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American Brave: Story of Admiral Joshua Barney

American Brave: Story of Admiral Joshua Barney

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American Brave: Story of Admiral Joshua Barney

589 Seiten
8 Stunden
Feb 10, 2014


Joshua Barney had youthful aspirations of becoming a sea captain. When he was eleven years old, his dream came true, and a lifetime occupation on the sea commenced, something possible for a boy living in the 18th century to achieve.

Joshua Barney made his first sea voyage at the age of eleven. At the age of fourteen, he was captain of a merchant ship to Europe and back.

Barney took part in thirty-five Revolutionary War naval engagements. He lost five of these engagements, suffered imprisonment three times, and escaped the British prison twice. The tale of Barneys incredible victories at sea, frustrating defeats, and cleverness as a prisoner constitute a series of remarkable anecdotes.

Joshua was a member of the Cincinnati Society, the Freemasons, and Paris Masonic Lodge of Nine Sisters.

Joshua Barney worked with Robert Morris to collect $600,000 dollars in Havana and transport the gold and silver to Philadelphia in June 1782 to fund the Philadelphias Bank of North America, the first United States chartered bank.

Barney served in the French Navy as Capitaine Vaisseanu de Premier with the rank equivalent to that of Post Captain of the highest grade. Commodore Barney was the American hero at the battle of Bladensburg, 1814. Joshua Barney proved to be one of the American Brave.
American Brave
by Thomas Williams

Historical Fiction: The story of Admiral Joshua Barney (1759-1818) is fun, informative, emotional, and adventurous.
Feb 10, 2014

Über den Autor

Thomas Williams has written 14 books, both fiction and nonfiction, including three with Josh McDowell. He has ghostwritten another dozen books for several popular authors. Formerly the executive art director for Word Publishing, Tom has designed or illustrated more than 2,000 book covers and now serves as a creative consultant to several publishers. He and his wife, Faye, have three married daughters and eight grandchildren. They live in Granbury, Texas near Fort Worth.

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American Brave - Thomas Williams

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© 2014 Thomas Williams. All rights reserved.

This book is a work of historical fiction. The names of the characters are real and most of the incidents are based on actual accounts while others are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the materials in this book.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

Published by AuthorHouse 02/03/2014

ISBN: 978-1-4918-6143-1 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4918-6144-8 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014902281

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Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.



Joshua Barney (1759-1818)

American Brave

Prologue To American Brave

One   Family History, Youth, Dreamer 1632-1770

Two   Joshua Barney 1759

Three   Merchant Ship, Sidney 1771

Four   . . . Sidney’s Near Disaster 1774

Five   Europe, Algiers, Baltimore 1775

Six   Sloop, Hornet 10-Guns 1775

Seven   Sloop, Uss Sachem 1776

Eight   Uss Wasp, 10-Guns 1776

Nine   Uss Andrea Doria, 14-Guns 1776

Ten   Uss Virginia, 28-Guns 1777

Eleven   Captured, Prisoner 1778

Twelve   Privateer, Alexandria 1778

Thirteen   Romance, Marriage 1779

Fourteen   Life’s Lessons 1779

Fifteen   Sloop, Saratoga, 16-Guns 1780

Sixteen   Old Mill Prison, England 1780

Seventeen   Frigate, South Carolina, 44-Guns 1781

Eightteen   Philadelphia 1782

Nineteen   Hyder Ally, 16-Guns 1782

Twenty   Uss General Washington, Havana 1782

Twenty-One   Uss General Washington, Europe 1783

Twenty-Two   Society Of The Cincinnati 1783

Twenty-Three   Uss General Washington, Annapolis 1784

Twenty-Four   Merchant Trade, Europe, Caribbean 1784

Twenty-Five   Honoring Joshua Barney 1786

Twenty-Six   Constitutional Convention 1787

Twenty-Seven   Federalist 1788

Twenty-Eight   First Lady And President 1788

Twenty-Nine   Baltimore, Life At Home 1789

Thirty   Sampson, 300 Tons 1791

Thirty-One   Sampson, English Thugs 1793

Thirty-Two   Trade, Cape Francois, Trial 1793

Thirty-Three   Cincinna To France, Terror 1794

Thirty-Four   French Navy, La Vengeance 1795

Thirty-Five   French Navy, La Barmonic 1796

Thirty-Six   The Quasi War; Dengue Fever 1797

Thirty-Seven   Munity, Hms Sandwich 1797

Thirty-Eight   Uss Constellation 1797

Thirty-Nine   Betsey Ross, Flag 1798

Forty   Debt From France 1799

Forty-One   White House 1802

Forty-Two   Jerome Bonaparte 1803

Forty-Three   Politics 1806

Forty-Four   Trade, Remarried 1809

Forty-Five   Uss Scorpion, Barges, Flotilla 1813

Forty-Six   Bladensburg, Defeat 1814

Forty-Seven   Bladensburg Races 1814

Forty-Eight   Peace, Europe 1815

Forty-Nine   Kentucky 1816

Fifty   Death 1818

Fifty-One   Funeral 1814

Fifty-Two   Last Will & Testament, Joshua Barney 1818

Fifty-Three   Scott Key, To Anacreon Heaven 1814

Fifty-Four   Family Information 1818

Fifty-Five   Cincinnati Society 1818

Fifty-Six   Treaty Of Paris 1784

Fifty-Seven   Ships Associated With Joshua Barney 1771-1814


End Page Notes

American Brave

Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), artist and museum founder, painted numerous civilian, military, and naval figures of the American Revolution era. He eventually displayed these portraits of distinguished Americans along with his natural history collection in a museum that he established during the 1780s in Philadelphia. Peale’s museum was an important cultural and educational landmark for the new republic because it was the first scientifically organized and continuous museum of natural history and art open to the public in America.1

Peale possibly painted this portrait (see above) of Joshua Barney in 1788 during one of Barney’s frequent visits to Philadelphia that year. The image depicts a young Barney, twenty-nine years old, in a Continental Navy uniform. The following is a physical description of the painting: Oil on canvas. Bust length, nearly left profile. Dark blue uniform coat with red facings, brass buttons, and gold epaulettes, white stock and shirt ruffle. Powdered hair in a queue tied with a black ribbon, brown eyes. Dark brown background. 23 x 20 inches

To my wonderful wife, Toss

Other books by Thomas Williams:

•   Blood Spilled for Freedom

•   America’s First Flag Officer

o   Commodore John Barry, pages-249

•   American Hero

o   Commodore Stephen Decatur, pages-804

•   American Honor

o   Admiral Charles Stewart, pages-689

•   The American Spirit

o   Commodore William Bainbridge; pages-391

•   Assassin, Denial of Reality II

•   Chronicles of a Traveling Aficionado

•   Dependency, Denial of Realty

•   Seas of Courage

The Congress selected the Bald Eagle as a symbol for victory for two reasons:

First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it.

Secondly, he wears no material crown.

At the top of the Presidents shield is a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation.

In the Eagle’s beak you will read. ‘E Pluribus Unum’ meaning; ‘one out of many.’

Above the Eagle, we have the thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one.

America, which relies on God to direct and lead, boldly chose:

13 original colonies,

13 signers of the Declaration of Independence,

13 stripes on our flag,

13 steps on the pyramid,

13 letters in ‘Annuit Coeptis,’ (He [God] has favored our undertakings)

13 letters in ‘E Pluribus Unum,’

13 stars above the eagle,

13 bars on that shield,

13 leaves on the olive branch,

13 fruits,

13 arrows.

JOSHUA BARNEY (1759-1818)

Quork Walker, a slave, successfully petitions for his freedom, basing his plea on the State constitution’s declaration that All men are born free and equal.

American Brave,

by Thomas Williams

(Commodore Joshua Barney, 1759-1818, historical fiction)

Joshua Barney had youthful aspirations of becoming a sea captain. When he was eleven years old, his dream came true, and a lifetime occupation on the sea commenced, something possible for a boy living in the 18th century to achieve.

Joshua Barney made his first sea voyage at the age of eleven. At the age of fourteen, he was captain of a merchant ship to Europe and back.

Barney took part in thirty-five Revolutionary War naval engagements. He lost five of these engagements, suffered imprisonment three times, and escaped the British prison twice.

Barney shipwrecked two ships but only had to put down one mutiny. The tale of Barney’s incredible victories at sea, frustrating defeats, and cleverness as a prisoner constitute a series of remarkable anecdotes.

