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British official Report of the Prince de Neufchatel vs Endymion battle

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As for the marines, Jerome R. Garitee, in his "The Republic's Private Navy: The American Privateering Business as Practiced in Baltimore During the War of 1812" says that they were just landsmen acting as marines. Specifically on page 310, he notes:


"Most of the variations in [privateer] crew stations involved petty officers and the number of first class and ordinary seamen as well as marines or landsmen. Ten or fifteen marines were the rule."

Edited by uss frolick
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That's for that input, Frolick.   I find it interesting that he mentions "as well as marines or landsman".   Could have Marines, could have been landsmen acting in that capacity.  I'm assuming it was a function if Marines were available as I'm sure there were a limited number available and their usage was prioritized somehow.

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Interesting stuff, Frolick.  Thanks for sharing this!


As far as "marines" go, I have not seen anything where actual marines were assigned to any privateers - just naval vessels.  I think, as in many things, the terminology is used to describe the role not the actual source in this case.

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In the research for my Wasp book, I found that even in 1813-14, there were insufficient numbers of real US Marines available for the Wasp in Boston, Newburyport and Portsmouth, so Captain Blakeley had to make due with just five, plus an additional thirteen sailors who were assigned to perform the role as marines. In Newburyport, one of the real Marines got drunk, deserted, stole a horse, but was recaptured. Two of the sailor marines got into a knife fight in France and one had to be punished with the lash. But they still managed to stop the Reindeer's boarders and marines ...

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Hello ,

Thanks for the posts regarding the Privateer Marines .

I find it interesting that so far no one on the possibly only book on the subject has reference ... The book I've found recently , but unfortunately not purchased because of the price .So unfortunately I can not contribute anything substantial on the subject

MARINES OF THE Privateers - WAR OF 1812
McClellan , Edwin N. - Major , U.S. Marine Corps , Officer in Charge, Historical Section


Ps: Frolick thanx ! I will look for The Republic's Private Navy: The American Privateering Business as Practiced in Baltimore During the War of 1812

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Lt. Col. McClellan was a very prolific author and historian for the Marine Corps.  Among his publications are The USMC in the World War (1920, reprinted 1968), Uniforms of the American Marines, 1775 to 1829 (1932, reprinted 1974), and dozens of others.  He also has a number of publications under the name of Ned North.

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Let's see what old Billy-Jim has to say about this fight. From William James's "The Naval History of Great Britain: Volume VI", page 237-8:


" ... On the 9th of October [1814], when off the shoals of Nantucket, she [the Frigate Endymion] fell in with the American Privateer Brig Prince de Neufchatel, of 18 guns and 120 or 130 men. It being calm, Captain [Henry] Hope detached his boats, under the orders of Lieutenant Abel Hawkins, first of the Endymion, to capture the privateer. The boats were repulsed, after sustaining the loss of Lieutenant Hawkins, one midshipman and 26 seamen and marines killed, the second lieutenant, one master's mate, and 35 seamen and marines wounded. Besides which the launch was captured, and the crew made prisoners. So determined and effective a resistance did great credit to the American  captain and his crew. On the 31st, the Endymion fell in with the 56-gun ship Saturn, Captain James Nash, bound to Halifax; and sending on board [i.e. the Saturn], with her surgeon and his servant, 28 wounded officers and men, [and he] received from the Saturn, to replace the severe loss he had sustained, one lieutenant, four midshipmen, and 33 seamen and marines."



"Abel Hawkins" is one heck of a name for a frigate officer!

The heavy Frigate Saturn was a razeed 74 that had been cut down to fight the American 44's, but she retained her main deck 32-pounders.

The Endymion's log book says that the yawl was lost, not the launch.

The Saturn's 38 replacements still would have left Captain Hope shorthanded when he fought the USF President.

The Prince de Neufchatel's captain was French during this cruise, not American.

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  • 5 years later...
On 10/16/2014 at 4:50 PM, uss frolick said:

Here's a treat from the stacks. The Endymion was a 40 gun, 24-pounder frigate of the Royal Navy. She would go on to fight the US Frigate president in January, 1815. She mounted twenty-six long 24-pounders on her gun deck, with twenty-two 32-pounder carronades and one shifting brass 18-pounder on her spar deck.


From the PRO in Kew, Reference numbers ADMI/507, XC 22779A


"[To:] Honorable Alexander Cochrane, K.B.

Admiral of the Red, and

Commander in Chief, , Etc, etc,


Superb at Halifax

15th November, 1814.




It is with extreme regret I do myself the honor to transmit to you herewith, a copy of a letter and its enclosures dated the 11th Ultimo, which I have received from Captain Hope of His Majesty's Ship Endymion detailing the particulars of a gallant but unsuccessful attack made by the boats of that ship under the direction of Lieutenants Hawkins, Armond, and Fanshaw on  an enemy privateer, under circumstances so trying and difficult as to reflect the highest credit on the officers and men engaged in the occasion and whilst  I deplore with Captain Hope the loss of so many valuable lives it is a consolation to [illegible] the spirit with which the attack was renewed affords an ample proof off the determined coolness and bearing of the officers and men, and that valor of His Majesty's Subjects was ... displayed.


