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The feelings of Allen, during the pendency of this examination, may be learned from the following extracts from his private correspondences of that date. “To see so many brave men standing to their quarters, amidst the blood of their butchered and wourded countrymen, and hear their cries, without the means of avenging them! and when, in three minutes we could have avenged them ! to have the flag of my country disgraced! Was it for this that I have continued so long in the service, contrary to the wishes of all my friends! To be so mortified, humbled, cut to the soul! Yes, to have the finger of scorn pointing at me as one of the officers of the Chesapeake! But do not think, my friend, that I feel I have not done my duty. Perish the thought ! I proudly feel that I would have willingly given my trifting life, an offering for the wounded honour of my country.” “Oh, when I act like this, niay I die unpitied and forgotten, and no tear be shed to my memory. May I lie on some barren shore, and may my bones whiten in the sun, be pelted by the pitiless storm, and may the name of Allen be blasted with infamy." “ If I am acquitted honourably, (says he, while writing to his father,) in other words, if Captain Baron is condemned, you may see me again ; if not, never." “ We lay here ready, at a moment's warning, to wipe from our flag that disgrace that has been entailed upon it, by our blood. When I suffer my memory to dwell on this, I feel that I can trifle with existence at pleasure.”
It would not become us to swell this article, by entering into any examination of the conduct of Commodure Baron, or any inVestigation of the causes, which produced the intemperate and unhappy proceedings, on the part of the British commander. It is sufficient to say, that the trial consequent on this request of the before named officers, eventuated in the condemnation of Baron, and he left the ship universally unregretted. Poignant, on this occasion, must have been his feelings, for in passing through the line of his officers, who were on deck to witness his departure, overcome by the magnitude of his disgrace, and stung to the soul, by perceiving in the cold repulsive looks of every one, that his cowardice had procured their fixed contempt, he
fainted on the deck. What a contrast to this picture, do the proud, self-approving sensations of Allen, on leaving the same ship, present ! It is a gratifying reflection, (he says, in a letter to his friend,) to know that I leave the Chesapeake beloved by my messmates, and respected by all: they have all been forward in manifesting their esteem for me in the most unequivocal manner; it has been requited with my warmest gratitude. What can induce more self-satisfaction in any man, than to find that he is most beloved, by those who have known him the longest ? It must silence forever the longue of detraction ; and believe me, my dear sir, the love of my friends, who are ever dear to me, will ever be an inducement with me to de. serve their love, and to aspire to superior correctness."
During the embargo in 1808, his situation was, to a mind of so great sensibility, distressing in the extreme. He was employed in cruising off Block-Island in the frigate Chesapeake, for the purpose of intercepting and seizing such vessels, as were attempting a violation of that law. The delicacy and firmness, however, which he exhibited in the discharge of this duty, commanded at once respect and esteem, and prevented that odium from attaching to his character, which we so naturally feel too wards those, who are made even the innocent instruments of our injury. At his earnest request, he was excused from boarding and examining in person, any vessel, sailing from the ports of his native state. The reasons for this arrangement, he thus states in a letter on this subject. “ I knew that I should be compelled to detain such vessels for the most trivial article, and this would have wounded my feelings. Even had I met those which I could have suffered to pass, I might have laboured un. der unjust suspicions, when other officers might be equally just without such inputations."
While employed in this manner, he received a letter from his father, soliciting his interference in behalf of several of his intimate acquaintances, whose property had been taken for suspect. ed violations of the Embargo. The following dignified reply, presents to us his character, as a faithful officer, and a firm yet feeling man, in the most favourable light. “ Nothing, my dear sir, could give me more pleasure, than to have been useful or instrumental in serving those young gentlemen you speak of in your letter: it required no request of yours to induce it ; but vain are our desires-impotent the will that exceeds the means of performance. This has often been my lot, and, I believe, that of many in the Chesapeake. Need I say that my feelings have ever been on the rack while cruising off the island! But, sir, had this been your vessel, her situation would have been precisely the same. It is impossible that I can be of the least service to those young gentlemen."
