“Yo! Ho! “Free Trade and Sailor’s Rights” to Baltimore

On September 6, 1814 nearly a week after the American defeat at the Battle of Bladensburg, MD., on August 24 and three days from engaging the British flotilla decending the Potomac River from Alexandria, Va., having capitulated to Captain James A. Gordon, RN, the sailors of Commodores John Rodgers, Oliver Hazard Perry and David Porter returned to Baltimore.

“Fourteen wagons full of our noble seamen the first surmounted with the well known standard of ‘Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights’ the whole preceeded by the Hero of Valparaiso [Chile], and cheered by their boatswain’s whistle, passed through this city [Washington] on their way to Baltimore”

Captain David Porter of the U.S. frigate Essex (out of Salem, Mass.) following an 18 month cruise to the Pacific had been paroled following his defeat off the coast of Valparaiso, Chile during an engagment with HM frigate Phobe and sloop Cherub on March 28th and were allowed to return to New York (arriving July 7) onboard the Essex Junior having captured British whalers in the Pacific.

Upon his arrival in Baltimore he and his crew were summoned back to New York to take command of the Demologos the new catamaran battery steamboat “to teach the doctrines of the cannon law,” though not having taken part in the Battle for Baltimore.

Source: Baltimore American & Commercial Daily Adv., September 9, 1814.

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Published in: on August 14, 2012 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment