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PREFACE.

In the following pages, I have endeavored to give a plain and accurate narrative of the life and public services of the late Commodore Edward Preble, of the navy of the United States. Several sketches of this distinguished officer have appeared from time to time; but, as far as I am aware, no biography, which contains all that should be known, has been published. In several particulars I have been compelled to differ from the writers who have preceded me; but it will be found, as I would fain believe, that, without assailing others, my own views have been stated in terms entirely respectful towards all. The general tone of every notice of Commodore Preble, that has fallen under my eye, whether found in books of history or in articles specially devoted to the subject of his claims to remembrance, is marked by great fairness and commendable accuracy. And it is by no means impossible, that, in some of the cases in which I have undertaken to correct mistakes, I may have

fallen into others. Yet, as the points of difference are not always decided favorably to the Commodore's pretensions, I claim to have been governed by a desire to ascertain and state the truth.

The papers in possession of his family have been at my disposal, and upon these materials I have chiefly relied. They consist principally of original letters and documents, received by Commodore Preble in the course of his official duty, and of copies of his own official letters to the various functionaries with whom he maintained a correspondence. For the first portion of the work, however, information has been obtained from other sources. Still, as the materials for an account of his life, previous to his entering the navy, are extremely scanty, and in some respects unsatisfactory, necessity has required that his operations in the Mediterranean, as commander-in-chief of the third squadron, in the war with Tripoli, should occupy a large space; and, as upon his brilliant deeds and surpassing energy and activity in that war his fame rests, the deficiency is scarcely to be regretted in writing a memoir of a limited extent, since fuller details of an earlier period would have demanded a corresponding abridgment in the relation of the most important events of his career.

In the belief that the reader may wish to know the fate of those, with whom the Commodore was officially connected, the date of the decease of many persons, whose names appear in these pages, is appended at the close. The kind attention of several friends deserves my thanks; and the very considerable aid afforded me by Mr. Nathaniel F. Deering, of Portland, and by Mr. George H. Preble, Passed Midshipman of the United States navy, claims my special acknowledgment.

EASTPORT, Maine, 1846.

EDWARD PREBLE.

CHAPTER I.

Ancestors of the Prebles of Maine. - General Jedediah Preble and his Family. - Birth of Edward Preble. His early Life. — He makes a Voyage in a Privateer. - Obtains a Midshipman's Warrant in the Massachusetts Marine, and joins the Protector, under John Foster Williams. Captured and sent Prisoner to New York. - Released. First Lieutenant of the Winthrop, under George Little. - Performs a brilliant Exploit near the Mouth of the Penobscot. At the Peace, he enters the Merchant Service.

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THE first city of New England, and perhaps of the United States, was Gorgeana, known. originally as the borough of Agamenticus, now the town of York, in Maine. It was founded by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the Lord Palatine of Maine; and in 1642 it received its city franchises. Among its earliest inhabitants was

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