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Scots In The US Navy

John Paul Jones (1747-92), perhaps the most famous Scottish name in the annals of the American Navy, was the son of a Scottish gardener, and was born at Kirkbean, Kirkcudbrightshire. The details of his naval career are so well known that there is little use of repeating them here. James Craig (1735-1800), a Scot, Was appointed by Congress a Commissioner of naval stores in 1776. He was owner of a number of armed privateering vessels, took several prizes, and also aided in fitting out several other vessels as privateers. The Nicholson family, of Scottish parentage, was famous in the naval annals of the United States for three generations, from the Revolution to the Civil War. Alexander Murray (1755-1821), grandson of a Scot, took an active part in the naval battles of the Revolution and commanded a squadron against the Barbary pirates in 1820. John Rodgers (1771-1838), of Scottish parentage, had a distinguished part in the war against Tripoli, the government of which he compelled to sign a treaty abolishing slavery of Christians and the levying of tribute on European powers. In the war of 1812 he fired the first gun, June 23, 1812, at the British frigate "Belvidere." He was afterwards offered, but declined, the office of Secretary of the Navy. George Campbell Read (c. 1788-1862), Admiral, of Ulster Scot descent, took part in the fight between the "Constitution" and "Guerrière" in 1812. Isaac McKeever (1794-1856), Commodore and Commandant of the Navy Yard at Portsmouth, Virginia, was of Scottish parentage. John Berrien Montgomery (1794-1873), descended from William Montgomery of Bridgend, Ayrshire (1701), served in the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and while too old for active service in the Civil War, was in charge of Boston Navy Yard, then one of the most important supply stations of the navy. Rear Admiral Andrew Bryson (1822-1892), of Scottish descent, took part in Civil War, and retired after forty-three years' continuous service. John McIntosh Kell (1823-1900), Executive Officer of the Confederate Cruiser "Alabama" and author of "Cruise and Combats of the 'Alabama'" was of Scottish origin. Rear Admiral Alexander Colden Rhind (1821-97), who served in the Mexican and Civil Wars, was also of Scottish descent. William Penn McCann (1830-1906), a descendant of John McKeand, a native of Whithorn, Wigtownshire, who settled here before the Revolution, was called "Father of the White Squadron" from his having the warships painted white. Francis Munroe Ramsay (1835-1914), Rear Admiral and Chief of the Bureau of Navigation (1889), Member of the Court of Inquiry which investigated the conduct of Rear Admiral Schley during the war with Spain, was a grandson of Patrick Ramsay who came from Scotland, c. 1750. Frederick Vallete McNair (1839-1900), Superintendent of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, was descended from Samuel McNair (1732). Rear Admiral George Wallace Melville (1841-1912), who saw considerable service in the Civil War and later achieved world wide fame as an Arctic explorer, was the grandson of a Scot from Stirling; and Admiral John Donaldson Ford (1840-1917), who fought in the Civil War and took a prominent part in the capture of Manila and destruction of the batteries at Cavite during the Spanish-American War, was of Scottish parentage.

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