|Death: ||Mar. 28, 1814, At Sea|
John Adams, Cooper, US Navy, War of 1812, Killed in Action on board USS Essex
U.S., Navy Casualties Books, 1776-1941about John Adams
Name: John Adams
Death Date: 28 Mar 1814
Volume Title: Navy Casualties: Enemy Action Deaths, 1776-1937
The first USS Essex of the United States Navy was a 36-gun or 32-gun sailing frigate that participated in the Quasi-War with France, the First Barbary War, and in the War of 1812, during which she was captured by the British in 1814 and served as HMS Essex until sold at public auction on 6 June 1837.
The frigate was launched on 30 September 1799 by Enos Briggs, Salem, Massachusetts, at a cost of $139,362 subscribed by the people of Salem and Essex County. On 17 December 1799 she was presented to the United States Navy and accepted by Captain Edward Preble.
When war was declared against Britain on 18 June, 1812, Essex, commanded by Captain David Porter, made a successful cruise to the southward. On 11 July near Bermuda she fell in with seven British (the HMS Silverside being one) transports and by moonlight engaged and took one of them as a prize. On 13 August she encountered and captured the sloop HMS Alert after an engagement. By September when she returned to New York, Essex had taken ten prizes. The youngest member of the Essex crew was 10-year-old midshipman David Glasgow Farragut, who would become the first admiral of the U.S. Navy. Farragut, who was Captain Porter's foster son, remained with the ship for the next two years.
Essex sailed in South Atlantic waters and along the coast of Brazil until January 1813, attacking the British whaling fleet in the Pacific. Although her crew suffered greatly from a shortage of provisions and heavy gales while rounding Cape Horn, she anchored safely at Valparaíso, Chile, on 14 March, having seized whaling schooners Elizabeth and Nereyda along the way. In the next five months, the Essex captured thirteen British whalers, including Essex Junior, (ex-Atlantic) which cruised in company with her captor to the Island of Nukahiva for repairs. Porter put his executive officer John Downes in command of that ship.
Engraving by Abel Bowen
In January 1814, Essex sailed into neutral waters at Valparaíso, only to be trapped there for six weeks by the British frigate, Phoebe (36 guns), under Captain James Hillyar, and the sloop-of-war Cherub (18 guns). On 28 March 1814, Porter determined to gain the open sea, fearing the arrival of British reinforcements. Upon rounding the point, Essex lost her main top-mast to foul weather and was brought to action just north of Valparaíso. For 2½ hours, Essex, armed almost entirely with powerful, but short range carronades (which Porter had complained to the Navy about on several occasions), resisted the enemy's superior fighting power and longer gun range. A fire erupted twice aboard the Essex, at which point about fifty men abandoned the ship and swam for shore; only half of them landing. Eventually, the hopeless situation forced the frigate to surrender. The Essex suffered 58 dead and 31 missing of her crew of 154, while the British casualties were 5 dead, 10 wounded.
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Created by: Rubbings
Record added: Sep 21, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97547419