... I have the honor to be,


Sir, your most obedient humble servant


Henry Hotham, Rear Admiral"


Hope's Letter:


"Copy, Henry Hotham, Rear Admiral


His Majesty's Ship Endymion

Off Nantucket, 11th October, 1814.




I have the honor of informing you that yesterday returning to my station, a ship and a schooner were discovered to the Westward of Nantucket nearly becalmed under the low land endeavoring to pass between that island and the southern shoals. From the offing we continued to chase them until evening. The wind then entirely left us as it had previously done with the vessels in shore, who had made no progress whatever.


I sent all boats under the command of Lieutenants Hawkins, Armond and Fanshaw. In approaching the ship, an alarm was fired; the boats had been previously  rowing up under a shoal and had not felt the effects of a rapid tide which they almost instantaneously became exposed to;  the second barge, in taking the station assigned by Lieutenant Hawkins, on the schooner's starboard bow, having her larboard oars shot away instantaneously was swept by the stream athwart the first barge, thereby all the boats became entangled, and it is with extreme concern I acquaint you that the attack was in consequence at the moment was only partially made. Notwithstanding this disadvantage at the first  .... and every exertion that human skill and determined bravery could devise was resorted to , to revive the contest and they succeeded in again getting alongside, but not in the positions intended; their failure therefore is to be ascribed in the first instant to the velocity off the tide, the height of the vessel's side, not having channel plates to assist the men in getting on her deck and her very superior force.


(A schooner of the largest dimensions, the Prince de Neufchatel, three hundred and twenty tons, eighteen guns, long nine and twelve pounders, with a complement of one hundred and forty men of all nations, commanded by Mons. Jean Ordsonaux)


the boats painter now being shot away, they again fell astern without ever being able to repeat the attack, and with great difficulty regained the ship, with the exception of the second barge which I have every reason to believe sunk alongside the schooner.


In transmitting this report, I can not help but deplore the unhappy issue of the enterprise, it would be great injustice to the officers and men of the boats if I omitted to say that their bravery and coolness is deserving every praise, I therefore sir beg to impress you with the belief that in no instance could either the officers and men have conducted themselves with greater determination than on the present occasion. I lament exceedingly the deaths of Lieutenant Hawkins, and Mr. Dalzeel, midshipman, who fell early in the action with many other seamen and marines.


Enclosed you will find a return of the killed and wounded. the ship that was in company with the privateer is the Douglass at Nantucket on their parole.


Please - if you have this list - could you post it or send it to me?

I am researching a man that was on that ship

This link lists the muster roll - and any help to learn which of them lived or died in the above battle would be so very much appreciated!



Mrs. Sullivan



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[Note: then followed a detailed list of the casualties by name, which I will omit.]


Total Killed ,17

Total wounded and died of wounds, 45 [including the surgeon, severely wounded!]


Total killed and wounded, 62."


Please do provide the list of killed/wounded - or the source please? I'm trying to track the loss/death of a crew member on the Neufchatel.

Thanks very much!

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Sadly, I no longer have the original that I transcribed six years ago. It was difficult to read from, that I remember, due to bad handwriting, fading and ink bleed-through from the opposite side. I do have the logbook entry of the Endymion from those dates. It mentions one man brought back wounded, who died from his wounds a few days later. He was Law. [Lawrence?] Roberts.


Tell us about your ancestor! :cheers:

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My ancestors are a sea captain and his wife. She was married twice, and it is information about her first husband that I am looking for.

She married first, in 1807, Alexander Wederburg.

He is listed on the Roster of the Prince de Neufchatel, in 1812:    https://www.1812privateers.org/Privateers/crew.html

I have a record of their marriage, in Marblehead, MA, in 1807 and they appear on the Boston 1810 census, with some children, but nothing further of him, after that.

The next thing I have found, after the above 1812 roster list, is her, as his widow, purchasing a house in Boston, in 1815. According to Boston City directories, she ran this as a boarding house..

So I wondered if he, Alexander, was listed as one of the dead, from the battle you mentioned. The timing seemed to be about right.

Also, was your previous source an original document, or a scan of something I might be able to get a copy of from an archive?

Either way, , thanks so very much for replying!


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If Alexander had been killed or wounded in battle on board an American privateer, then his widow or he himself would have been eligible for a pension. If anyone had applied for a pension , then there would still be a file.  


But there are no Wederburgs listed in “The Index to War of 1812 Pension Files “, by Virgil White. Had there been, then all family letters would have survived and could be copied for you. I checked all possible variations of spelling. There was an Alexander Weed, but he was a private in the US 23rd Infantry Regiment.

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On 10/18/2014 at 3:26 PM, uss frolick said:

I truncated the American newspaper account, omitting the earlier parts of her cruise and her numerous captures. It seems to be copied from the brig's log book. But it is still a contemporary account. But notice the details they agree upon, 104 vs. 105 British sailors made the attack, and both agreed the contest lasted 20 minutes.