Joshua was a member of the Cincinnati Society, the Freemasons, and Paris Masonic Lodge of Nine Sisters.

Joshua Barney worked with Robert Morris to collect $600,000 dollars in Havana. Joshua Barney was responsible for transporting the gold and silver to Philadelphia in June 1782 to fund the Philadelphia’s Bank of North America, the first United States chartered bank.

Joshua’s many friends included Robert Morris, Henry Laurens, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, David Stodder, Alexander Hamilton, Tench Coxe, Jerome and Napoleon Bonaparte, Marie Antoinette, and many more.

Barney served in the French Navy as Capitaine Vaisseau de Premier with the rank equivalent to that of Post Captain of the highest grade.

Commodore Barney was the American hero at the battle of Bladensburg, 1814. Joshua Barney leadership on land and sea greatly contributed to the United States becoming a free country after fighting the war of 1812. Joshua Barney proved to be one of the American Brave.

SHIPS named after Commodore Joshua Barney:

Four United States Naval ships carried the name Barney.

•   USS Commodore Barney, a Civil War ferryboat.

•   USS Barney (TB-25), a torpedo boat built at the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine in 1900

•   USS Barney (DD-149), a Wickes-class destroyer, built at Cramps’ Shipbuilding in Philadelphia, launched 5 Sep 1918

•   USS Barney (DDG-6) was a Charles F. Adams guided missile destroyer, built at New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, launched 10 Dec 1960.

Joshua Barney School:

Joshua Barney School located in the seaside town of Gaeta, Italy opening in September 1967.

The renaming of the school to Gaeta American School in the mid-1980s ended the use of Barney’s name; the original name of Gaeta EMS was Commodore Joshua Barney who served as a Commodore first in the Royal French Navy and not long after that, for the new United States Navy.

The school closed in June 2008.

Prologue To American Brave:

by Thomas Williams

(Commodore Joshua Barney, 1759-1818, historical fiction)

‘American Brave,’ is the life account of Commodore Joshua Barney, his leadership, initiative, and bravery in defending the United States in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. American Brave is about the sacrifices to bring about our constitutional republic that sadly, we are losing today through complacency.

A Republic by definition had two principles elements:

First: A republic is controlled by law, therefore, it does not control law.

Second: A republic recognizes the private independent sovereign nature of each person (man or woman) of competent age and capacity; therefore, a republic must be representative in its nature.

The address by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the cadets of the U.S. Military Academy in accepting the Sylvanus Thayer Award on 12 May 1962 is applicable to Commodore Joshua Barney’s life.

They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for actions, not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never to take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be duty, honor, country.

The British were playing their hand poorly with the Colonies. The British were egotistical, narcissistic, bullies under the Kings rule of self-indulgence that was fearful of losing control over English (American) citizens. The British considered the Citizens of the American colonies as inferior in status, people existing to service the needs of the British monarchy.

The Americans for the most part were Independent with dreams of positive futures in spite of high hurdles of overcoming economic conditions that in some case were deplorable. Muslims were attacking merchant ships; the British were boarding American vessels looking for deserters, and impressing American sailors in slave conditions, many of them not ever seeing their families and love ones again.

Joshua Barney was one of many champions of the American cause. Barney was self-educated, but a man that dined with four Presidents of the United States.

The British arrogance was eroding the foundation of the British Empire. The Revolutionary War, 1775-1783, did not accomplish making America an independent nation; the war for true independence was yet to be fought. The founding fathers were aware of the festering wounds left by the Revolutionary War, even after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, wounds involving more conflicts with the British were going forward.

Treatment of American prisoners by the British in the Revolutionary War was beyond today’s comprehension of humane treatment. The British were caging Americans in unspeakable conditions of overcrowding, lack of food, potable water, and a myriad of diseases. In some cases, the cage spaces allowed only three ½-foot ceilings, no light or sanitation facilities, assuring death to the prisoners in the most agonizing conditions possible. The estimated death of American men and women while incarcerated by the British was greater than the number of Americans dying in battle against British troops. Joshua Barney was a prisoner three times and his hatred for His Majesty Royal Navy extended to the end of his life.

The War of 1812 was the final war with the British for American independence.

Joshua Barney was a popular naval hero. Barney and his sailors fought their last battle on land, August 24, 1814, with distinguished gallantry and good conduct. The Battle of Bladensburg was the Americans last-ditch effort to save Washington D.C. from burning.

