|Died||26 October 1788 (aged 47–48)|
Thomas Read (1740 in New Castle, Delaware – 26 October 1788 in White Hill, New Jersey) was the first naval officer to obtain the rank of commodore in command of a fleet of the Continental Navy.
Thomas Read was the son of John and Mary (Howell) Read, and the younger brother of U.S. statesman George Read. A brother worked in Havana, and Read early took up a life on the ocean, where he was master of vessels in the trans-Atlantic and West Indies trade.He was appointed, on 23 October 1775, commodore of the Pennsylvania Navy, having as the surgeon of his fleet Benjamin Rush, and while holding this command he made a successful defence of the Delaware River. He was appointed, 7 June 1776, to the highest grade in the Continental Navy, and assigned to one of its four largest ships, the 32-gun frigate George Washington, then being built on the Delaware River. While awaiting the completion of his ship he volunteered for land service, and was sent as captain by the committee of safety to join George Washington. He gave valuable assistance in the crossing of the Delaware, and at the Battle of Trenton commanded a battery made up of guns from his frigate, and with it raked the stone bridge across Assunpink Creek.
After much service on sea and land, Thomas Read resigned his commission, and, retiring to his seat near Bordentown, New Jersey, dispensed a liberal hospitality to his old companions-in-arms, especially to his brother members of the Society of the Cincinnati.
Shortly afterward he was induced by his friend, Robert Morris, to take command of his old frigate, the Alliance , which had recently been bought by Morris for commercial purposes, and make a joint adventure to the China seas. Taking with him as chief officer one of his old subordinates, Richard Dale, afterward Commodore Dale, and George Harrison, who became an eminent citizen of Philadelphia, as supercargo, he sailed from the Delaware on 7 June 1787, and arrived at Canton on 22 December following, after sailing on a track that had never before been taken by any other vessel, and making the first "out-of-season" passage to China. In this voyage he discovered two islands, which he named, respectively, "Morris" and "Alliance" islands, and which formed part of the Caroline Islands. By this discovery the United States became entitled to rights which were never properly asserted.
William Bainbridge was a Commodore in the United States Navy. During his long career in the young American Navy he served under six presidents beginning with John Adams and is notable for his many victories at sea. He commanded several famous naval ships, including USS Constitution, and saw service in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. Bainbridge was also in command of USS Philadelphia when she grounded off the shores of Tripoli in North Africa, resulting in his capture and imprisonment for many months. In the latter part of his career he became the U.S. Naval Commissioner.
USS United States was a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy and the first of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. The name "United States" was among ten names submitted to President George Washington by Secretary of War Timothy Pickering in March of 1795 for the frigates that were to be constructed. Joshua Humphreys designed the frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so United States and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. She was built at Humphrey's shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and launched on 10 May 1797 and immediately began duties with the newly formed United States Navy protecting American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France.
The first Alliance of the United States Navy was a 36-gun sailing frigate of the American Revolutionary War.
USS Congress was a nominally rated 38-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. James Hackett built her in Portsmouth New Hampshire and she was launched on 15 August 1799. She was one of the original six frigates whose construction the Naval Act of 1794 had authorized. The name "Congress" was among ten names submitted to President George Washington by Secretary of War Timothy Pickering in March of 1795 for the frigates that were to be constructed.Joshua Humphreys designed these frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Congress and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than the standard frigates of the period.
USS Constellation was a nominally rated 38-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate of the United States Navy.
The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigorous Congressional support in the face of stiff opposition, when considering the limitations imposed upon the Patriot supply pool.
Richard Dale was an American naval officer who fought in the Continental Navy under John Barry and was first lieutenant for John Paul Jones during the naval battle off of Flamborough Head, England against HMS Serapis in the celebrated engagement of September 23, 1779. He became one of the six original commodores of the permanent United States Navy, and commanded a blockade of Tripoli in 1801 during the First Barbary War of Thomas Jefferson's presidency.
Edward Preble was a United States naval officer who served with great distinction during the 1st Barbary War, leading American attacks on the city of Tripoli and forming the officer corps that would later lead the U.S. Navy in the War of 1812.
Commodore Alexander Murray was an officer who served in the Continental Navy, the Continental Army, and later the United States Navy, during the American Revolutionary War, the Quasi-War with France and the First Barbary War in North Africa.
Alfred was the merchant vessel Black Prince, named for Edward, the Black Prince, and launched in 1774. The Continental Navy of what would become the United States acquired her in 1775, renamed her Alfred after 9th century English monarch Alfred the Great, and commissioned her as a warship. She participated in two major actions, the battle of Nassau, and the action of 6 April 1776. The Royal Navy captured her in 1778, took her into service as HMS Alfred, and sold her in 1782. She then became the merchantman Alfred, and sailed between London and Jamaica.