Poor James was either in New York or Boston at the outbreak of the war, and being a lawyer, he couldn't help but shoot off his mouth. This quickly landed him in prison, from which he escaped somehow, and hoofed it north to Canada, where he befriended many British Naval officers, chief among them Phillip Brook of the Shannon. He definitely had an axe to grind, and perhaps he was justified, but you can feel this in his writings, particularly in "Naval Occurrences". He is spot on, however, with his material and technical data, and for this reason, his work is the definitive work for the period.

Theodore Roosevelt also wrote an excellent book on the War of 1812 in which he directly refutes William James' findings while simultaneously not chastising the British.  His is a much more mature and adult work. I recommend it highly.



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1 hour ago, Bill Morrison said:

Theodore Roosevelt also wrote an excellent book on the War of 1812 in which he directly refutes William James' findings while simultaneously not chastising the British.  His is a much more mature and adult work. I recommend it highly.



You should read ‘The Challenge: Britain Against America in the Naval War of 1812’ by Professor Andrew Lambert, he brings the views of James and Roosevelt up to date and corrects both.



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Speaking of wounded P-de-N privateersmen, I recall reading in an older history of the Island of Nantucket, about two local men who were seriously wounded in the action, but survived. I can't find the copy now, but it went something like this: One man had lost his right arm, and the other had his jaw shot away. They became old friends and looked out after each other. The one-armed man would say "You carve for me, mate, and I'll chew for you!"

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On 8/18/2020 at 11:21 AM, Morgan said:

You should read ‘The Challenge: Britain Against America in the Naval War of 1812’ by Professor Andrew Lambert, he brings the views of James and Roosevelt up to date and corrects both.



I shall do so.  Thanks!



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A fuller account of the battle:


Since the first edition of this work appeared, I have received a more particular account of the desperate battle fought between Captain John Ordronaux, of the privateer The Prince of Neufchatel, of New-York, with five British barges belonging to the English frigate Endymion, off Nantucket, on the 11th of October, 1814; by which it will be seen under all circumstances, it was the hardest fought naval engagement and the most conspicuous victory achieved during the war. 

It was a contest waged against a force more than three times superior numerically; advancing in separate divisions under the cover of night, and assisted by the presence of a heavy frigate, while at the same time, and as a most serious obstacle of a successful defense, Captain Ordronaux was encumbered with thirty-seven British prisoners, who were refractory and all ready for revolt. 
He was therefore obliged to handcuff his prisoners, and confine them in the hold just before the action. 
He had recently manned so many prizes that he had left only thirty-three men, including officers and marines at quarters, when simultaneously attacked by five British barges, manned with one hundred and eleven men, beside the before-mentioned thirty-seven prisoners confined below, who were striving to get loose from their manacles, and unite themselves to their fellow countrymen. 
Fearing that the British frigate would attack the privateer with her boats, Captain Ordronaux made the following preparation for the contest, beside the usual number of muskets, pistols, boarding-pikes and sabres, belonging to his vessel: He had made a large augmentation of fire-arms taken from sundry British prizes during the cruise, so that his gun-room was literally filled with these implements of death and destruction. 
He accordingly took the precaution before night to have some two or three hundred muskets and pistols loaded and placed in a position to grasp at a moment's warning. 
The loaded pistols were put into baskets and placed behind the bulwarks, so that when the strife should commence, it would not be necessary to reload these weapons. He had also his shot-lockers all filled with heavy shot, to throw into the enemy's boats, and stave in their bottoms, if brought to close quarters, when he could not use his carriage-guns. 
Being thus prepared, the brave Captain waited with the most intense anxiety for the approach of the enemy: it was about nine o'clock, the night being dark, they heard the sound of oars at a distance, silently approaching. In the obscurity they could not see the boats of the enemy; a few shot were fired from the Neufchatel in the direction of the sound, to draw a shot from his adversary, with a view to ascertain his position, and how he meant to attack, but the ruse did not succeed. 
Captain Ordronaux had no intention of running away from the fight, nor did he mean that the enemy should, when once engaged in the deadly strife, it being well understood by all on board that rather than surrender to the enemy the privateer should be blown up. Such was the condition of things at the commencement of the action. 

The Neufchatellying at anchor, was now fully prepared to receive the enemy, who approached with five barges in the following order, namely, one on each side, one on each bow, and the other under the stern. A warm action then took place with muskets, pistols, sabres and boarding-pikes. The enemy were promptly met and repulsed, and in about twenty minutes many in the boats cried out for quarters, which were granted to those amidships. 
The men in the two barges under the bows of the privateer, however, succeeded in gaining the forecastle, when Captain Ordronaux, with two or three of his faithful followers, discharged one of his main-deck guns, loaded with canister shot and bags of musket balls. This gun was trained upon the forecastle, which had the effect of killing and wounding great numbers of the enemy, and of driving the remainder overboard. In this discharge he unfortunately wounded several of his own men. 
The five barges which attacked the privateer contained at the commencement of the action one hundred and eleven men, including officers and marines. One barge was sunk with forty-three men, of whom two only were saved. Three boats drifted off from alongside, apparently with no living soul on board; one was taken possession of. She contained thirty-six men at the beginning of the action, of whom eight were killed and twenty wounded, and eight uninjured. 
The Second Lieutenant of the frigate, (F. Ormond, who was not injured,) three midshipmen, two of whom were severely wounded, with one master's mate also wounded, were permitted to come on board. The remainder of the prisoners, (fifteen seamen and marines) were kept astern all night in the launch after taking out the arms, oars, etc., the commander being afraid to trust them on board, having only eight men fit for duty. 

