Beautifully matted and gold
framed with a color portrait of COMMODORE DAVID PORTER, the hero of the War of
1812 who commanded the Essex on her
epic Pacific Voyage in 1813. Autograph
Note Signed by COMMODORE DAVID PORTER on February 20, 1830. The note, written and signed by Porter,
authorizes the payment of a $100 draft. The
overall size is approximately 16 x 22.
PORTER (February 1, 1780 – March 3, 1843) was an officer in the United States Navy and later the commander-in-chief of the Mexican Navy. Born in Boston, MA, he served in the Quasi-War with France, first as midshipman on board the USS Constellation, participating in the capture of L’Insurgente on February 9, 1799 and second as 1st lieutenant of Experiment and later in command of USS Amphitheatre. During the Barbary Wars (1801-07), Porter was 1st lieutenant of Enterprise, New York and Philadelphia and was taken prisoner when Philadelphia ran aground in Tripoli harbor on October 31, 1803. After his release on June 3, 1805, he remained in the Mediterranean as acting captain of Constitution and later captain of Enterprise.
He was in charge of the naval forces at New Orleans from 1808-10. He commanded the Essex in the War of 1812 and achieved fame by capturing the first British warship of the conflict, Alert, on August 13, 1812, and several merchantmen. In 1813, he sailed Essex around Cape Horn and cruised in the Pacific warring on British whalers. He was forced to surrender off Valparaiso on March 28, 1814, after an unequal contest with frigates HMS Phoebe and Cherub and only when his ship was too disabled to offer any resistance.
From 1815 to 1822, he was a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners but gave up his post to command the expedition suppressing piracy in the West Indies from 1823 to 1825. While in the West Indies suppressing piracy, Porter invaded the town of Fajardo, Puerto Rico (a Spanish colony) to avenge the jailing of an officer from his fleet. The U.S. government did not sanction Porter’s act and he was court-martialed upon his return to the U.S. He resigned and in 1826 entered the Mexican Navy as its commander-in-chief from 1826 to 1829. He died on March 3, 1843 while U.S. Minister to Turkey.
Porter was the father of Admiral David Dixon Porter (1813-1891) and the adopted father of Admiral David Farragut (1801-1870), two leading naval officers in the American Civil War. Father and son had five U.S. Navy ships named in their honor.
Overall excellent condition.
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