Lieutenant, 9 March 1798; Captain, 5 March 1799; discharged, 23 October 1801 under the Peace Establishment Act. While assigned to the USS INSURGENT, after defeating a French ship, Lieutenant John Rodgers and Midshipman David Porter, with eleven men, were sent on board the French vessel to take charge and supervise the transfer of prisoners. While yet 173 French crew remained in her, the two ships were separated by a West India hurricane. These thirteen Americans were left to face the gale and 173 of the enemy. Worse yet, all the hatch gratings, handcuffs, and shackles had been thrown overboard after the French ship struck her colors. But Rodgers and Porter were the men for the occasion. They drove the prisoners below the hatches and placed one resolute, well-armed guard at each hatchway with orders to kill anyone who strove to get out.
Naval History and Heritage Command