After the battle was over, it was found that six of the privateer's crew were killed, and nineteen wounded, beside Mr. Charles Hilburn, a Nantucket pilot who was stationed at the helm during the action ; it is stated that he was several times wounded, and finally killed by the enemy. 
The British in this action acknowledge a lose of thirty-three killed, thirty-seven wounded, and thirty prisoners. 
During the hottest part of the engagement the prisoners in the hold were loudly cheering their countrymen to continue the fight, and constantly striving to break loose, while Captain Ordronaux and his First Lieutenant, Mr. Millen, were obliged to watch their prisoners, and guard every point to prevent a recapture from the enemy. 
The brave Captain, though wounded, could not be attended by the surgeon, for this gentleman was also wounded in the fight, and unable to assist those who were suffering; so that through this long and dreary night, Captain Ordronaux and his First Lieutenant, Mr. Millen, were obliged to keep guard at each hatchway, with pistol in hand, to prevent the prisoners from breaking loose, while his own poor fellows were lying about the deck, suffering, from their wounds, with no one to attend them, or even to give them a drink of cold water. 
Thus passed this awful night of painful anxiety. I will leave the reader to imagine the anxious feelings of Captain Ordronaux, and his faithful followers, during the long and sleepless night, surrounded by the dead and wounded, with mingled sounds of groans and curses of those who were wallowing about the deck, while the frigate at a distance was seen burning port fires, and sending up signal rockets for her barges to return. 
He also feared that at the break of day the frigate would bear down upon them, and thus defeat all that he had gained in this eventful struggle. At last the morning dawned upon these weary, battle-stained watchers, who had passed the dreary night without once leaving their posts. The colors of the Neufchatel were still flying, though her decks were in an awful condition. 
Some thirty or forty men lay dead and wounded in every condition of mutilation, while the broken arms and implements of warfare scattered around told how desperate had been the struggle on that blood- stained deck ; and now had arrived the most difficult part of Captain Ordronaux's duty. 

As has been stated, he had but eight men fit for duty after the termination of the action; all his prisoners were to be paroled and landed under the eye of a numerous enemy. He was, therefore, obliged to employ five or six of his men in a large launch, and at the same time to keep up an appearance of strength to deceive his adversaries. He was, therefore, obliged to resort to stratagem to carry out his plan. 
Accordingly, he had a sail hung up abaft the main hatches, to serve as a screen, wherewith to conceal the quarter-deck. After this was done, he kept two boys there, one beating the drum, the other blowing the fife, and tramping heavily about the deck, to make the enemy believe that a large number of men were stationed there at quarters, to enforce his orders. Thus while the attention of the enemy was drawn off from his enfeebled state, sixty-seven of the prisoners were passed over the side into the launch, and transported to the shore, where they were placed in the possession of the United States Marshal. 
He also landed his own wounded men, that they might be better attended to, and receive more medical assistance than could be given them on board of the privateer. And thus after having landed all his prisoners, except some five or six, who had been paroled, these being young and active he retained on board to assist his crew in weighing the anchor, and navigating his vessel to Boston. 
In this adroit management, Captain Ordronaux displayed a vast deal of cool, deliberate judgment, as well as uncommon tact in disposing of his numerous prisoners, and hiding his own weakness in point of numbers. He showed himself a great tactician, and, like General Jackson, he knew how to avail himself of every advantage for enabling a small force to compete successfully with a large one. 

A near relative of Captain Ordronaux has furnished the writer of these pages with the brave Captain's journal, the original parole given by the English in their own handwriting, and many other valuable papers and documents, which clearly establish the truth of this unparalleled victory. 
I shall therefore, make no apology for thus discharging my duty to the memory of a distinguished fellow citizen, by communicating these facts in full. 
I think it will be conceded on all hands that Captain Ordronaux evinced as much bravery and tact in disposing of his prisoners after the battle, as in defending his vessel against the enemy during the severe conflict. There are many men who can fight bravely, but few who can manage as well as he did, to profit by and secure the fruits of a glorious victory. 
On his arrival at Boston, a large number of patriotic merchants and other citizens proposed presenting the brave Captain with a sword and a vote of thanks for his gallantry, but the unsparing modesty of the heroic Ordronaux begged through his friends that it should not be done. For, so far from coveting applause, his unassuming, retiring disposition, led him to shun publicity of every kind, and often prevented him from receiving that just share of public approbation which his merit so richly deserved; so that the world knows but little of the gallant deeds of this distinguished nautical hero.


Source: privateer1812.org. Taken in turn from from:


History of the American Privateers and Letters Of Marque By George Coggeshall 
Third Edition, Revised, Corrected And Enlarged. 
Printed 1861 


Her privateering career:


The Prince de Neufchatel was built in New York in 1812-13 by the firm of Adam & Noah Brown. Her design is attributed to Christian Bergh. 
She measured 110 ft. 8 in. long on deck, had an extreme beam of 25 ft. 8 in., and was of 320 tons burthen. She had a hermaphrodite rig and was thus a combination schooner and brigantine. She carried four sails on the foremast, one square sail on the main, and a large fore-and-aft sail with gaff abaft the fore, with large staysails over and three jibs. Her spanker boom projected far beyond the stern. 
Eleven gun ports were cut in each side of her high bulwarks and two in her stern. Besides a couple of long chase guns, her main armament consisted of 12-pound carronades. 

