Frigates USS PRESIDENT and USS CONGRESS Chasing HMS GALATEA, October 1812
On 31 October 1812, the United States frigates USS PRESIDENT, Commodore Rodgers, and USS CONGRESS, Captain John Smith, at 9am fell in with the British 36-gun frigate HMS GALATEA, Captain Woodley Lesack. Under her charge were 2 south whalers, ARGUS and BERKELEY, the latter in tow. Casting her off, GALATEA bore down to reconnoiter. Finding they were enemies, she made a signal for her convoy to make the best of their way into port. The two American frigates now displayed their colors and the Commodore hoisted his broad pennant. About noon, PRESIDENT tacked, as if to get into the wake of GALATEA, who was afraid she would be placed between two enemies. She was relieved when CONGRESS also tacked, and she now edged away to get upon her best point in sailing. The PRESIDENT set her topmast studdingsails, then her topgallant and, lastly, her lower studdingsails, but at dark took all in and hauled to the wind. GALATEA escaped and, being 93 men short of her complement, she could scarcely have resisted the attack of the smaller American frigates.