. Admiral Sampson soon arrived with the main squadron,
and the entire fleet kept watch, frequently bombarding the forts at the
harbor's mouth.

The Americans did not attempt to pass into the harbor, as the entrance
was strongly protected by torpedoes; so they waited for a land force to
arrive, and attack the enemy from the rear.


Soon after Admiral Sampson arrived off Santiago, there came to him a
young lieutenant, Richmond Pearson Hobson. He had a plan which he wished
to propose. He said:

"There is the collier _Merrimac_. Let a volunteer crew just large enough
to navigate her be selected. Then, after stripping the old ship of
everything valuable, let this crew run her, after dark, into the
narrowest part of the channel leading to the harbor; and there let them
sink her by exploding torpedoes under her. In this way we can block the
harbor so that Admiral Cervera cannot in any way bring out his fleet."

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT HOBSON.]

He explained that the crew of the _Merrimac_ would jump overboard as she
sank, and, if possible, be picked up by a torpedo-boat or a steam
launch, which should be stationed near-by for that purpose. Lieutenant
Hobson himself, bravely offered to lead this expedition.

Admiral Sampson determined to carry out this plan, and called for a
single volunteer from each ship. In spite of the danger of the
undertaking, almost the entire crew of each vessel, not only offered to
go, but begged to be accepted. Finally, eight men were chosen, with
Lieutenant Hobson as their leader. At half-past two o'clock in the
morning of June 3d, the _Merrimac_ was headed straight for the channel.
Lieutenant Hobson stood on the bridge dressed in full uniform. The other
men were at their posts dressed in tights, ready to swim a long
distance, if necessary.

The crew of the steam launch, which was following closely behind, saw
the _Merrimac_ swing across the channel and then heard the explosions.
At the same time, the air was filled with the flash and roar of the guns
of the Spanish forts and ships.

In the face of all this fire, and without even a cry of distress to
guide them, the crew of the launch began their search for the heroes of
the _Merrimac_, never giving it up until daylight. Then, seeing nothing
but the tops of the masts of the collier, they returned to the admiral's

Of what had happened to his men in the meantime, Lieutenant Hobson
himself told afterward:

"When the boat began to sink, and the Spanish shot to fall about us, I
told the men to lie flat on the deck. It was due to their splendid
discipline, that we were not killed. The minutes seemed hours, but I
said that we must lie there until daylight. Now and then one of the men
would say, 'Hadn't we better drop off now, sir?' But I said, 'Wait until
daylight.' I hoped that by that time we might be recognized and saved.

"The old _Merrimac_ kept sinking. It was splendid the way the men
behaved. The fire from the batteries and ships was dreadful. As the
water came up on the decks, we caught hold of the edges of the raft
which was tied to the boom, and hung on, our heads only being above

"A Spanish launch then came toward the _Merrimac_. As she drew near, the
men saw us, and a half-dozen marines pointed their rifles at our heads.
'Is there any officer in that boat to receive a surrender of prisoners
of war?' I shouted. An old man leaned out of the launch and waved his
hand. It was Admiral Cervera. The marines lowered their rifles and we
were helped into the launch."


A few hours later, a boat bearing a flag of truce came out to the
American fleet. It was from Admiral Cervera, and brought the message
that Lieutenant Hobson and his men were held as prisoners, and that
they were well, only two of them being slightly wounded.

Much honor is due to Lieutenant Hobson for this brave deed. But we must
not forget that the lives of the crew were saved through the kindness
and nobility of Admiral Cervera. Not every commander would so honor his
brave prisoners, and his action has been much appreciated in America.

The sinking of the _Merrimac_ did not obstruct the channel completely.
The steering gear was broken by some of the Spanish shot, and Lieutenant
Hobson was not able to place the vessel exactly where he had intended.
However, it would be a dangerous undertaking for the Spanish admiral to
pass out of the harbor at night.

Admiral Sampson sent word to the War Department, that, if an army were
sent to assist him on land, they could take the city of Santiago,
together with the fleet of Admiral Cervera in the harbor. Accordingly
General Shafter, with a large army, landed near Santiago and began to
drive the Spaniards back into the city.