Following completion, the Neufchatel for some unknown reason lay inactive in New York for many months. It was not until October 28, 1813 that a commission was issued with Ordronaux as master and one Le Compte as lieutenant. Sureties for her bond were Madame Charreton, J. Ordronaux, C. G. Fontaine, and Stephen Perpignon, probably all French-Americans. 
Captain Ordronaux took the vessel to sea virtually unarmed, and sailed to Cherbourg, France, arriving January 27, 1814. There she was fitted out as a privateer over the winter. 
Papers filed with the District Court at Boston indicate that she captured the Hazard, Capt. John Anderson, from Rio de Janeiro for Greenock, with a cargo of barrels of beer on January 18th. This would indicate that the capture was made on the way over. 
However, the first war cruise against they British originated from Cherbourg in early March 1814. Sailing into the English Channel six British vessels were captured, some of which were sent into French ports, and the others, not deemed valuable enough, were burned. 
Lloyd's of London on May 2 reported- 

The Achilles, 74 and Sybille frigate returned to Spithead --- The A. chased the American privateer Prince of Neufchatel (she had been several days cruising in the Channel) into Cherbourg on, Saturday the 23d ult. and we understand our new friends there immediately employed themselves in preventing her from breaking the peace in the Channel in future; they took out her guns, dismantled her, and released a prize which she had. sent into the port. 


Despite the above report, the Prince de Neufchatel next sailed in early July 1814, first down the coast of Portugal, and then, about the 1st of August, back to the English Channel. It proved to be a very successful raid. 

The Baltimore Patriot of October 24, 1814 gave extracts from her log: 
Boston, Oct. 15, Saturday Evening 


Arrived, the privateer brig Prince of Neufchatel, Ordonaux, commander, of N. York, of 310 tons and 17 guns from a cruize, the particulars of which are taken from her journal, and follow, viz. 
Sailed from Cherbourg, France, 4th July. 
[July] 9th, captured sloop Jane, Bowen, (John Brown) of Cardigan, from St. Jean de Lux for Falmouth, cargo lumber, 70 tons burthen, 5 men -- burnt her. 
[July] 11th, captured brig Steady, (Richard) Bulley, of Hull, from Bordeaux for St. Johns, NF cargo provisions (barley, pork, hams) and bale goods (9 bales), took out the latter and some of the former articles and burnt her--107 tons burthen, 11 men and 4 guns. 
[July] 22nd, captured brig Triton, (James) Blance, of Peter Head, 127 tons, 8 men, 2 guns, from Cadiz for London, cargo coffee and wine, took out part of the cargo and then scuttled her. 
(Ed. Note: subsequently fallen in with off Cape St. Vincents by the Tuscan sloop of war, almost under water, and towed to Gibraltar with about 65 pipes of wine still on board) 
[July] 24th, captured transport brig Aaron, (Jacob) Pindall, of Scarborough, 142 tons, 8 men, 4 guns, from Gibraltar for Lisbon, in ballast, and scuttled her. 
July 26th, spoke under English colors, (and kept in co. for some time) an English brig of 8 guns. and 30 men, from Lisbon for Gibraltar, in ballast, and ascertaining from her that she had parted a short time before with several men of war, which were looking after several American privateers said to be in the neighborhood, and knowing we should have to put all our prisoners on board and let her go, by which the enemy might get information of us, let her proceed undeceived of our being an American. 


[July] 27th, captured brig Apollo, (William) Hardy, of Hull, 135 tons, 7 men, from St. Ubes for Riga, cargo salt, and burnt her. 
August 9th, captured the cutter General Doyle, (Henry) Simpson, of Bristol, from Leghorn for Bristol, 83 tons, 7 men, 6 guns, coppered, cargo oil, took out most of the cargo, and burnt her. 
[August] 14th, captured brig Barwick Packet, Crosby, from Cork, of and for Bristol, coppered, 94 tons, 7 men, 4 guns, with 50 passengers, and ballast, put on board a number of prisoners and gave her up. Same day captured sloop George, (William) Barber, of Ramsgate, 50 tons, 5 men, from Milford Haven for Plymouth, cargo coals, scuttled her. 
[August] 16th, captured brig Sibson, (Michael) Clark, of Whitehaven, 200 tons, 4 men, 4 guns, from Greencock for Cork, in ballast, scuttled her. 
[August] 18th, captured brig Nymphe, (James) Hutchinson, of Whitehaven, 150 tons, 10 men, from St. Jean de Luz for Cork, cargo whiskey and dry goods (350 cases), took out the latter, threw overboard the former, put on board a number of prisoners and gave her up. Same day, captured brig Albion, (John) Farquar, of Whitehaven, 185 tons, 8 men, 4 guns, from Greencock for Cork, cargo wine, gin, brandy and dry goods, took out the latter, and then burnt her. 
[August] 20th, captured brig Harmony, (John) Wilson, of Greencock, 295 tons, 8 men, 4 guns, from Greencock for Cork, cargo dry goods, rum, and an assortment of other articles, took out part of the cargo, manned her, kept co. till the 24th, and saw her recaptured on that day by a sloop of war, then 8 leagues south of the Land's End. 
(Ed. Note: Ordronaux now turned southwestwards, for his next capture was made far north of the Azores, on his way home) 
August 30th, lat. 45.12, lon 27 captured brig Charlotte, (William) Edwards, of London, 9 men, 8 guns, 190 tons, from Rio Janeiro for Greencock, cargo hides (100 dozen; removed) and brazil wood, burnt her. -- Same day boarded Russian ship Austrian fr. Havana--. 
Sept. 2d, lat. 44, lon. 35.12 (far off Nfld.) spoke and boarded brig William, prize to the York of Baltimore, and supplied her with bread. 
Sept. 6th, lat. 41.12, long 45, (off Nfld.) captured ship Douglas, (Duncan) Cameron, of and for Liverpool, fr. Demerara with a cargo of 421 hhds sugar, 190 puncheons of rum, 6 hhds molasses, 254 bales cotton, 412 bags coffee, 3 bags ginger and 28 logs of mahogany, Of 420 tons, 21 men, and 4 guns, manned her to keep company.