Our welcome—guest, Commodore Barney—so long as bravery shall constitute a trait in the American character, so long will his fame rank high in the annals of his country.

Commodore Joshua Barney was one of the American Brave.


Family history, youth, dreamer


"Here and there around the jetties he saw the huge barrels known as hogsheads, used for transporting tobacco: he had watched them being unloaded in the port of London, and it now struck him as remarkable that everyone had survived the hazardous and violent transatlantic voyage to get there from here."

A Place Called Freedom

N ot everybody residing in the new American colonies were in favor of emerging the colonies into an independent country. There were immigrants that resided on the east coast that were Tories and wished to remain loyal to the King or they thought they were still loyal to the King. Many other European immigrants believed that independence was what the new country was all about; they came to America to be self-reliant and liberated from religious persecution.

Americans born in the mid-eighteen century were going to be growing up in difficult economy times. America was struggling with the rudimentary growth of free commerce and the British efforts to control it. The politics in America was being polarized into those wishing to be rid of the Kings control, and others believing they should remain a loyal colony of Great Britain.

Commerce was the lifeblood of the colonies; Americans had raw materials that Europe needed tobacco, furs, lumber, and cotton. Americans wanted European manufactured goods that they were dependent on to make their lives better. Americans alsotraded in the Caribbean to acquire their sugar, molasses, fruits, and slaves.

Charles I of England had granted a charter that lead to the creation of the Province of Maryland, a proprietary colony in 1632.

In 1696, the western part of the Province of Maryland, including the present Garrett County, that was incorporated into Prince George’s County. This county included the six current Maryland counties, and by splitting these six counties, additional counties came into existence as the population grew.

Baron Baltimore, the founder of Baltimore first Catholic Church in 1729, had great hopes of making the town friendly for Catholics to reside in. Baron Baltimore felt Catholics would be encouraged to leave British rule if they had place to practice their religion without fear of persecution. Catholics came to Baltimore but they were not particularly welcomed in the rest of Maryland.

Most of the Tories on the eastern seaboard were not tolerant of Catholics and discouraged Catholics from settling among Tories strong holds like Boston.

The city of Baltimore, located in Baltimore County had a beautiful natural harbor, a harbor well suited to the loading and unloading of the vessels used in the growing export and import trade business with Europe. Shipbuilding also emerged as a major economic activity in Baltimore.

The majority of the European population of Maryland attended Protestant Churches. The forth Baron Baltimore, Benedict Leonard Calvert, was granted full proprietary rights.

The oldest church in Baltimore, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, built in 1692 had a large congregation.

Philadelphia was the only American city to embrace Catholics. Philadelphia became the Catholic refuges for many people from Ireland and England. Proprietary rule in Maryland continued until the eve of the American Revolution.

Wheat grew in western Maryland in abundance making wheat a profitable export to Europe along with tobacco. Wheat helped make Lord Baltimore a fortune. Maryland’s principal cash crop in the 17th century was tobacco.

In 1760, King George III adopted the state of Maryland as his favorite state meaning that he assumed direct control over the province. The Kings heavy hand did not set well with most of the Maryland residents.

Many young men growing up on the east coast of America were dreamers, dreaming of becoming great leaders on the seas, captains of vessels sailing the vast oceans, dreaming of making great fortunes, and going to exotic places. Young boys living in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Annapolis, Boston and New York all enjoyed the advantage of watching the robust ship building industry grow. Americans were building wooden ships for Europe. The boys could also visit the thousands of merchant vessels transporting the growing commerce of the new country from these harbors to the East Indies and Europe.

In 1776, Maryland became a slave state because of the increase in the tobacco production. Maryland prosperity from the export of tobacco and wheat grew rapidly.

William Barney II, the father of the Joshua Barney the main character of this book, farmed one of the larger tobacco farms in Maryland.

The Continental Congress met in Baltimore from December 1776 to March 1777. John Hancock served as President from 1775-1777 and Henry Laurens served as President from 1777-1778.

The Continental Congress then met in Annapolis from November 1783 to June 1784. Thomas Mifflin served as President of the Continental Congress from 1783-1784. Baltimore and Annapolis were among the eight cities that served as United States capitals prior to the designation of a permanent seat in Washington D.C.

