|Death: ||Jun. 22, 1807, At Sea|
Joseph Arnold, Ordinary Seaman, USN, Killed in Action on board USS Chesapeake
USS Chesapeake, a 36-gun frigate of 1244 tons, was built at the Gosport Navy Yard, at Portsmouth, Virginia. Commissioned during the first part of 1800, she operated off the southern United States and in the West Indies during the Quasi-War with France, capturing a French privateer on 1 January 1800. During much of 1802 and 1803 she was deployed to the Mediterranean as flagship during hostilities with Tripoli, then was laid up at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C..
In June 1807 Chesapeake, which had been refitted for further active service, sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, as flagship of Commodore James Barron. Bound for the Mediterranean after taking on stores and ammunition, she was as yet unprepared for action when the British frigate Leopard stopped her and demanded that she be searched for Royal Navy deserters. When this was refused, Leopard fired on Chesapeake, killing and wounding several of her crew. The essentially defenseless American warship then surrendered, some alleged deserters were taken from her, and she was allowed to return to Gosport for repairs. This affair, which enraged the Nation, was one of the incidents that led, some five years later, to war between the United States and Great Britain.
Following repairs, Chesapeake operated off New England under the command of Captain Stephen Decatur. During the last weeks of December and the first months of 1813, the frigate, which had been refitted for War of 1812 service, cruised in the Atlantic, taking as prizes a number of British commercial vessels. She then returned to Boston to prepare for further service, receiving a new Commanding Officer, Captain James Lawrence, as well as a large proportion of new officers and crewmen. On 1 June 1813, before her complement had been worked into a well-functioning team, she went to sea to engage the British frigate Shannon. The resulting short, violent action resulted in the boarding and capture of the American ship, and the death of Lawrence and many of his crew. Chesapeake was taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where her presence provided a major boost to British Navy morale. She later sailed to England and was sold there in 1820 for breaking up. Much of her material was subsequently used for building construction.
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Created by: Rubbings
Record added: Aug 09, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95062105