James Barron

James Barron
James Barron.jpg
Commodore James Barron
Born(1768-09-15)September 15, 1768
Hampton, Virginia
DiedApril 21, 1851(1851-04-21) (aged 82)
Norfolk, Virginia
Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, Portsmouth, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1798-1851
RankCommodore (USN)
Commands held

James Barron (September 15, 1768 – April 21, 1851) was an officer in the United States Navy.[n 1] He served in the Quasi-War and the Barbary Wars, during which he commanded a number of famous ships, including USS Essex and USS President. As commander of the frigate USS Chesapeake, he was court-martialed for his actions in 1807, which led to the surrender of his ship to the British. After criticism from some fellow officers, the resulting controversy led Barron to a duel with Stephen Decatur, one of the officers who presided over his court-martial. Suspended from command, he pursued commercial interests in Europe during the War of 1812. Barron finished his naval career on shore duty, becoming the Navy's senior officer in 1839.

Early life

Barron was born in Hampton, Virginia, the son of a merchant captain named James Barron who became Commodore of the tiny Virginia State Navy during the American Revolution. He was a younger brother of Samuel Barron. As a boy, Barron served as an apprentice in with his father for several years and entered the navy as a lieutenant and served aboard United States under John Barry. For his exceptional ability and service Barron was promoted to captain in 1799.[1]

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