john percival just turned over in his grave
You lost me
John Percival known to some as Jack Percival (3 April 1779, – 7 September 1862) was an officer in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War with France, the War of 1812, the campaign against West Indies pirates, and the Mexican-American War.
Born in West Barnstable, Massachusetts, Percival left home at thirteen to work as a cabin boy on a Boston coaster. He later served in the U.S. Navy in the Quasi-War as a master’s mate and midshipman, and then entered the merchant service. He was impressed by the Royal Navy and sent to HMS Victory under Lord Jervis. When placed on a Spanish prize, Percival led an uprising and escaped to the American merchant ship Washington.
In 1809, he returned to the U.S. Navy as a sailing master and was assigned to the Syren, part of the New York flotilla under Captain Jacob Lewis. He commanded Gunboat No. 6 and borrowed the fishing smack "Yankee" on the Fourth of July in 1812, using it to capture HMS Eagle, tender of 74-gun HMS Poictiers. Percival joined Peacock, on 9 March 1814, and made three cruises capturing nineteen merchantmen and two warships, HMS Epervier and Nautilus. For his gallantry in the capture of HMS Epervier, he was promoted to Lieutenant and awarded a special sword by Congress.
In 1826, he sailed the U.S.S. Dolphin into the far reaches of the uncharted Pacific to track down the mutineers of the whaleship Globe. He returned by way of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), the first American naval visit to that location. Promoted to captain in 1841, he first saved and restored the USS Constitution and then sailed the fabled warship around the world in 1844-46, Old Ironsides' only circumnavigation.
Percival's legendary reputation is enhanced by the fact that his first naval ship - the Victory - and his last naval ship - the Constitution - remain national shrines in Britain and the U.S., respectively. Herman Melville and James Michener based characters in their novels on this colorful skipper, and Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about him. He was known by the nickname of Mad Jack (attributable to his intense command style); the folk band Schooner Fare wrote and performs "The Ballad of Mad Jack", which relates incidents from his life. He nurtured in a fatherly manner a generation of midshipmen who rose to prominence in the U.S. Navy of the American Civil War era.
He died with the rank of Captain 7 September 1862 in Dorchester, Massachusetts and is buried near his birthplace in West Barnstable.
Two ships have been named USS Percival for him.
This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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