Desperate battles were fought at Siboney, El Caney, and San Juan, but
the Americans steadily drove the enemy inside the fortifications of
Santiago. During these attacks, the fleets helped the army by throwing
shells into the city.


On Sunday morning, July 3d, the American ships were lying quietly
outside the harbor of Santiago. They were stretched in a line from
Commodore Schley's flagship, the _Brooklyn_, seven miles eastward, where
Admiral Sampson had gone with his flagship _New York_, in order to
confer with General Shafter.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL CERVERA.]

From the forts on the shore, the great ships looked like mere specks
upon the horizon; and it was hard to realize that they were grim
sentinels watching every movement of the Spaniards.

The "bright work" had all been cleaned and the men were at Sunday
services, when suddenly a thin film of smoke was observed to rise behind
the hills. The scene on the battleships was changed at once into one of
greatest activity.

"The enemy is coming out!" was signaled in red, white, and blue from
vessel to vessel, and on each deck rang out the command, "All hands
clear ship for action!"

There was no confusion or noise, and every man was at his post. Powder
magazines were opened, and shot and shell were being hoisted to the
decks. The engineers stood waiting for the first command with every rod
and wheel of the great machinery ready to move.

Meanwhile the film of smoke had become a thick cloud, and the Americans
knew that soon the Spanish vessels would appear. Suddenly the flagship
of the Spanish admiral was seen speeding out of the narrow channel. She
passed the wreck of the _Merrimac_, and with the spray dashing high over
her bows, started westward along the coast.

Close behind her came another vessel, and then another, until the six
Spanish ships were all rushing wildly for the open sea. At full speed,
the _Brooklyn_, _Texas_, _Iowa_, and _Oregon_ bore down upon the Spanish
ships. The _Oregon_ gained headway so rapidly that she passed the
_Texas_ and the _Iowa_, and came in behind the _Brooklyn_.

Away to the right between the battleships and the shore, sped the little
yacht _Gloucester_. Her captain, Lieutenant Richard Wainwright, had been
an officer on the _Maine_ when that vessel was blown up in Havana
harbor, and so was, perhaps, most anxious of all for a chance at the

He sent the _Gloucester_ straight towards the Spanish torpedo boats,
_Pluton_ and _Furor_. He did not seem to mind the fact that his little
yacht was no match for them, and that his decks were covered with
Spanish shell. Although aided to some extent by the large vessels, the
destruction of the two torpedo boats was due to Lieutenant Wainwright.
He never paused in his deadly fire until both of them had surrendered.
It was not long, however, until the Spanish shots began to fall about
the other American ships, throwing up great columns of water.

The _Brooklyn_ was the first to reach the Spanish ships and open fire.
The _Oregon_ hastened to assist Commodore Schley. When the Americans saw
that not only the _Oregon_, but the _Texas_ and _Iowa_ were gaining on
the Spanish, they were wild with excitement. The stokers in the engine
rooms poured in the coal, and the steam rose higher and higher.

At half-past ten the battle was at its height. Great clouds of smoke
settled over the water, and the roar of the guns echoed back from the
Santiago hills. Now and then anxious inquiry passed from one American
crew to another; but the answer, "All right!" always came back through
the din of battle.

One by one the Spanish guns became silent, and by eleven o'clock all
save one of the enemy's ships had been driven ashore, and destroyed. The
_Cristobal Colon_ made a desperate dash for freedom, and was not
overtaken until she had gone fifty miles west of Santiago. Then she
surrendered, having been forced ashore.

After the battle was over the Americans bravely went to the rescue of
the Spanish sailors. They climbed the ladders and went into the burning
ships, where magazines were likely to explode at any moment. They lifted
the wounded men from the hot decks and took them out of the stifling
smoke to their own vessels. Their boats picked up the Spaniards who were
struggling in the water or trying to climb up on the shore.

The Spanish loss on that Sunday was about three hundred killed and one
hundred and fifty wounded, while nearly a thousand men were taken
prisoners by the Americans. The Spanish vessels were all complete
wrecks. There was but one American killed and one wounded.

Admiral Cervera was a brave man. He took his fleet out of the Santiago
harbor against his own judgment, because he had been ordered to do so by
the Spanish government at Madrid.

