Essex, Actions of the

views updated


ESSEX, ACTIONS OF THE (1812–1814). During the War of 1812 the Essex inflicted $6 million of damage on British whaling in the South Pacific. The Essex, the first American warship to round Cape Horn, attacked and captured British whalers around the Galápagos Islands between March and September 1813. On 28 March 1814, Captain David Porter was attacked by the British frigate Phoebe and the sloop Cherub. Outgunned and hampered by shifting winds and the loss of his main topmast in a squall, Porter was compelled to surrender. His losses were fifty-eight killed, sixty-five wounded, and thirty-one missing; the British had five killed and ten wounded.


DeForest, Tim. "Fighting Ship to the Last," Military History 11:2 (1994): 54–61.

Long, David F. Nothing Too Daring. Annapolis, Md.: U.S. Naval Institute, 1970.

Walter B.Norris/a. r.

See alsoCape Horn ; War of 1812 ; Whaling .