The people in the state of Maryland were independent thinkers and skeptical of the radical political thinking of the time. They were one of the last states to sign the Articles of Confederation and the seventh state to ratify the federal Constitution.

Joshua Barney’s grandfather, William Barney, was born in 1695 in England. He had come from Shropshire, England to Maryland at the age of fourteen, sent to America by an uncle; apparently, his parents had died. William married Elizabeth Stevenson, also from Baltimore.

The Barneys lived in Baltimore until 1707 when they moved to their farm in Bear Creek Area of Patapsco Neck in Baltimore County, to take up tobacco growing on a full time basis.

Barney’s attraction to the beautiful greenway of the gently rolling land suitable for tobacco farming made him fall in love with farming. The fertile farmland shadowed the Patuxent River to the Rhode River on the Chesapeake Bay. The farm also had extensive tidal and forested wetlands.

William Barney’s oldest son, born in Baltimore County on March 20, 1718, by his by his first wife, Elizabeth Stevenson Barney and named after his father, William.

William’s II mother, Elizabeth Stevenson Barney died on September 22, 1719 after a lingering illness. William senior had servants to assist in the care of young William II.

William Barney farm grew and processed tobacco or as tobacco locally became referred to as soft weed. Barney had large tobacco barns or tobacco houses for drying the tobacco leaves. The barn-like buildings, covered in clapboard with horizontal poles added on the interior. The tobacco leaves hung from the poles to cure. The sides of the buildings had movable boards to increase the airflow to aid in the curing. William had been experimenting from his youth with the perfecting of growing and curing of soft weed.

The work of preparing the land for the tobacco crops was not easy. William would get started in February with a new crop using slaves and servants to clear the land and then break up the soil with an iron hoe.

Harvest time was generally in September when the leaves were ready for harvesting. The workers cut the plants at their bases, carried them to the barns, and hung the tobacco leaves so they would air cure.

Each field worker tended to about 10,000 tobacco plants working twelve hours a day, six days a week. Working at the backbreaking tasks in the tobacco fields during the growing season depended on men with strong constitutions.

By November or early December, the curing of the tobacco leaves ended. The cured leaves after removal from the poles in the curing houses went into large wooden barrels called hogsheads. A good packer could pack about one-thousand pounds of dried tobacco in a hogshead. The compression of the dried tobacco leaves hogshead required weights or a screw and lever to achieve a tightly packed hogshead ready for a long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

William senior introduction to Mary Pearson took place at church during a gathering for a fundraiser. Mary was enamored with William and she made sure they met each other frequently. The courtship was successful and the date for the wedding was set. William and Mary Pearson married in Baltimore early in 1721.

William Barney died in March 19, 1746 after a long illness at the young age of fifty-one.

Last Will and Testament of William Barney:

In some Good degree of the fear of Almighty God:

"It seameth good to me, William Barney Senior of Baltimore County in the Province of Maryland, planter, to make this my last Will and Testament as relating to those things that pleased God to favour me with in this present world being at this time in perfect memory and disposing mind, first my will and desire is that all my just Debts due from me with my funeral Expenses be well and truly paid.

Eitem. I have given unto my Eldest Son William Barney Six pound Sterling which I have already paid Henry Morgan upon his account and that to be his full and final part of all my Estate.

Eitem. I give and bequeath to my Eldest Daughter Martha wife to Richard Hooker one neagro Girl named Cate and her Increase to her and her heirs forever and that to be her full and final part of all my Estate.

Eitem. I give and bequeath to my Son Absolam Barney all that Tract of Land he now lives on to him and his heirs forever.

Eitem. I give and bequeath to my Son Benjamin Barney one Tract of Land called Absolams Chance to him and his heirs forever.

Eitem. I give and bequeath to my Second Son William Barney by my wife Mary one Tract of Land called Chilcotes Hazard to him and his heirs forever.

Eitem. I give and bequeath to my Son Moses Barney at the Decease of my dear wife that Tract of Land bought of John Beard called Timber Ridge to him and his heirs forever,

Eitem. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Mary Barney one Negro Girl named Beck she and her Increase to her and her heirs forever to be paid her more than an equal part of my Estate with the rest of my Children.

