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The Reestablishment of the Navy, 1787-1801
Historical Overview and Select Bibliography


The Officer Corps


Bradford, James C., ed. Command under Sail: Makers of the American Naval Tradition, 1775-1850. Annapolis: Naval Institute, 1985. 333 pp.

Studies of the naval officers who served in the navy during the Federalist period include William Bainbridge, John Barry, Stephen Decatur, Jr., Isaac Hull, Thomas Macdonough, Oliver Hazard Perry, Edward Preble, David Porter, and John Rodgers.

Cooper, James Fenimore. Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers. 2 vols. in one. Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846. 252 pp., 264 pp.

Guttridge, Leonard F., and Jay D. Smith. The Commodores. 1969. Reprint. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1984. 340 pp.

Discusses the formative years of the U.S. Navy and its officers in the first six chapters.

McKee, Christopher. A Gentlemanly and Honorable Profession: The Creation of the U.S. Naval Officer Corps, 1794-1815. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991. 600 pp.

Pratt, Fletcher. Preble's Boys: Commodore Preble and the Birth of American Sea Power. New York: William Sloane, 1950. 419 pp.

Contains short histories of the following officers whose careers began during the Federalist period: William Bainbridge, James Biddle, Johnston Blakeley, William Burrows, Stephen Cassin, Isaac Chauncey, Stephen Decatur, Jr., Isaac Hull, Jacob Jones, James Lawrence, Thomas Macdonough, Daniel Todd Patterson, David Porter, Charles Stewart, and Lewis Warrington.

Bainbridge, William

Dearborn, H. A. S. The Life of William Bainbridge, Esq. of the United States Navy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1931. 218 pp.

Long, David F. Ready to Hazard: A Biography of Commodore William Bainbridge, 1774-1833. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1981. 359 pp.

Barron, James

Stevens, William Oliver. An Affair of Honor: The Biography of Commodore James Barron, U.S.N. Chesapeake, Va.: Norfolk County Historical Society, 1969. 204 pp.

Watson, Paul Barron. The Tragic Career of Commodore James Barron, U.S. Navy (1769-1851). New York: Coward-McCann, 1942. 84 pp.

Barry, John

Clark, William Bell. Gallant John Barry, 1745-1803: The Story of a Naval Hero of Two Wars. New York: Macmillan, 1938. 530 pp.

Griffin, Martin I. J. Commodore John Barry, "The Father of the American Navy": The Record of His Services for Our Country. Philadelphia: Published by the author, 1903. 424 pp.

Gurn, Joseph. Commodore John Barry: Father of the American Navy. New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1933. 318 pp.

Brown, Moses

Maclay, Edgar S. Moses Brown, Captain, U.S.N. New York: Baker & Taylor, 1904. 220 pp.

Dale, Richard

Hannon, Bryan. Three American Commodores. New York: Spinner Press, 1936. 208 pp.

Decatur, Stephen, Jr.

Anthony, Irvin. Decatur. New York and London: Scribner, 1931. 319 pp.

Lewis, Charles L. The Romantic Decatur. 1937. Reprint. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1971. 296 pp.

Mackenzie, Alexander S. Life of Stephen Decatur, a Commodore in the Navy of the United States. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1846. 443 pp.

Gordon, Charles

Calderhead, William L. "A Strange Career in a Young Navy: Captain Charles Gordon, 1778-1816." Maryland Historical Magazine 72 (Fall 1977): 373-86.

Hull, Isaac

Grant, Bruce. Isaac Hull, Captain of Old Ironsides: The Life and Fighting Times of Isaac Hull and the U.S. Frigate Constitu- tion. Chicago: Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1947. 418 pp.

Hull, Isaac. Commodore Hull: Papers of Isaac Hull, Commodore, United States Navy. Edited by Gardner W. Allen. Boston: The Boston Athenaeum, 1929. 341 pp.

Maloney, Linda M. The Captain from Connecticut: The Life and Naval Times of Isaac Hull. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986. 549 pp.

Molloy, Leo T., comp. Commodore Isaac Hull, U.S.N., His Life and Times. Derby, Conn.: Hull Book Fund, 1964. 244 pp.

Richmond, Helen. Isaac Hull: A Forgotten Hero. Boston: USS Constitution Museum, 1983. 78 pp.

Lawrence, James

Burlington County Cultural and Heritage Commission (New Jersey). The Captain James Lawrence Symposium Addresses. Burlington, N.J.: Burlington County Cultural and Heritage Commission, 1983. 35 pp. Partial contents: William M. Fowler, Jr., "The Navy of the New Republic, 1783-1815'; William S. Dudley, "Captain James Lawrence, USN: Fallen Naval Hero." Delivered on 3 October 1981 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lawrence's birth.

Gleaves, Albert. James Lawrence, Captain, United States Navy, Commander of the "Chesapeake." New York: Putnam, 1904. 337 pp.

Peabody Museum of Salem. "Don't Give Up the Ship": A Catalogue of the Eugene H. Pool Collection of Captain James Lawrence. Salem, Mass.: Peabody Museum, 1942. 82 pp.

Porter, David

Long, David F. Nothing Too Daring: A Biography of Commodore David Porter, 1780-1843. Annapolis: United States Naval Institute, 1970. 396 pp.

Porter, David D. Memoir of Commodore David Porter of the United States Navy. Albany, N.Y.: J. Munsell, 1875. 427 pp.

Turnbull, Archibald Douglas. Commodore David Porter, 1780- 1843. New York and London: Century, 1929. 326 pp.

Preble, Edward

McKee, Christopher. Edward Preble: A Naval Biography, 1761- 1807. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1972. 394 pp.

Rodgers, John

Paullin, Charles O. Commodore John Rodgers: Captain, Commo- dore, and Senior Officer of the American Navy, 1773-1838, a Biography. 1910. Reprint. Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1967. 434 pp.

Talbot, Silas

Fowler, William M., Jr. Silas Talbot: Captain of Old Ironsides. Mystic, Conn.: Mystic Seaport, forthcoming 1995.

Tuckerman, Henry T. The Life of Silas Talbot: A Commodore in the Navy of the United States. New York: J. C. Riker, 1850. 137 pp.

Truxtun, Thomas

Eller, Ernest M. "Truxtun--the Builder." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 63 (October 1937): 1445- 52.

Truxtun supervised the construction, rigging, and fitting out of Constellation and drew up the frigate's organization bills, orders, and regulations.

Ferguson, Eugene S. Commodore Thomas Truxtun, 1755-1822: A Description of the Truxtun-Biddle Letters in the Collections of the Library Company of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Free Library of Philadelphia, 1947. 31 pp.

Letters written by Thomas Truxtun to Charles Biddle from 1 December 1787 to 21 October 1820.

-----. Truxtun of the Constellation: The Life of Commodore Thomas Truxtun, U.S. Navy, 1755-1822. 1956. Reprint. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1982. 322 pp.

Robison, S. S. "Commodore Thomas Truxtun, U.S. Navy." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 58 (April 1932): 541-54.