All of the goods taken from the above captured vessels were libeled by the owners of the Neufchatel and Ordronaux in the District Court of Boston in early November. The decree was in favor of the libellants, and on December 2nd James Prince, agent for the owners, acknowledged receipt of $8,436, being one half of the proceeds of the sale of the various goods, the other half going to the officers and crew of the Neufchatel. With the prize Douglas still in company, on the 10th of September he ran into the British 40-gun frigate Endymion, off the southeastern tip of Martha's Vineyard. 





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And from the same source, an account of her capture:


The Prince de Neufchatel, as soon as the wind served, got under way, and easily evading the Endymion, ran into Boston Harbour, October 15th. On gaining port Captain Ordronaux retired from the command of this lucky privateer and became a part owner. 
Her first officer in the fight with the Endymion succeeded to the command after promising "never to surrender the craft." He is described by one of the crew as "a Jew by persuasion, a Frenchman by birth, an American for convenience, and so diminutive in stature as to make it appear ridiculous, in the eyes., of others, even for him to enforce authority among a hardy, weather-beaten crew should they do aught against his will." Her first officer is described as a man who never uttered an angry or harsh word, made no use of profane language, but was terrible, even in his mildness, when faults occurred through carelessness or neglect. He knew what each man's duty was and his capacity for fulfilling it, never putting more to the men's tasks than they were able to get through with; but every jot and tittle must be performed, and that to the very letter, without flinching, or the task would be doubled. While manoeuvring the men he would go through with the various duties without oaths, bluster, or even loud words, and do more in less time than all the other officers on board, with their harsh threatenings, profane swearings, or loud bawlings through their speaking trumpets. The men honored and obeyed him, and would have fought with any odds at his bidding." The second officer was put down as a " mere nobody." 
The third officer had been a warrant officer in the Constitution during her engagements with the Guerriere and Java, but was discharged for " un-officer-like conduct, and had shipped in the Prince de Neufchatel. He proved to be an indifferent officer, and his negligence was the cause of the capture of the privateer on her next cruise. 

On the night of December 21st the Prince de Neufchatel, in spite of the vigilance of the British blockading force off Boston, got to sea. On the fifth day out she encountered a terrific storm which lasted several days, and came near ending the career of this formidable craft. " The morning of December 28th," records one of the American crew, 'I broke with no prospect of the gale ceasing, and the brig looked more like a wreck than the stanch and proud craft of the week previous. She was stripped to her stumps, all her yards, except her fore and fore-topsail, were on deck, her rigging in disorder, and the decks lumbered and in confusion from the effects of the sea which had so often broken over them during the past night. 
Much of this confusion was attributable to the third officer, who had the watch from 4 A. M. to 8A. M. When he was relieved by the first officer, at 8 A. M., the latter severely reprimanded the third officer, and, among other things, asked if a sharp lookout had been maintained, and replied that the last man sent to the masthead had left his post without being relieved, and without the third officer knowing that the brig had, been without a lookout all that time. . . . I saw the fire-or what was its equal, anger-flash from the first lieutenant's eves at this remissness of duty , and he instantly gave an order for the best man on board to go to the masthead, there to remain till ordered down." 
This man had not been at his post ten minutes when he reported a large sail bearing down on the Prince de Neufchatel, and shortly afterward two others, apparently heavy men-of-war, making every effort to close on the privateer. These strangers were, in fact, the British frigates Leander, Newcastle, and Acasta, composing Sir George Collier's squadron, which had been off Boston, but was now hastening across the Atlantic in search of the Constitution had eluded them off Boston and was now at sea. 

