Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Preble I (Slp)

(Slp: t. cpl. 30; a. 7 12-pdrs., 2 18-pdrs.)

Edward Preble was born at Falmouth, Eastern Massachusetts, now Portland, Maine, 15 August 1761. In 1779 he was appointed to the Massachusetts State Marine, becoming an officer in the 26 gun ship Protector. Becoming a British prisoner, when that ship was captured in 1781, he was held for a time in prison ship New Jersey. On his release, he served in Winthrop and led a boarding party to capture a British brig at Castine and worked it out to sea despite heavy shore fire. Fifteen years of merchant service followed his Revolutionary War service and in April 1798 he was appointed 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. In January 1799 he assumed command of the 14 gun brig Pickering and took her to the West Indies to protect American commerce. Commissioned Captain 7 June 1799, he took command of Essex in December and sailed in January 1800 for the Pacific to provide similar protective services for Americans engaged in the East Indies trade. Given command of the 3rd Squadron, with Constitution as his flagship, in 1803, he sailed for the Barbary coast and by October had promoted a treaty with Morocco and established a blockade off Tripoli. Relieved in September 1804, Commodore Preble returned to the United States in February 1805 and became engaged in shipbuilding activities at Portland, Maine, where he died 25 August 1807.


The first Preble, sometimes called Commodore Preble, a sloop purchased on Lake Champlain in 1813, was commissioned 6 August 1813, Lt. Charles Budd in command. Operating with Commodore Macdonough's squadron, she participated in the Battle of Lake Champlain, 11 September, which gave control of that lake to the Americans and forced General Provost to retire back to Canada. Laid up after the battle, Preble was sold at Whitehall, N.Y., in July 1815.

Published: Mon Aug 24 12:16:50 EDT 2015