Everything was against him. Many of his officers had been given their
commissions because their families were rich and powerful in Spain. The
sailors had not entered the navy from choice, but had been forced to do
so by the government. Many of them had been kidnapped from their homes,
or from the wharves of seaport towns, and forced on board. They were ill
treated and poorly paid. On the morning of the battle at Santiago they
were threatened with pistols before they would go out to meet the

On the other hand, every man in the American fleet had been thoroughly
trained for the work that he had to do, and was fighting for a country
which he loved better than life itself. He felt that it was an honor to
serve in the navy, and knew that many of his countrymen would be glad to
be in his place.

Now let us see what has become of Lieutenant Hobson and his men. During
all this time they had been held as prisoners in Santiago. Three days
after the destruction of the Spanish fleet, arrangements were made to
exchange them for some Spanish prisoners. This exchange was made between
the Spanish and American lines near Santiago.

When the formalities were over and Hobson and his men approached the
first American line, all the men cheered wildly and crowded one upon
another for a chance to shake hands with the heroes. Lieutenant Hobson
was the hero of the hour. He alone was calm, and he modestly said that
any other man would have done the same thing in his place.


After the loss of Admiral Cervera's fleet, every one knew that it would
be only a question of time until the city of Santiago must surrender.
The American army under General Miles and General Shafter surrounded the
city on the land, while the navy guarded the harbor. The Spaniards could
not escape, nor could any help reach them.

The next two weeks were spent in trying to fix upon terms of surrender
that would be acceptable to both sides. The only fighting was a short
bombardment of the city by the warships on the 10th of July.

At last on July 17th the city surrendered. The Spaniards agreed to give
up not only Santiago but also all the cities and forts east of that
place, with all the soldiers and military supplies. The Americans agreed
to send all these soldiers, numbering about 22,000 men, back to Spain,
and pay for their transportation.

After this surrender, General Miles with an army on transport ships
sailed for the island of Porto Rico, which is about four hundred miles
from Cuba. As usual, the navy went along to protect the unarmed vessels
and to help the army make a landing.

The first fighting was on the southern coast, near the city of Ponce, in
the harbor of Guanica. Lieutenant Wainwright, with his little ship the
_Gloucester_, sailed boldly into the harbor and drove the Spaniards from
the shore. The Americans were then landed without the loss of a single

The army was divided into three divisions, and all set out for the city
of San Juan upon the northern coast. They drove the Spaniards before
them, taking possession of the towns and cities as they advanced.

General Miles and his soldiers were everywhere welcomed gladly, for the
people of this island did not like the Spanish soldiers any better than
did the Cubans.

By the 26th of July, the people of Spain had begun to realize that it
was useless to carry on the war any longer. Accordingly, word was sent
to President McKinley, by the French ambassador at Washington, M. Jules
Cambon, that the Spanish government was ready to consider terms of

President McKinley and his cabinet at once drew up a paper called a
protocol, which stated what the Spanish must do before the war could be

Spain was to give up all claim to Cuba, recall her officials and
soldiers, and permit the people of the island to choose their own
government. Porto Rico and all the Spanish islands in the West Indies
were to be given to the United States. Spain was also to allow the
Americans to hold the city of Manila until it should be decided, by a
regular treaty, what should be done with the Philippine Islands. Five
men from each country should be appointed to draw up the treaty, and in
the meantime, as soon as Spain and the United States should sign the
protocol, all fighting should cease.

Spain was glad to get peace, even on these terms, and the protocol was
duly signed by both governments on the 12th of August. Word was at once
sent to the armies and navies to cease fighting.

It was very easy to reach the American forces in Cuba and Porto Rico,
but before the message could reach Admiral Dewey at Manila, it must be
telegraphed to Hong Kong, China, and then sent by a dispatch boat to
Manila. During the summer vessel after vessel had sailed from San
Francisco, carrying the army of General Merritt to assist Admiral Dewey.
War vessels and ammunition had also been sent.

On the 13th of August, not having heard that peace had been declared,
General Merritt ordered a combined attack of the army and navy to be
made upon Manila. The vessels opened fire upon the Spanish
fortifications which protected the town, while the troops of General
Merritt drove the Spaniards back into the city. After two hours of sharp
fighting the city surrendered.

