The image of an American Naval officer from the War of 1812. USS Constitution related.
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CDV of U.S. Naval Officer, George Campbell Read. In one of the last photos taken of Commodore George Campbell Read, the old veteran of the War of 1812, The Barbary War, The Sumatran Expedition and the Civil War poses for the camera in his dress uniform, chapeau and sword at his side.
Commodore Read was born in 1787 in Ireland. He entered the Navy as a midshipman in 1804, making Lieutenant in 1810. He was serving with Captain Isaac Hull on the USS Constitution during her victory over the HMS Guerriere, and with Commodore Stephen Decatur during the USS United States’s victory and capture of the HMS Macedonian. He commanded the USS Chippewa in Bainbridge’s squadron during the Barbary War.
As captain, Read commanded the USS Frigate Constellation in the Mediterranean. He is best remembered for the Sumatran Expedition prompted by the taking of an American merchant ship the “Eclipse” out of Salem, Mass, in 1838. His squadron, consisting of the Columbia, John Adams, bombarded the town of Quallah Battoo, Samatra, then landed 350 men at a neighboring town of Muckie, and razed the village and secured a pledge of restitution and friendship form the local rajah.
He helped in the organization of the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1845. Several other commands afterwards brought him to his last assignment at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. In 1855, Read was placed on the reserve list, and was Governor of the Philadelphia Naval Asylum until his death in 1862.
The image quality is very good; a period ink ID on the mount below and another ID in pencil on the reverse. A blind photographers stamp is found on the upper left corner, “REHN & HURN.” Light soiling only.
This is a scarce image of a man who served in the War of 1812 aboard the USS Constitution during several historical engagements with the Royal Navy.