Collection of Benjamin Weiss
CAPTAIN WILLIAM BAINBRIDGE
FURST, Moritz: USA, 1812, Bronze, 65 mm
William Bainbridge (1774-1833), commodore in the United States navy, was put in command of a trading schooner at an early age. When it was found by the newly-formed United States that bribing the pirate Barbary states did not stop their capture of its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, Bainbridge was assigned to serve against them at Algiers and Tunis. While chasing a pirate ship off Tripoli, his ship, the "Philadelphia", ran aground on the Tunisian coast and he was for a time imprisoned. On his release he returned to the merchant service, and when the War of 1812 broke out between Great Britain and the United States, Bainbridge was appointed to command the United States frigate "Constitution" (Old Ironsides). On Dec. 29, 1812, he engaged the British frigate "Java" off the coast of Brazil. The battle, conducted at close range, lasted more than two hours. Although Bainbridge was wounded, he bravely continued his command, and after inflicting heavy losses on the Java, finally forced it to surrender, burning his prize at sea. At the conclusion of the war with Great Britain, Bainbridge fought once more against the Barbary pirates.
LINK to article: Medalic History of the War of 1812: Consequences to the American Indian Nations (by Benjamin Weiss)
LINK to biography of Captain William Bainbridge (from Virtualology)
LINK to HMS Java (from Wikipedia)