The Americans did not lose a single sailor, and only twelve soldiers
were killed and forty wounded. The Spanish loss was much greater. In the
afternoon the stars and stripes were hoisted over the government
building and the Spanish soldiers marched out of the city and laid down
their arms.

Thus with a brilliant victory, Admiral Dewey closed the war as he had
opened it.

After the signing of the protocol Admiral Sampson and Commodore Schley
sailed to New York with most of their squadrons to repair what little
damage had been done. When they arrived on the 20th of August the city
gave them a royal welcome. It was arranged that the warships should
steam through the harbor and up the Hudson River as far as General
Grant's tomb. Thus every one could see and greet the naval heroes. The
people turned out by the tens of thousands and lined the shores cheering
and waving flags. The harbor and river were filled with pleasure boats
adorned with flags and streamers, while cannon on the shore thundered

In all history there is not an instance of such great victories with so
small a loss of men and ships as in this war with Spain. In less than
three months the United States had driven the Spanish power from the
western hemisphere. It had added new possessions in both hemispheres and
had shown that it was entitled to rank with the most powerful nations of
the earth.

As soon as the people of the United States felt that peace was assured
they held great jubilees in Chicago and Philadelphia. Triumphal arches
were erected under which marched the heroes of the war, cheered to the
echo by their fellow citizens.

Several new battleships more powerful than any that had taken part in
the recent splendid victories were launched, with imposing ceremonies,
at Newport News, Virginia.

From all this it would seem that the people of the United States at last
realized that at all times, whether in peace or war, the country should
have a powerful navy. This navy should be in keeping with the position
that the United States has won among the nations of the world, and
worthy of the brave officers and sailors who spend their lives in its


When a battleship is hurling shot and shell at an enemy, the brave deeds
of the officers and men on board are told from one end of the land to
the other; but how many people know how these men live from day to day,
when the great ship is lying in the harbor, or cruising peacefully about
the seas?

Who makes the lieutenant's bed and buys his food? Most people think that
the government provides all that he needs; but this is not so. He must
carry his own bed linen to sea with him and arrange for his own food.

The officers choose one of their number to buy the provisions, and he
must give good meals at one dollar a day for each man. At the end of
the month, every officer pays this amount out of his salary.

The first meal of the day is always eggs, and is served at any time from
7:30 until 8:30 in the morning. If ever a naval officer invites you to
breakfast, he does not expect you to come to this meal. He calls a
twelve o'clock luncheon breakfast, and will give you a substantial meal
at that time. Dinner is served at 6 or 6:30, and, on the flagship, is
accompanied by the band.

The ward-room boys who wait upon the officers are almost all Japanese.
Because their names are so hard to pronounce, every one is called
"William." When the big ship is hurling shot and shell in time of
battle, where is William? In the pantry washing dishes? No, indeed.

Somebody must be down in the magazine putting the powder on the hoists
which carry it up to the guns. This is William's work. In time of fire,
it is he who holds the nozzle of the hose, or who brings hammocks to
smother the flames.

Now "Jacky," as the sailor man is called, does not provide his food or
his bed-linen. His bed is a hammock, and it is a very different one
from those we swing on our porches in summer. It is made of canvas, with
ropes in the ends. He has a mattress and a blanket in his bed, and he
always keeps them there.

At five o'clock in the morning the bugle calls, and Jacky has six
minutes in which to scramble out of his bed and get into his clothes.
Then he must roll up his hammock and stow it away. Jacky then has some
hard tack and coffee before he goes to work.

From half-past five until six he does his laundry work. He wears white
suits and must wash them himself; untidiness is never excused. The
clothes are then hung so as to be dry for the inspection drill which
will come at half-past nine.

Then for one hour, the ship is scrubbed. Water pours over the decks in
streams. Every nook and cranny is numbered, and each man has his own
number to keep clean.

By half-past seven there is nothing cleaner on land or sea. The ship
shines from prow to stern, and the decks are clean enough to eat from.
Every piece of metal is polished until it glitters in the sunlight.

