William Bainbridge

William Bainbridge
William Bainbridge.jpg
Born(1774-05-07)May 7, 1774
Princeton, Province of New Jersey, British America
DiedJuly 27, 1833(1833-07-27) (aged 59)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Christ Church Burial Ground Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1798–1833
Commands held
AwardsCongressional Gold Medal

William Bainbridge (May 7, 1774 – July 27, 1833) was a Commodore in the United States Navy. During his long career in the young American Navy he served under six presidents beginning with John Adams and is notable for his many victories at sea. He commanded several famous naval ships, including USS Constitution and saw service in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. Bainbridge was also in command of USS Philadelphia when she grounded off the shores of Tripoli in North Africa, resulting in his capture and imprisonment for many months. In the latter part of his career he became the U.S. Naval Commissioner.

Early life

Bainbridge House in Princeton, New Jersey, the commodore's birthplace.

William Bainbridge was born in Princeton, New Jersey, eldest son of Dr. Absalom Bainbridge and Mary Taylor.[1] His father, a loyalist during the American Revolution, served as a surgeon in the British Army and was convicted of high treason by the State of New Jersey and successfully filed for damages with the American Loyalist Claims Commission. William had two brothers: Joseph, who also became a Navy captain, and John T.; and a sister, Mary. He was raised by his maternal grandfather, John Taylor, Esq., of Middleton, New Jersey as his father left for England in 1783 and his mother remained behind due to her ill health (though his father returned to the United States and died in New York City in 1807).[2][3]