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Adapted from "Captain Stephen Champlin, United States Navy, Deceased" [biography, dated 11 October 1951] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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Stephen Champlin

17 November 1789 - 20 February 1870

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Stephen Champlin was born on November 17, 1789 in Kingston, Rhode Island, and died February 20, 1870 in buffalo, New York.

He was appointed sailing master May 22, 1812. In command of the Scorpion, he fired the first shot on the American side in the Battle of Lake Erie, and in capturing the Little Belt, fired the last shot of the battle. He was placed in command of the captured vessels Queen Charlotte and Detroit.

In the spring of 1814 he commanded the Tigress, and with Captain Turner of the Scorpion, blockaded Mackinac. These vessels cruised on Lake Huron for several months and cut off the supplies of the British garrison. Surprised by a superior force sent out from Mackinac on the night of September 3, 1814, he was dangerously wounded and taken prisoner and held at Mackinac for 38 days, all the time suffering intensely. He was finally paroled and sent to Erie and later to his home in Connecticut. Appointed Captain April 4, 1867.

The USS Champlin, DD 601, (also DD 104) was named in his memory. Mrs. Adelaide Champlin Brendel, sponsored the second destroyer USS Champlin, named in honor of her great grandfather.


Published: Tue Feb 16 13:56:48 EST 2021