As soon as the strangers were discovered the Prince de Neufchatel was put on her best point of sailing, but in spite of every effort-the massive frigates having a great advantage over her in the heavy seas and wind-she was soon surrounded and captured. Only a few minutes after the surrender one of the frigates lost her jib boom, fore and main topgallant roasts and broke her mizzen topsail yard in the slings, while another frigate carried away her mizzen topsail, main topgallant yard, and strained her fore-topsail yard so as to endanger it by carrying sail. Had the approach of the enemy been discovered when they made out the privateer the Prince de Neufchatel would have escaped. 

"At the time of our capture," said one of the privateer's crew, " there were on board five or six French and Portuguese seamen who had belonged to the brig during her former cruisings, and who appeared to be on good terms with the captain but had no intercourse with the crew. They messed by themselves and had as little to say to the Americans as the Americans manifested disposition to associate with them.. These men were overheard to say, more than once during the chase, that the brig, never would be taken by the frigates, assigning reason why only, I She shall never be under a British flag.' One of the men had been a prisoner of war ten times, and declared he would sooner go to the bottom of the ocean than again to prison. To this no one objected, provided he went without company; for he was a Frenchman by birth, a Calmuc in appearance, a savage in disposition, a cut-throat at heart, and a devil incarnate. Our first lieutenant kept a strict eye upon this coterie during the whole day that the chase continued, the idea strengthening, as the captain held on his course long after any hope remained of the chance of getting clear of the frigates, that all was not right. In the hurry of the moment [the surrender] at our rounding to, Jose, one of the men above spoken of, seized a brand from the caboose, proceeded toward the magazine, would have carried his diabolical intentions into effect only for the vigilance of our ever-watchful lieutenant, who checked him ere too late, brought him on deck, nor quit his hold till the brand was cast overboard and the dastard thrown thrice his length by an indignant thrust of the lieutenant's powerful arm." 

With much difficulty a small boarding party from the Leander- took possession of the privateer, but as the sea and wind remained heavy it was found to be impossible to send a second detachment aboard. Realising their advantage, the American officers, about half an hour before midnight, rallied their men, with a view of recapturing the brig, but on gaining the deck they observed that the condition of her spars and sails was such as to render such a move hopeless and the attempt was given up. 

On the following day the prisoners were taken aboard-the Leander, where the Americans noticed a large placard nailed to her mainmast, on which were written these words: " Reward of £100 to the man who shall first descry the American frigate Constitution provided she can be brought to, and a smaller reward should they not be enabled to come up with her." The Leander had been fitted out expressly to capture Old Ironside's, and had a picked crew of more than five hundred men. Every one [in the Leander]," continues the record, was eager in his inquiries about this far-fancied frigate, and most of the men appeared anxious to fall in with her, she being a constant theme of conversation, speculation, and curiosity. There were, however, two seamen and a marine-one of whom had had his shin sadly shattered from one of her [the Constitution's] grapeshot-who were in the frigate Java when she was captured. These I have often heard say, in return to their shipmates' boasting: If you had seen as much of the Constitution as we have, you would give her a wide berth, for she throws her shot almighty careless, tires quick, aims low, and is altogether an ugly customer."' 

The thoroughly American spirit of the Prince de Neufchatel's crew is well brought out in the account of one of her men. After being taken aboard the Leander. the prisoners were stowed away in the cable tier-a miserable hole at the bottom of the ship, where the anchor cables were stored. Here the Americans were compelled to remain from 4 P. m. to 8 A. m. every twenty-four hours. 
To while away the time they resorted to singing. " One night," says one of the men, " it was understood that some of our naval-victory songs were not well relished by the officers on deck, which only brought out others with a louder chorus than before and an extra I hurrah for the Yankee thunders.' At this half a dozen of the best English songsters were picked, with some dozen to join in their choruses. These assembled around the hatch above us for the purpose of silencing us, singing us down, or to rival us in noisy melody and patriotic verse. They were allowed to finish their songs unmolested by us, but the moment they were through we struck up with ours, each one striving to outdo his shipmate, especially in the choruses. 
Knowing that the character of our country was at stake and that it depended much upon our zeal and good management whether it should be upheld in the face of our enemies, we strove accordingly to do our best as its representatives. . . . The contest was kept up for some time, evidently to our advantage, not only as to the quality of the singing-for in this our opponents could not hold their own a moment-but to the number and subject of the songs, they having run out with their victories over the Yankees before our party was fairly warm with the contest. That they should not flag at the game, they took up with the First of June, the Battle of the Nile, besides many others, and we told them, in plain English, that they :were dodging the contest. This they cared far less for than they did for a home-thrust victory over them from the Yankees to each one of theirs over the French. At last our fire became so warm that they were compelled to back out, chopfallen , and they had the satisfaction of having their defeat announced to all on board by three-times-three cheers from the victors, accompanied with the clapping of hands and such other noises as each and all could invent in our zeal to outdo one another and uphold the honour of the country we hailed from, whose emblem is the Stars and Stripes. 