Eitem. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Ruth Barney one Negro boy named Tef her and her heirs forever, to be paid her more than an equal part of my Estate with the rest of my Children.

Eitem. I give and bequeath to my dear wife Mary Barney four Negros at her choice forever and that to be in the Room of her Thirds of the negro, and Lastly, my will and desire is that my dear wife should be my hole and sole Ecctress of all my Estate and after a due appraisement my Estate to be Equally divided amongst my Children namely Absolam, Benjamin, William and Moses and Mary and Ruth they all living by my wife Mary Barney and that her Riding Horse be not appraised in the Estate and this being my last will and Testament and Revolting and Disannulling all other wills and Testaments. In Witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this Twentieth Day of February 1746/7."

William Barney (Seal)

William Barney II married Frances Holland Watts on January 26, 1743 in the Catholic Church in Baltimore. The Catholic Church was small but growing. The Archdiocese of Baltimore was the oldest diocese in the United States whose See City was within the nation’s boundaries. The Jesuits were in charge of the mission to Catholics in the British colonies of North America.

William and Francis Holland Barney each had inherited prosperous tobacco farms in Maryland. William II continued the farming tradition living and farming on the family tracts of land. William bride also had considerable land holdings that also were under cultivation with tobacco. The Barney family belonged to the upper middle class, and regarded as pillars of Maryland society.

Our story is about Joshua Barney born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 6, 1759. Joshua Barney was the sixth child of William and Francis Barney. Joshua grew up on the family tobacco farm near the settlement of Bear Creek. Joshua spent his first ten years of life helping on the farm doing chores appropriate to his age.

The eighteenth century was much different for children as compared to the twenty-first century.

•   Children worked on the farm doing what they were capable of preforming.

•   Children schooling took place in the home; schools were limited outside of major towns.

•   Children did not have exposure to outside influences.

•   Sickness might include chicken pox, mumps, dysentery, scarlet fever, whooping cough, influenza, pneumonia, and measles. (A mother’s love was always chicken soup and an enema.)

•   Children had guns but did not kill people.

•   Children had explosives but use them properly.

•   Most homes kept Opium in the house but they did not abuse it.

•   Children were polite.

•   Children smoked and sneaked tastes of whiskey.

•   Children did not question the validity of the church.

•   Children could care for farm animals.

•   Children could clean and prepare fish, chickens and wild game.

•   Children came into puberty at age at 10-12 with some girls getting married at fourteen.

Joshua had a limited exposure to school being they lived on the farm miles from anything. Joshua’s mother being smart and educated knew the importance of teaching Joshua to be proficient in reading and arithmetic. Joshua, at nine years old, did attend a small school but he did not like it. The teacher, a local resident, taught her own children accepted other children to supplement her income.

Joshua was a quick learner and found that his mother had brought him ahead of the other children that attended the small school. Joshua knew the correct answer to most of what the teacher attempted to present to them. The teacher bored Joshua from the lack of any mental challenge. The teacher was teaching to the lowest mentality of child.

Joshua was a dreamer, he dreamed of being at sea, being a great hero and defender of others. Others in Joshua’s family might have scuffed at Joshua’s dreams; little did they realize they would all come true.

Joshua Barney had the discipline, the hunger to learn, and the physical development to make his dream materialize early in his short life.

Joshua Barney leadership on land and sea greatly contributed to the United States becoming a free country after fighting the war of 1812. Joshua Barney proved to be one of the American Brave.


Joshua Barney


Franklin declares all power to be in the people when the servants violate their duties or when they violate the constitution.

J oshua arrived home from school one day to demonstrate youthfully arrogance to his father when he claimed I have learned everything the school mistress can teach me! Normally this would have considered youthful arrogance from a ten year old, and it was, but Joshua had a drive to achieve success when others his age were more interested in the satisfaction achieved from pleasuring themselves and dodging their assigned chores at home.

Joshua dreamed of going to sea, as if going to sea was a calling instilled in him by some spirit source. Joshua interest in the sea flourished from the influence of the shipbuilding that was prevalent in the Baltimore harbour. Shipbuilding was a major industry in Baltimore, with many of the vessels constructed for sale in Europe. In 1770, Americans had launched more than one-third of the British merchant fleet; America had the wood. More than 33,000 Americans made their living in merchant vessels shipping goods to Europe and the West Indies; Joshua wanted to be part of one of the merchant vessels.