When this is finished, Jacky has his breakfast. The government allows
thirty cents a day for the rations of each sailor. The paymaster serves
out food enough to last several days or sometimes a week, and if the
cook does not make this last the crew must go hungry.

The sailors are divided into "messes," each mess having its own cook who
is under the direction of the general ship's cook. Jacky has no
table-cloth or napkins. He washes his own tin plate, cup, knife, fork,
and spoon, when he has finished his hasty meal.

At eight o'clock, he is dressed for the day, and the colors go up. From
then until six o'clock in the evening he is busy with different drills
and duties about the ship. In the evening, from six until eight o'clock,
Jacky has an easy time. It is then that he takes his ease, smoking his
pipe and singing his songs.

At nine o'clock "taps" are sounded, and once more he rolls up in his
hammock for the night.

Saturday is mending day, and every man must do his own work. Some of the
men make their own clothes, although there is a tailor on board. In the
ship's crew there are also barbers, shoemakers, and printers.

On Sunday morning, the captain goes about the ship and gravely inspects
the men, and it is then that each one tries to look his best. Then they
must all attend religious services, after which they rest most of the

The marines on a ship-of-war are men about whom most people know
nothing. A marine is not a sailor. He is a soldier who does duty on a
warship. He is a kind of policeman, and sees that Jacky behaves himself.
He wears a soldier's uniform and has soldier's drills.

The marines have their own mess and their own sleeping space, forming a
community of their own.

Perhaps some boys and girls may think that the captain and his officers
have a much easier time than Jacky or the marines. This is not so. In
the first place, they had many studies to master before they could be
officers. They had to learn a great deal about mathematics, mechanical
and electrical engineering, navigation, gunnery, and international law.
And then these studies are never ended; the progress that is made in
them, each year all over the world, must be known by each officer.

The officers are responsible for the lives of the crew and the safety of
the ship. They must be ready to think and act quickly in emergencies. In
hours of peril they never leave their posts.


The Constitution of the United States provides that the President shall
be commander-in-chief not only of the army but also of the navy. His
chief assistant in the management of naval affairs is the Secretary of
the Navy, who is also a member of his cabinet.

In 1898 the Navy Department of the United States was just one hundred
years old, having been organized in 1798 with Benjamin Stoddert as

The work of the department is divided among eight bureaus, as follows:

1. The Bureau of Yards and Docks, which is intrusted with the
construction and maintenance of docks and wharves, and with all civil
engineering work in the navy yards.

2. The Bureau of Navigation, which superintends the education of
officers and men, controls the enlistment of men and apprentices, and
directs the movements of ships and fleets.

3. The Bureau of Equipment, which attends to the manufacture of ropes,
anchors, cables, and other articles required for the equipment of naval
vessels, purchases coal for their use, and controls the Naval

4. The Bureau of Ordnance, which has charge of the manufacture of guns
and ammunition, also of torpedo stations and magazines.

5. The Bureau of Construction and Repair, which is charged with the
building and repair of small boats and of the hulls of ships, and
attends to the purchase of turrets and armor.

6. The Bureau of Steam Engineering, which directs the building and
repairing of machinery in any way connected with the ships.

7. The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, which designs, erects, and
maintains naval hospitals and superintends their management.

8. The Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, which is responsible for the
purchase and supply of all provisions and stores, and of the accounts
relating to the same.

Each of these bureaus is presided over by an officer of skill and
experience, who, while he holds the office, has the rank of commodore.

The United States has navy yards at Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Boston,
Massachusetts; Brooklyn, New York; League Island, Pennsylvania; Norfolk,
Virginia; Washington, District of Columbia; and Mare Island, California.
At these navy yards ships are overhauled and repaired, machinery is
adjusted and renewed, and stores of all kinds are provided. Here, too,
on the receiving ships, the recruits are received and instructed.

There are naval stations at Newport, Rhode Island; New London,
Connecticut; Port Royal, South Carolina; Key West and Pensacola,
Florida; and Puget Sound, Washington.

At Indian Head, Maryland, is the naval proving-ground for the test of
armor and guns.

The Naval Observatory is at Washington, and was at first merely a depot
for naval charts and instruments.

