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Commander David G. Farragut Signed Document Regarding Captured Prizes Won by the First Warship U.S.S. Essex During the War of 1812

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DAVID G. FARRAGUT (1801-1870). Flag Officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and admiral in the United States Navy; he is remembered for his order at the Battle of Mobile Bay usually paraphrased as: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" in U.S. Navy tradition.

April 29, 1850-Dated Mexican War Era, Manuscript Document Signed, "D. G. Farragut - Comdr U.S. Navy", 1 page, measuring 8” x 12.5”, at Norfolk (VA.), Choice Extremely Fine. It is nicely written and presented on pale blue wove period paper with Integral leaf, light toning. This Naval Document comprising, "A List of Vessels captured by the U.S. Frigate Essex on her last cruise in the years 1812 & 13 on the Coast of Brazil and in the Pacific Ocean. The first USS Essex of the United States Navy was a 36-gun Sailing Frigate that participated in the Quasi-War with France, the First Barbary War, and in the War of 1812. The British captured her in 1814 and she then served as HMS Essex until sold at public auction on 6 June 1837.

In this historic handwritten Document there are Fifteen (15) Captured War of 1812 Era Enemy Ships listed, along with the dates of their capture, their tonnage, number of crewmen, number of guns, and how each warship was disposed of, including: "Burnt… Sent home but recaptured… Given up to prisoners… Sold in N.Y.," etc. Here, David Farragut certifies that the list is correct and that the ships, "were supposed to be worth at that time by a number of the residents at Valparaiso and the Officers, at about 2,500,000 Dollars."

One wonders why Farragut chose, almost forty years later, to document the prizes of the Essex, the ship on which he served as a young 12-year-old Prize Master. Certainly an extraordinarily rare and historical United States Navy Signed Document. Boldly Signed, "D. G. Farragut - Comdr U.S. Navy" in rich brown at the conclusion measuring a large 2.75” long. An important content, truly wonderful example for display.
Farragut was commissioned a midshipman in the United States Navy on December 17, 1810, at the age of nine. A Prize Master by the age of 12, Farragut fought in the War of 1812, serving under Captain David Porter. While serving aboard USS Essex, Farragut participated in the capture of HMS Alert on August 13, 1812, then helped to establish America's first naval base and colony in the Pacific, named Fort Madison, during the ill-fated Nuku Hiva Campaign. At the same time, the Americans battled the hostile tribes on the islands with the help of their allies.

Farragut was 12 years old when, during the War of 1812, he was given the assignment to bring a ship captured by the Essex safely to port. He was wounded and captured while serving on the Essex during the engagement at Valparaíso Bay, Chile, against the British on March 28, 1814.
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