Word came from the deck that such noises could not be tolerated and that we must be quiet. This only aroused the prisoners to greater exertions. In a few minutes the officer of the deck came down with blustering threats. If the most savage tribe of Indians had at once broken loose with a terrific war whoop it could not have been louder nor more grating to the ear than the screaming that followed the termination of the watch officer's speech, who, when he could get a hearing, tried to reason as to the absurdity of the prisoners persisting, saying, " The order of the ship must and shall be maintained; if by no other means, I will order the marines to fire into the hold.' This threat also was responded to by jeers, and soon afterward a line of marines drew up at the hatchway and prepared to shoot. This menace was met with louder jeers than before. 
"Crackaway, my Johnny! You can make killing no murder, but you can't easily mend the shot holes in your best bower cable!' 'Hurrah for Old Ironsides! 'Three cheers for the gallant Perry!' 'Down here, you Johnny Bull, and learn manners from your betters!' were a few of the shouts that saluted the ears of the marines. The officer, not daring to fire on the prisoners, now withdrew his marines, and was followed by the derisive shouts of the prisoners. . . . The noises were kept up till morning broke, not allowing the wardroom officers a moments rest, as they were situated on the deck immediately above us." The next night the prisoners began their pandemonium again, but the officers arranged a number of 42-pound shot on the deck, just over the prisoners heads, and started them rolling. " As they passed from one side to the other, at each roll of the ship, with a low, harsh, thunder-like rumbling, as deafening as dreadful and more horrible than the booming of ten thousand Chinese gongs, intermingling with as many bell clappers, set in motion by one who is sworn to drown all else by his own noisy clatter, they made a noise little less than a discharge of artillery." This proved to be too much for our gallant tars, and they gradually gave up the contest. 

Arriving at Fayal, Sir George transferred his prisoners to the sloop of war Pheasant, in which they were taken to England.....





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49585171061_bdfa5374cc_h.jpg0-12 by Stephen Duffy, on Flickr


Contemporary sailor-made model of Endymion, including her armed boats in the waist note the carronade in the launch, and swivel gun in another:


49585173736_30198369dd_h.jpg0-14 by Stephen Duffy, on Flickr


49585413597_c85863f716_h.jpg0-1 by Stephen Duffy, on Flickr


49585187311_832e9ea605_k.jpg0-6 by Stephen Duffy, on Flickr


Note the two additional swivels mounted on the capstan:


49584689388_7ed389a022_b.jpg0-7 by Stephen Duffy, on Flickr

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Thanks Mark! Sometimes I wonder if many people actually read this stuff ... Cheers Mate! :cheers:


I found a model of her listed on a museum web site. In the description of the model, after giving brief history of the brig and her basic specifications, the Curator wrote:


"No reference has been found as to why she is named for a town in France that produces cream cheese"


Anyway, another model, built by Lloyd McCafferty:




And check out this computer simulation of the P-de-N sailing and going into battle!



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On 8/18/2020 at 3:15 PM, Bill Morrison said:

Theodore Roosevelt also wrote an excellent book on the War of 1812 in which he directly refutes William James' findings while simultaneously not chastising the British.  His is a much more mature and adult work. I recommend it highly.



Roosevelts bias is much more subtle than James though its still there. James's case for the prosecution is his War of 1812. When he wrote his huge naval history and got to the 1812 war he states that he wont go into all the arguments as he already covered that in his book on 1812. Roosevelt uses the Naval History and not the War of 1812 as his base to argue against so you sometimes get into strange situations when James says A in his Naval History . Roosevelt argues against A for reasons B & C (which seem reasonable) but then you look at the War of 1812 and James adds arguments D & E with F directly countering C.  


If anyone is interested I can try and research up some examples (it will take me a while as I would have to re-read them all, and by a while I mean months-years to do properly). 


James is certainly more strident but he was basically a lawyer attacking press lies in public. Roosevelt is a historian so is writing a very different book and against someone who cant argue back.


You have to read all three to see the historiography of it....though go for Roosevelt and James's 1812 to get a feel for the direct arguments and see what you think for yourself. 


Personally I follow NAM Rodgers opinion. The bigger ship won in every single frigate engagement (not smaller ships like sloops where even combats occurred and the US won), both navies were good and you don't need to read any nationalistic superiority into it beyond that. 





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Interesting details on the Endymion, there also appears to be a chimney abaft the mizzen.  Records show portable stoves were issued to Ships, but I’ve never seen   physical evidence before.  It’s the kind of detail a sailor would pick up as opposed to a dockyard model maker.  Whilst not as aesthetically pleasing sometimes such models hold a wealth of detail that would otherwise be lost to us.  Where is this model housed?



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I saw that stack too. Perhaps it is a portable stove for Killick to make his famous toasted cheese for Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin ... "Which I'm bloody well coming, ain't I ? Sir."


The model belongs to the Science Museum of London. They list it as the Frigate Pomone but label their photographs as both Pomone and Endymion. (E was built to the lines of P.)

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19 minutes ago, uss frolick said:The model belongs to the Science Museum of London. They list it as the Frigate Pomone but label their photographs as both Pomone and Endymion. (E was built to the lines of P.)

Thanks for the note, she is now with the National Maritime Museum (SLR0651), from what I recalled all the Science Museum ships were transferred so I thought I’d check and they have better images of her.






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Wow. Thanks for the color pictures. The builder went out of his way to paint the ship and the boats distinctively. That adds a lot. I'd like to see a close up of her stern carvings. Note the five windows, the details of which were omitted from the draught.


Here's a video I found of the Endymion in a war game.



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