In 1898, the highest officer in the American navy was the rear admiral.
The other officers in their order, ranking downward, were commodores,
captains, commanders, lieutenant commanders, lieutenants, lieutenants
junior grade, and ensigns. All these are known as officers of the line.

At the close of the year there were seven rear admirals, ten commodores,
forty-one captains, and eighty-five commanders.

The rank of rear admiral is equal to that of major general in the army.
A commodore is equal to a brigadier general; a captain in the navy
ranks with a colonel in the army; a commander ranks with a lieutenant
colonel; and a lieutenant in the navy is equal to a captain in the army.

The law provides that when an officer reaches the age of sixty-two years
he must be retired from active service. One who has been disabled in the
service, or who has served honorably for forty years and requests
release, may also be retired. Officers on the retired list receive
three-fourths as much pay as when on active duty at sea.

Rear Admiral Dewey will be retired on the 26th of December, 1899. In
1898 there were thirty-three rear admirals on the retired lists.

The officers while at sea receive more pay than when on shore duty. The
salary of an ensign at sea is $1200 a year; that of a rear admiral is
$6,000. The salaries of the other officers range between these two

Previous to 1898 the number of enlisted men in the navy was limited to
ten thousand. These men are received for a period of three years; and
any one after serving continuously for twenty years may be assigned to
duty in the navy yards, or on board receiving ships, or to other duties
not requiring them to go far from home. All who have served thirty years
are entitled to admittance in the Naval Home. The wages of enlisted men
vary from $16 to $70 a month, according to the kind of work they

The law provides that seven hundred and fifty boys may be enlisted as
apprentices in the navy. These are received only with the consent of
their parents or guardians, and are required to serve until they are
twenty-one years old.

Besides the regular navy of the United States there is a naval militia
organized in eighteen states. This militia is under the general
direction of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy; and its duty in time
of war is to man the vessels designed for coast and harbor defense.

At the beginning of the year 1898 there were more than four thousand men
and officers in the naval militia. During the war with Spain, most of
these were mustered into the naval service and did duty on the war
vessels or in the signal service along the coast.

At the close of the year there were belonging to our government nine
battleships, all of which had been built since 1890. Four others were in
process of construction. The average cost of vessels of this class is
about $3,500,000.

Of other vessels in the navy of 1898, there were two armored cruisers
which cost $2,986,000 each; one ram, the _Katahdin_; six double turreted
monitors; thirteen single turreted monitors; seventeen protected
cruisers; four unarmored cruisers; fifteen gunboats; and ten torpedo
boats. Many other vessels of different classes were being built.

All these were in active service, or soon to be so. But there were also
several other vessels of the old-fashioned style which, although of
little use in battle, were valuable in the various peaceful enterprises
in which the navy is always engaged. Of such there were six old iron
vessels and ten wooden frigates, all propelled by steam, and seventeen
old wooden sailing vessels, some of which were used as receiving ships.

During the war with Spain, many temporary additions were made to the
navy. Eleven merchant vessels were bought or leased and converted into
auxiliary cruisers. Among these were the four fast steamers of the
American line, the _St. Louis_, the _St. Paul_, the _Yale_, and the

Twenty-eight yachts also were purchased and turned into auxiliary
gunboats or torpedo boats. Among these was the _Gloucester_, which did
such fine work during the destruction of Cervera's fleet. It had
formerly been a pleasure yacht belonging to Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan of
New York.

In addition to the vessels just named, the government also bought
twenty-seven tugs to be changed into gunboats or cruisers; and it
obtained seventeen steam vessels of various sizes to be used as
transports and for many other purposes.

Altogether the navy of 1898 comprised an imposing collection of vessels
of many kinds and of various degrees of efficiency. Of the work which it
accomplished we have already learned.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Biographical Stories of Great Americans for Young Americans
                   EDITED BY JAMES BALDWIN, Ph.D.