Andrew Doria was a brig purchased by the Continental Congress in November 1775. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Nassau—the first amphibious engagement by the Continental Navy and the Continental Marines—and for being the first United States vessel to receive a salute from a foreign power.
John Hazelwood served as a Commodore in the Pennsylvania Navy and Continental Navy and was among the most noted naval officers during the American Revolutionary War. Born in England about 1726, he became a mariner and settled in Philadelphia early in life, became married and had several children. Promoted to Commodore during the Philadelphia campaign, he also became commander of Fort Mifflin while it was under siege by the British. Throughout the campaign Hazelwood and General Washington were in frequent communication with letters. During the weeks spent engaging the British navy on the Delaware River Hazelwood innovated many naval tactics, kept the British navy at bay for weeks and played a major role in the development of riverine warfare for the American navies. Recommended by Washington and his council, Hazelwood was chosen to lead a large fleet of American ships and riverboats up river to safety. For his bravery and distinguished service Congress awarded him with a ceremonial military sword, while the famous presidential artist Charles Peale found Hazelwood worthy enough to paint his portrait. After the Revolution Hazelwood lived out his remaining years in Philadelphia.
The Mediterranean Squadron, also known as the Mediterranean Station, was part of the United States Navy in the 19th century that operated in the Mediterranean Sea. It was formed in response to the First and Second Barbary Wars. Between 1801 and 1818, the squadron was composed of a series of rotating squadrons. Later, squadrons were sent in the 1820s to the 1860s to suppress piracy, primarily in Greece and to engage in gunboat diplomacy. In 1865 the force was renamed the European Squadron.
The Pennsylvania Navy served as the naval force of Pennsylvania during the American Revolution and afterward, until the formation of the United States Navy. The navy's vessels served almost exclusively on the Delaware River, and were active in first defending the approaches to the city of Philadelphia during the British campaign that successfully occupied the city in 1777, and then preventing the Royal Navy from resupplying the occupying army.
Thomas Macdonough, Jr. was an early-19th-century Irish-American naval officer noted for his roles in the first Barbary War and the War of 1812. He was the son of a revolutionary officer, Thomas Macdonough, Sr. who lived near Middletown, Delaware. He was the sixth child from a family of ten siblings and was raised in the countryside. He entered naval life at an early age, receiving a midshipman's commission at the age of sixteen. Serving with Stephen Decatur at Tripoli, he was a member of "Preble's Boys", a select group of U.S. naval officers who served under the command of Commodore Preble during the First Barbary War. Macdonough achieved fame during the War of 1812, commanding the American naval forces that defeated the British navy at the Battle of Lake Champlain, part of the larger Battle of Plattsburgh, which helped lead to an end to that war.
The Battle of Red Bank was a battle fought during the American Revolutionary War in which a British and Hessian force was sent to take Fort Mercer on the left bank of the Delaware River just south of Philadelphia, but was decisively defeated by a far inferior force of Colonial defenders. Although the British did take Fort Mercer a month later, the victory supplied a sorely-needed morale boost to the American cause, delayed British plans to consolidate gains in Philadelphia, and relieved pressure on General George Washington's army to the north of the city.
George Campbell Read was a United States Naval Officer who served on Old Ironsides during the War of 1812 and commanded vessels in actions off the Barbary Coast and India. Read eventually rose to the rank of rear admiral.
The historical battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts sparked the beginning of the American War for Independence on 19 April 1775; soon after, the rest of the thirteen American colonies were pulled into the conflict. Many of the leaders in the rebellion recognized that a naval engagement against the British was the primary option to prevent the British from restoring Crown rule by military occupation.
Francis Reynolds-Moreton, 3rd Baron Ducie was a British naval officer who commanded a number of ships before, during and after the American Revolutionary War. He is largely noted for his role as a naval officer during the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Red Bank in 1777 during the Philadelphia campaign on the Delaware River, involving the dual siege of Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer. During this operation he was commander of the advance fleet on board HMS Augusta in an attempt to clear the way along the Delaware to Philadelphia. His ship ran aground while being pursued by Commodore Hazelwood's fleet when the vessel mysteriously caught fire shortly thereafter and exploded before all of the crew could abandon ship. Reynolds also commanded HMS Jupiter and HMS Monarch in several operations and saw service against the French in the North Sea, European Atlantic coast and the Caribbean theaters.
John Barry was an Irish-American officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War and later in the United States Navy. He has been credited as "The Father of the American Navy" and was appointed a captain in the Continental Navy on December 7, 1775. He was the first captain placed in command of a U.S. warship commissioned for service under the Continental flag.