In February, 1809, he received orders to repair on board the frigate United States, then equipping at Washington, and commanded by commodore Decatur. As Mr. Allen was the first lieutenant, and the commodore absent, so arduous and so constant were the duties devolving upon him, and so unremitting and faithful his exertions in discharging them, that, for two months, he never absented himself for one moment, from the nary yard. When the United States was fitted for sea, he proceeded in her on several short cruises, and passed the rest of his time at Norfolk, Virginia, where the ship was principally stationed, until the declaration of war in 1812. Hitherto the object of our naval officers had been only to make themselves respected and conspicuous, for good order, correct discipline, and complete subordination on board our national vessels. Now, the time so long expected, so ardently wished for by our brave tars, had arrived. They were now permitted to conflict on the ocean with the first naval power in the world, and glory awaited success. A spirit of determination pervaded the whole navy. Every officer pledged himself to support the honour of tbe national flag, even upto death. The result of this enthusiasm bas been witnessed-Hull, Decatur and Bainbridge have covered it with glory by successive victories. Lawrence and Allen have dyed it in their blood, and borne it, equally honoured, to their grave.-The former still live to fight their country's battles, and add to the list of her naval triumphs—the latter live in her mournful remembrance, and are embalmed with her tears.
Soon after the commencement of hostilities, the United States sailed on a cruise. On the 25th of October, 1812, in latitude 29, Nortb, longitude 29, 30, West, a sail was discovered to the windward. Lieutenant Allen was requested to go aloft and ascertain, if possible, to what nation she belonged. Perceiving the British pendant at the mast head, he descended, and sportively informed his impatient comrades, that she was a lawful prize. The enemy, having the advantage of the wind, fought the United States at his own distance, and the action continued for an hour and fifty minutes. So tremendous was the fire kept up by the American frigate, that the British sailors repeatedly shouted, supposing the United States in flames. At length, after losing her mizen-mast, fore and main top-masts, and main yard, the enemy struck. Shé proved to be the British frigate Macedonian, mounting 49 carriage guns; one of the finest frigates in the British navy, and commanded by John S. Carden, one of the ablest and bravest of its officers. Her loss' was thirty six killed, and sixty eight wounded. The loss on board the United States was comparatively trifling; only four killed, anu seven wounded ; and so little damage had she received in her hull and rigging, that she would have continued her cruise, had not her commander thought it of the first consequence to convoy his prize into port. To the decided superiority of the Americans in the exercise of their guns, the cheapness of this victory must undoubtedly be ascribed ; and to the diligence and perseverance of Allen in training the men, much of this superiority was unquestionably owing. The conduct of Decatur, when Carden came on board the United States, was such as we should have expected from one, of whom honour and feeling are the distinguishing characteristicks. When the British commander offered his sword, Decatur observed, “I cannot, sir, receive the sword of one, who has defended his ship so gallantly; but I shall be happy to receive his hand." Such delicacy of conduct adds new laurels to the wreath of the conqueror. We regret that the conduct of the officers of the Macedonian, when lieutenant Allen boarded her, should have presented so revolting a contrast to this nobleness of soul. No assistance was rendered him in ascending the side, and he entered by climbing up the chains. On requesting the officers of the Macedonian to enter his boat, the first lieutenant sullenly asked him, if he intended to send him away without his baggage. “Do you suppose yourself in the hands of privateersmen?" said Allen. " I know not into what hands I have fallen," was the sarcastick reply. We feel a conscious pride in stating, that this ungentlemanly behaviour produced no severity on the part of the Americans. Lieutenant Allen ordered the baughty lieutenant instantly into the boat ; but he placed a guard, to protect and secure to the owners, every article of the officers' baggage. To Allen, was intrusted the difficult task, of bringing the shattered and sinking Macedonian into port. In this he succeeded, though assailed by storms and waylaid by enemies; and amidst the gratulations of thousands of his country men, triumphantly entered the harbour of NewYork, with the American eagle looking down upon the British
After a very short interval of repose, lieutenant Allen was ordered to take command of the Argus, then repairing at New-York. After her repairs were completed, a report was circulated, that a British brig of war was cruising in the sound; and Allen immediately sailed down for the purpose of offering her battle. So well was he known, and so universally beloved by the brave sailors in our navy, that on this occasion, the whole crew of the Hornet volunteered their services, and unsolicited, put themselves under his command. The cruise was however fruitless, as no enemy was to be found ; and after a week's absence, in obedience to the command of commodore Decatur, he returned into port.
About this time, the death of Mr. Barlow having interrupted the negotiation with France, Mr. Crawford was appointed to succeed him; and Mr. Allen, (now promoted to the rank of master and commander, *) in the Argus, was directed to conduct the minister to France. This, notwithstanding the imminent dan
Captain Allen never had the satisfaction of receiving his commission. It was by some accident delayed until after his sailing, and has, since his death, been forwarded to his father, together with a letter of condolence from the secretary of the navy, by commodore Rodgers,