Joshua’s father prided himself on being a devout Catholic and tobacco farmer as well as being a smart businessperson. Joshua’s father like most fathers with a business, assumed Joshua would also be a tobacco farmer, following in the families footsteps.

Joshua had seven older brothers and sisters in a family that eventually totaled fourteen siblings. The seven older siblings were mainly responsible for raising Joshua but they lacked the independent drive of Joshua.

The Barney children participate daily in chores on the farm besides elevating their education, studying at home or attending school. The children were assigned chores and reassigned chores as they grew into new capabilities. Joshua demonstrated a willingness and attitude as an egger learner of methods and responsibilities that were associated with the farm. He especially enjoyed the care of the livestock the feeding and care of each one to keep them healthy.

Living on the farm allowed young Joshua to learn to hunt and fish. Joshua enjoyed the freedom of going hunting in the woods since he could experiment with smoking, drinking and sexual exploration of his own body while out in the wilderness. Joshua was perplexed about masturbation, the priests said it was a sin but it was okay to ejaculate warm fluid in your bedding that rapidly turned cold and uncomfortable against his body. His sisters then would tease him about his stiff bedding. Joshua was convinced that stroking himself to a pleasurable eruption was his secret and God would have to deal with it if he did not approve.

Joshua could be angered easily and his siblings would not hesitate to taunt him into an angry fit. As he grew older, his siblings learned that his anger could cause them bodily pain from retaliation that Joshua was quick to administrate.

Joshua’s father attempted to intervene with Joshua’s youthful fantasies since he felt he was too young to go to sea so he persuaded a friend of his in the retail business in Baltimore to take Joshua under his wing as an employee.

Joshua was disappointed in this turn of events; He considered working in a retail store was a job for women not for an adventurous young boy that was going to be a famous sea captain. Joshua accepted the inevitable boring position of measuring cloth and calico by the yard. The work was dull requiring Joshua to be on duty for long hours, sometimes with nothing to do.

Joshua did not agree with the assessment that he was too young to serve on a ship. Joshua felt he was old enough and certainly tough enough to hold his own. The retail store job lasted until the Christmas recess when Joshua return home for the holidays.

The United States Navy did not exist yet but it was common for the states to encourage merchant vessels to become privateers. Merchant vessels were numerous in trade along the American coast, in the Caribbean, and Europe.

Joshua knew that a boy of eleven to thirteen years of age could secure a berth on a merchant vessel. Joshua also knew that he was dependent on his father to locate a sea captain who would be willing to take Joshua under their wing. Parents had to make the arrangements concerning boys going to sea as apprentices.

Joshua’s oldest sister married a merchant vessel captain, though Joshua did not like his older brother-in-law. Joshua realized that his brother-in-law might be his way to sea so he was not going to burn any bridges.

There were benefits that made a career on the seas attractive: 1) an officer on the sea could become rich through prize money, though not many did, 2) a young man’s talents could allow him to rise in rank, 3) education was free.

On merchant ships, boy’s Joshua’s age would be employed as a captain’s servant and live in the mess below decks. Education would be a daily requirement under the ship’s chaplain or midshipmen and sometimes the captain. The master of the ship normally assisted in the teaching of navigation.

Joshua could expect a promotion to midshipman after three years of service. The midshipman position came with leadership responsibilities, such as welfare of the other crewmembers including the assistance in treating shipboard illness and disciplinary matters.

The Midshipman after six years of service earned the right to sit before three captains for an oral examination to determine the eligibility of the candidate to become an officer. The oral exam was the most difficult test most young men would ever take and many midshipmen did not pass the rigors of the exam. If you were unable to pass the exam, you were not eligible to become a lieutenant on a ship.

Joshua was eleven years old in 1770, when he made his first sea voyage. Joshua was still growing but even at the age of eleven, he had an athletic frame that was hard and agile. He was graceful in his movements, but certainly not in a feminine sense. He was going to be a handsome man with black hair, sparking eyes and dark complexion; he was going to be one of the leaders and fighter for the future freedom of the United States. His father hopes for Joshua was that the harshness of being at sea would bring him to his senses and he would return to the protected life on the farm.

Any young boy wanting to go to sea needed an adult knowing a ship’s captain or master in order to secure a position.

