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Capt Joel Abbot

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Capt Joel Abbot

  • Birth 18 Jan 1793 Westford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 14 Dec 1855 Hong Kong
  • Burial Body lost or destroyed, Specifically: Uknown
  • Memorial ID 84256777

Abbot, Joel.
Midshipman, 18 June, 1812. Lieutenant, 1 April, 1818. Commander, 8 December, 1838. Captain, 3 October, 1850. Died 14 December, 1855.

Officers of the Continental and U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, 1775-1900 about Joel Abbot
Name: Joel Abbot
Rank Information: Midshipman, Lieutenant, Commander, Captain
Service Dates: 18 Jun 1812, 1 Apr 1818, 8 Dec 1838
Military Branch: US Navy Officers (1798-1900)
Death Date: 14 Dec 1855

ABBOT, Joel, naval officer, born in Westford, Massachusetts, 18 January, 1793; died in Hong Kong, China, 14 December, 1855. He was appointed midshipman at the outbreak of the second war with England, and was ordered to the frigate "President" as aid and signal officer to Commodore Rodgers, who, impressed by his zeal and efficiency, recommended him to Commodore Thomas Macdonough, then in command of the naval forces on Lake Champlain.

Learning that the British had accumulated a large supply of spars at Sorel, Quebec, Macdonough sent for Midshipman Abbot and asked him if he was willing to die for his country. "Certainly, sir; that is what I came into the service for," was the answer. Macdonough then told him what he wished done, and young Abbot, disguised as a British officer, entered the enemy's lines, taking the risk of being hanged as a spy in case of capture, discovered where the spars were stored, and destroyed them.

Such were the hardships and dangers encountered during this expedition that when he reported to his commanding officer he was in a state of prostration, from the effects of which he was long in recovering. For this exploit and for gallantry in action off Cumberland Head in the Battle of Plattsburgh, 11 September 1814, he was promoted lieutenant, and congress voted him a handsome sword. During the remainder of the war he had no further opportunity for distinction, though at one time he quelled a formidable mutiny.

In December 1818, he was placed in charge of a 30-gun pirate craft, the "Mariana," captured by Com. Stockton off the African coast. On the voyage to Boston part of his crew mutinied, and the piratical prisoners succeeded in wrenching off their irons, during a terrible gale. Notwithstanding this seemingly hopeless state of affairs, Lieutenant Abbot regained command of his crew, kept the mutineers at bay, and brought his ship safely into port.

In 1838 he was promoted commander, serving on the various foreign squadrons, and from 1839 to 1842 was in command at the Boston navy yard. In 1852 he commanded the "Macedonian" in the Japan expedition, succeeding Commodore Perry as flag officer of the squadron. During this critical period of our relations with China he was often called upon to perform delicate diplomatic duties, discharging them to the complete satisfaction of the government.

He probably shortened his life by devotion to the interests of commerce in personally superintending the placing of buoys and a lightship in the harbor of Shanghai, which for the first time then had its channels and sailing courses properly defined.

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  • Created by: Rubbings
  • Added: 31 Jan 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 84256777
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Joel Abbot (18 Jan 1793–14 Dec 1855), Find A Grave Memorial no. 84256777, ; Maintained by Rubbings (contributor 47671529) Body lost or destroyed, who reports a Uknown.