    In these biographical stories the lives of great Americans
    are presented in such a manner as to hold the attention of
    the youngest reader. In these lives the child finds the
    most inspiring examples of good citizenship and true


                         VOLUMES NOW READY:

    George Washington, Benjamin Franklin,
        Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln.
            By JAMES BALDWIN, Ph.D.
                Cloth, 246 pages. Price, 50 cents

    Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton,
        Andrew Jackson, U.S. Grant.
                Author of The Story of Our Country, etc.
                    Cloth, 256 pages. Price, 50 cents

    Paul Jones, Oliver H. Perry,
        Admiral Farragut, Admiral Dewey.
                Cloth, 254 pages. Price, 50 cents

                         The Lakeside Press
                   R.R. DONNELLEY & SONS COMPANY

    AMERICA.... Just Published.]

    Lafayette, The Friend of American Liberty

    The proposal to erect a monument in Paris to the early
    friend of American liberty, GENERAL LAFAYETTE, by
    contributions from the patriotic school children of the
    United States, has aroused national enthusiasm for the
    memory of this noble man....

    In view of the great interest which this fitting and
    significant movement has awakened in the life, character
    and services of the heroic soldier and patriot, the
    Werner School Book Company has just issued, edited by
    Dr. James Baldwin,


    By Mrs. ALMA HOLMAN BURTON, The author of "Four American
    Patriots," "The Story of Our Country," Etc.


                   Werner School Book
                   ... Company ...

                   Educational Publishers.

                   CHICAGO: 378-388 Wabash Ave.
                   NEW YORK: 78 Fifth Ave.
                   BOSTON: 73 Tremont St.



    The Werner Arithmetic, Book I. (Hall)                            $ 40
    The Werner Arithmetic, Book II. (Hall)                             40
    The Werner Arithmetic, Book III. (Hall)                            50
    Teacher's Hand-Book to the Werner Arithmetics                      25
    Hall's Elementary Arithmetic                                       35
    Hall's Complete Arithmetic                                         60
    DeGarmo's Language Lessons, Book I                                 30
    DeGarmo's Language Lessons, Book II                                40
    DeGarmo's Complete Language Lessons (One-Book Course)              50
    Brown and DeGarmo's Elements of English Grammar                    60
    The Werner Introductory Geography (Tarbell)                        55
    The Werner Grammar School Geography, Parts I. and II. (Tarbell)  1 40
    Baldwin's Primary Lessons in Physiology and Hygiene                35
    Baldwin's Essential Lessons in Physiology and Hygiene              50
    Baldwin's Advanced Lessons in Physiology and Hygiene               80
    The Werner Primer (Taylor)                                         30
    First Year Nature Reader (Beebe and Kingsley)                      35
    Old Time Stories Retold (Smythe)                                   30
    Legends of the Red Children (Pratt)                                30
    Baldwin's Biographical Booklets (each)                             10
    Baldwin's Four Great Americans                                     50
    Burton's Four American Patriots                                    50
    Beebe's Four American Naval Heroes                                 50
    Cody's Four American Poets                                         50
    Winship's Great American Educators                                 50
    Burton's Lafayette, the Friend of American Liberty                 35
    Burton's Story of Our Country                                      60
    The Werner Mental Arithmetic                                       30
    Giffin's Grammar School Algebra                                    50
    Adams's Physical Laboratory Manual                                 75
    Hinsdale's Studies in Education                                  1 00
    Hinsdale's Training for Citizenship                                10
    Hinsdale's American Government                                   1 25
    Hinsdale's History and Civil Government of Ohio                  1 00
    Barnard's History and Civil Government of Missouri               1 00
    Lewis's History and Civil Government of West Virginia            1 00
    Niles's History and Civil Government of Minnesota                1 00
    Seerley and Parish's History and Civil Gov't of Iowa             1 00
    Smith and Young's History and Civil Government of South Dakota   1 00
    Stetson's History and Civil Government of Maine                  1 00
    Beebe's First School Year                                          75
    Jackman's Nature Study Record                                      60


                   Educational Publishers
                   NEW YORK      CHICAGO      BOSTON

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's notes:

Punctuation normalized.

Inconsistent hyphenation maintained as printed.

On page 82 "Stoddart" replaced with "Stoddert" in "Stoddert as the first
Secretary of the Navy".

On page 247 "earn" changed to "learn". "They had to learn a great deal
about mathematics".

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Four American Naval Heroes - Paul Jones, Admiral Farragut, Oliver H. Perry, Admiral Dewey" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.