Joshua finally wore his father down and he consented to approach, not his son-in-law but another friend that owned many schooners about taking Joshua on as an apprentice. Joshua could hardly believe his good fortune when he discovered his father good friend owned a pilot-boat, a class of vessel constructed in Baltimore. Joshua’s father talked to the accomplished seaman. Mr. Barney did confide in the sea captain he hoped Joshua would become discouraged and forget his folly to go to sea after this initial experience.

Joshua entered into the apprenticeship arrangements with the pilot boat owner. Joshua was able to spend a few weeks at home, before he signed on for eight months as a hand aboard the schooner sailing the Chesapeake for eight months.

Joshua dream began to become reality now that he signed the articles of apprenticeship. The pilot of the ship promised to give Joshua in-depth instruction in the affairs of his profession.

Joshua did learn how to steer a course, sound the bottom, run out the log, raise and reef the sails and generally mastered the rudiments of seamanship. Joshua was an enthusiastic learner, eager to devour the methods and physical duties associated with operating a ship.

Joshua returned home for a short vacation at the end of his eight months on the Chesapeake to convince his sister Elizabeth that he was ready to go to sea on her husband’s brig that traded goods in Europe.

Joshua’s older sister Elizabeth was fourteen years older than Joshua she was 25. Elizabeth had married Captain Thomas Drysdale, captain of the Sidney, a small brig in the merchant marine business. The brother-in-law said he would not take Joshua under his wing but finally acquiesced to his wife’s request to keep peace in the family. The brother-in-law, known to be a difficult task maker, not a pleasant person, but all the same, he did agree to train young Joshua.

Joshua started as an apprentice mate on the brig Sidney in the Liverpool trade, the first step in training for a captain’s position. A young man Joshua’s age might be required to serve for three to six years in an apprenticeship before becoming a ship’s captain.

Joshua’s hard-driving brother-in-law, Thomas Drysdale, was a confident sea captain, skilled in navigation but ignorant of any military defense capabilities. Drysdale did not have a congenial personality making him anything but likable. Drysdale had a commitment to train Joshua and he proved his word true. A boy entering marine service would normally start at the age of 11-13 years old so Joshua had other young boys near his age to associate with while at sea.


Merchant ship, Sidney


Talk is cheap . . . Except when Congress does it.


O n July 6, 1771 Joshua’s dream of going to sea materialize; The brig Sidney sailed out of the Baltimore harbour entering into the north Atlantic Ocean. The Sidney sailed on the north Atlantic heading for Europe on moderate seas. Joshua’s first cruise would sail a course from Baltimore to Nice with a cargo of wheat.

The next three years Joshua sailed to Europe frequently and his training elevated his sailing skills equal if not better than his brother-in-laws.

Joshua had proven he had what it took to become a captain of a sea-going vessel. Joshua learned the nature of sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent, secant and cosecant and the relations between them. Joshua had become proficient in dead reckoning navigation, taking a sight with a sextant, establishing a secondary reference, or benchmark, sight, comparing the two sights and putting the results of the comparison on a chart. Joshua was proficient in taking all the sightings and plotting the course the ship. Joshua was also capable of working all the rigging, spars, adjusting the cordage to control the shape and position of the sails.

Another important lesson Joshua possessed included the ability to be able to identify the tonnage of other vessels on the water. The way of measuring double-decked or war-vessels was a follows: Measure from fore-part of main stem to after part of stern port, above the upper deck; take the breadth thereof at broadest part above the main wales, one half of which breadth shall be accounted the depth. Deduct from the length three fifths of such breadth multiply the remainder by the breadth and the product by the depth; divide by 95; quotient is tonnage.

(I.E., if length = x, and breadth = y;

(x - 3/5 y) X y X ½ y tonnage =_____.) 95

Tonnage estimated a purely arbitrary manner in determining tonnage since there is no regard to actual capacity or displacement.i

During the next three years at sea on the Sidney, Joshua had become a young man, well beyond his biological age of fourteen years old. He had achieved the knowledge and abilities of a proven seasoned sailor and leader. Joshua’s brother-in-law confided in his wife, Elizabeth that her brother exceeded any expectation he had for Joshua when he first came aboard the Sidney.

August 19, 1773, a catastrophe day in the life of Joshua Barney but

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