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Isaac Chauncey


CHAUNCEY, ISAAC (1772-1840), American naval com mander, was born at Black Rock, Conn., Feb. 20, 1772. He was brought up in the merchant service, and entered the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant in 1798. The most active period of his life was that of his command on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812. He took the command at Sackett's harbor on Lake Ontario in Oc tober 1812. Commodore Chauncey brought from 400 to 500 offi cers and men with him, and local resources for building being abundant, he had by November formed a squadron of ten vessels, with which he attacked the Canadian port, York, taking it in April 1813. The Americans had the advantage of commanding greater resources for shipbuilding. Sir James Yeo began by blockading Sackett's harbor in the early part of 1814, but when the American squadron was ready he was compelled to retire by the disparity of the forces. Commodore Chauncey was now able to blockade the British flotilla at Kingston. During his later years he served as commissioner of the Navy, and was president of the board of naval commissioners from 1833 till his death at Washington, Feb. 27, 2840.

See Roosevelt's War of 1812 (1882) ; and A. T. Mahan, Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 (1q05) ; also see E. Channing, History of the United States, vol. iv. (1926).

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