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Joshua Barney Edit Profile

Naval officer

Joshua Barney was an American Navy officer who served in the Continental Navy during the Revolutionary War. He later got the rank of commodore in the United States Navy and also served in the War of 1812.


Joshua Barney was born in Baltimore on July 6, 1759.


He left school at the age of ten and commenced seafaring in 1771.


Early in the American Revolution, in October 1775, he became master's mate of the sloop Hornet in Commodore Esek Hopkins' squadron and distinguished himself in the capture of New Providence in the West Indies. Barney was commissioned lieutenant in June 1776. He served on the sloops Wasp and Sachem and on the frigate Virginia, which in 1778 captured a large British sloop. On April 1, 1778, the Virginia was captured and Barney taken prisoner. He was exchanged in August, after which he commanded a number of armed merchantmen. In 1780 the Saratoga, with Barney as first lieutenant, fell prey to the Intrepid, and he spent nearly a year as a prisoner in England. On April 8, 1782, Barney, commanding the Hyder-Ally, an armed merchantman protecting a convoy, encountered and defeated the General Monk near Cape May. Barney remained in service until May 1784, then engaged in commerce and farming. From 1796 until 1802 he served with distinction as chef de division (commodore) in the French navy, stationed in the West Indies. In the War of 1812 Barney was a successful commander of privateers. Barney died in Pittsburgh, on December 1, 1818.


  • In his 26 naval combats with the British, Commodore Barney was nearly always victorious.


In his 26 naval combats with the British, Commodore Barney was nearly always victorious. He possessed the steadiness, gallantry, and perseverance that are indispensable to a great naval captain.


Barney married twice and had several children with each wife.