James Barron

James Barron

James Barron (1769 – 21 April 1851) was an officer in the United States Navy.

Barron was born in Virginia in 1769. As a youth he served in the Virginia Navy during the last years of the American Revolution and, nearly two decades later in 1798, received a commission as a Lieutenant in the new U.S. Navy.

He demonstrated superior seamanship abilities as an officer of the frigate "United States", was promoted to Captain and commanded the frigate "Warren" in 1800-1801, during the final months of the Quasi-War with France. Over the next several years, he served in the First Barbary War in the Mediterranean and supervised the construction of a gunboat.

During his career, he commanded the frigate USS "Chesapeake" as a commodore in the US Navy. On 22 June 1807, his ship was involved in the "Chesapeake"-"Leopard" Affair, which preceded the War of 1812. The British frigate, HMS "Leopard" cornered his frigate and asked to search for British navy deserters. Barron refused and the British frigate attacked USS "Chesapeake", killing three and wounding eighteen. Barron finally allowed for the search. The British took four supposed deserters.

Barron was court-martialed and suspended. John Rodgers was the President of the court-martial, and Stephen Decatur was a member. When Barron returned to rejoin the navy, he was met with much humiliation. He challenged Stephen Decatur to a duel, which they fought on 22 March 1820; Barron was hurt badly, and Decatur was fatally wounded.

Barron continued in the Navy on shore duty, becoming senior officer in 1839, and died in Norfolk, Virginia on 21 April 1851.

External links

* [http://www.ushistory.org/germantown/people/barron.htm Biography]
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/pers-us/uspers-b/j-barron.htm Naval Historical Center Biography]
* [http://virtualology.com/apjamesbarron/ Biography at Virtualology.com]

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